Sick People on Orange Line

Sick passenger on Orane Line

In the aftermath of yesterday’s Metro crash I went with my backup plan today of skipping the Red Line in favor of the Orange. A malfunction had just occurred at Eastern Market, causing some delays, but a train arrived soon enough at Capitol South — then was held for ten minutes due to a sick passenger (photographed above). The train got moving faster than expected, however, and as it passed Metro Center I spotted yet another sick passenger being removed from another train on the New Carrolton side. Later still in the day, there was notice of more Orange Line delays due to a sick passenger on the train at Landover. Lots of sick people today.

To WMATA’s credit they got trains moving faster than I expected given the all-manual mode the trains are running in. And I must give kudos to Foggy Bottom Station for having the escalators all running with relative reliability for the past week. Yay.

Roving Asian mendicant, can occasionally be seen wandering the streets of downtown Washington, muttering unintelligible gibberish to passers-by while pushing a “bag lady” shopping cart full of old blankets, American flags, soda cans, and healthy secondhand snacks from organic food shop dumpsters. Used to live in a cardboard box at 16th and K but the rent was too expensive.

8 thoughts on “Sick People on Orange Line

  1. I just got back to my desk from lunch, and Rosslyn Metro has ambulances and a fire truck parked in front of it as well. No idea whats going on there, but it looks like whatever it is can’t do any good for the Blue and Orange lines.

  2. Why aren’t sick passengers removed from trains and given help on the platform while ground transportation to a medical facitlity is arranged? I’ve never understood the whole delay due to sick passengers phenomenon. Can anyone shed light on this?

  3. sounds like a terrorist attack to me. people dropping like flies? um, yeah…might want to check that out.

  4. A woman fainted on our red line train this morning. I’m not sure if it was health-related or due to the fact the train was at ABSOLUTE full capacity and we were stopped in the tunnel (between Woodley and Dupont) with only one announcement that there was a door problem in the entire 20 minute span.

    …20 minutes may not seem all that long, but after yesterdays unfortunate catastrophe it was more unsettling than usual.

  5. @Prof. Baracus: Probably because it’s paramedics who give the aid to sick passengers, who arrive in said ground transportation. Metro stations are not routinely staffed with EMTs/paramedics.

    The delay is in waiting for the arrival of emergency medical services, not in the provision thereof.

  6. @Tiffany: My question is why aren’t sick passengers moved off of trains while EMT etc are on the way? If the train has been delayed for a sick passenger, some metro employee somewhere knows of their situation.

    A station manager, metro police officer, dc police officer, etc. should get them off the train and if possible help move them closer to ground transportation.

    If the person’s condition is so bad they can’t be moved, that I understand. I’ve never heard of such a situation though.

    The EMTs aren’t coming to fix the train so why is it sitting there waiting for them?

  7. @tiffany: for example, the photo for this post shows a metro employee with a hand held radio standing on the train next to the sick passenger. Can’t these two move to the platform and let the train and the system get back to work?

  8. Actually, Baracus, that’s exactly what happened — the guy was walked off the train by the station manager. I was surprised. I’ve heard that it’s policy to not move sick customers, but today both times on this trip that I saw sick people on trains, they were quickly removed to the platform as soon as it was evident that they were well enough to walk. There was still a delay, but not for as long as I thought there would be.