Our friends at ArlNOW.com have obtained this surveillance video of the incident in which Dimas Pinzon jumped onto the tracks at the Virginia Square Metro Station to aid another man who had fallen onto the tracks while having a medical emergency, just as another train was pulling into the station.
Pinzon had to pick his way around the electrified third rail, and at one point actually stood on top of the rail cover. Predictably, Metro spokesman Ron Holzer discourages this behavior, pointing out quite correctly that the third rail is dangerous and the cover is not meant to support a person’s weight, but then he asserts that the correct course of action is to notify the station manager so that the train can be stopped.
I don’t know what stations Holzer is using, where you can count on making it to the top of the escalator and actually finding a station manager near his or her desk, but they are not the stations I am passing through, and it’s not like the platforms have a convenient way to page the station manager. So I am not sure I’d be willing to risk letting a train hit another human being while I ran around to find the manager.