Brave Highgate doctor pulls man from tracks in front of oncoming train
A Highgate doctor has described the heart-stopping moment she pulled a man from the tracks in front of an oncoming train, saving his life.
Debra Fine’s brave actions were recognised by the British Transport Police (BTP) on Thursday at a ceremony where she was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation.
The 33-year-old junior doctor, then a medical student, was waiting for a train at Tottenham Court Road Tube station in March 2013 when she saw a man step down from the platform onto the tracks just as a train was entering the station.
Without thinking, she immediately ran towards him to grab him by the shoulders and pull him from the tracks before the train reached them both.
Dr Fine, who lives with her husband in Cholmeley Lodge, told the Ham&High: “It all happened so quickly.
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“I saw the train coming into the platform, and I didn’t want him to get hurt.
“It was just instinctive to try and pull him up. I didn’t really consider getting hurt myself.
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“Afterwards, my mum told me off for taking such a risk, but I didn’t really think about it.”
After pulling the man from the tracks, Dr Fine talked with him and calmed him down before leaving him with other passengers to find police help.
But when she returned, he had run off.
Rather than giving up, Dr Fine searched the whole of the station until she found him again and stayed with him until police officers arrived.
“Immediately afterwards, I was just shellshocked,” said Dr Fine, who is moving to work at the Whittington Hospital in Archway from Watford General Hospital in August.
“He actually thanked me as I left him, which was an amazing feeling.”
She added: “I was very proud of myself that I had acted quickly and very sad that there’s a lot of people in the world in desperate situations where they feel that is the only option.
“I hope more can be done to help people with mental health issues.”
Chief Constable Paul Crowther, who presented Dr Fine with the award, said: “This was an act of pure selfless courage.
“There is no doubt that Debra’s quick thinking saved a man’s life. I am absolutely delighted to take this opportunity to personally thank her for her incredible bravery.”