MTA STATION AGENT HONORED FOR ACT OF HEROISM

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MTA Employee Ralph Johnson courtesy of MTA/Marc A. Hermann

When MTA Station Agent Ralph Johnson decided to head into work early last September during the West Indian Day Parade celebration, he had no idea he was about to save someone's life and become the most celebrated hero in New York.

Johnson, 63, had arrived a half-hour earlier that day to begin his shift at the Franklin Avenue stop in Brooklyn when he heard a commotion on the platform.

Johnson said he heard a man with a heavy Jamaican accent shouting what he believed was a baby had fallen onto the station tracks.

Without hesitation, the MTA worker of 18 years leaped into action, jumping down onto the tracks where he discovered a woman—not an infant—had lost consciousness and fallen onto the tracks.

"She was wrapped in this white cloth," Johnson recalled. "She was unconscious. I knew I had to help her."

And help her he did, just as a train was approaching the station, rounding the corner. Without a second thought, Johnson stood in the middle of the tracks waving for the train operator to stop.

"The train operator was traveling about 10 to 15 miles per hour," Johnson said. "So he was able to see me. I didn't have time to put my safety vest on, but luckily he saw me and stopped."

Johnson was able to get the unconscious woman back onto the subway platform with the help of two responding transit cops. The woman, who was not immediately identified, was taken to the hospital by responding EMS workers.

Johnson not only received accolades from the MTA, but from fellow co-workers as well.

"Wow! That was a helluva thing you did," one co-worker told him.

Johnson later received the Medal of Excellence from the MTA for his act of heroism, along with 5 other recipients who received awards for acts of heroism not publicized.

Johnson also received a nomination from the Transport Workers Union Local 100  for the Daily News Hometown Heroes in Transit award. The award honors subway and bus employees for acts of heroism and going that extra mile to help the public.

Winners of the award will be honored in February.

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