A BART worker is being hailed for his quick thinking and actions to help a man who was suffering from a mental health crisis while standing on the trackway at Millbrae Station.
Soon after starting his workday on June 23, Senior Operations Foreworker Curtis Zedd Jr. saw two station agents attempting to talk with the individual, who was standing between the tracks and the electrified third rail, according to a feature story on BART’s website.
Zedd swiftly called the Operations Control Center to request that the rail be powered down. He then sat down, asked the man if everything was OK, then listened to his story and eventually calmed him down. BART police responded and transported the man, described as a homeless veteran in his 50s, to a mental health evaluation.
“I told him, ‘Talk to me. You can vent. I’ll listen to whatever you have to say. Let’s just get out of the trackway. And in the end he calmed down,” Zedd said, according to the BART report.
He received a commendation for his outstanding work.
“We got a call from Curtis to de-energize the rail,” Operations Control Center Manager Shanon Matthews said, according to BART. “This person was very erratic, and Curtis kept the individual engaged in conversation. He kept him distracted and got him to turn away from the third rail. And he actually talked the guy back up on the platform and calmed the guy down. He was a strong, compassionate presence.”
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Senior operations foreworker Curtis Zedd Jr. photographed on July 9, 2021 (Photo courtesy of BART)