A man's life was saved in the subway last week after a group of good Samaritans pulled him out of the trackbed at the City Hall R Station. Neither the victim nor folks who jumped in to help him were immediately identified, but today we were able to speak with one subway hero about what happened.
David Tirado, a security officer at a Lower Manhattan security firm, was on his way back to his home in Bay Ridge at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday when he heard a woman screaming across the platform. "I heard a girl just scream out, 'Oh my God! A man just fell over on the tracks!' Tirado told us. "And basically I just jumped straight in."
Tirado and two other men pulled the victim, who was in his 50s, out of the tracks, while another woman contacted an MTA worker and police. Luckily, the team effort meant they were able to alert the operator of the oncoming R train in time. "[The MTA worker] went to the toll booth and hit the panic button so they could relay the train conductor to stop," Tirado said. "We had the transit police, FDNY, and the paramedics there within minutes." You can watch the rescue below:
As an army veteran, Tirado had some experience in lifesaving, and he checked the unconscious man's pulse after they pulled him onto the platform. "He was completely out of it," Tirado said. "And when we got him on the top he started going through a seizure so we had to let him play it out." Eventually, the man came to, and paramedics took him to Bellevue; Tirado visited him on Sunday and was informed by nurses that he had a heart ailment. "He doesn’t even remember anything about the train station, so I showed him the video," Tirado said. "And once he saw the video, he was mesmerized, and was like, 'I’m thankful to be alive.'"
Even though the MTA advises against jumping down onto the tracks to rescue fallen individuals, Tirado says he didn't have a moment of hesitation. "I just went for it. I looked into the tunnel and as soon as I didn’t see the train coming, I was going for it," he said. Tirado insists he wasn't scared, explaining, "I just wanted to make sure he was okay. If someone is down and out, you have to help the person, because you have to remember that could be you lying down there and you’re going to need the help."
Tirado hopes the others who helped that day come forward to get the recognition they're due. And as a Brooklyn native, he says he hopes the video shows how New Yorkers look out for each other. "People talk about New York. We’re tough. We’re a tough city, yes we are," he said. "But when someone needs help, we’re going to help. That’s the bottom line."