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Michigan Delegates Save a Life in Atlanta

Two Michigan educators pull man from train tracks

 Rob Roberts and Chad Gurzick of Michigan stand to a round of applause from Representative Assembly as NEA President Van Roekel reads how tells how the pair saved someone who fell on the MARTA train tracks earlier this week at the Georgia World Congress Center Wednesday July 3, 2013. NEA Today/Calvin KnightYou often hear about people who are one way at work and another at home or when not working. But educators have proven, time and time again, they don’t fit this mold. They’re the same no matter where they are or what they’re doing. They’re always thinking about the well-being and safety of others.

So on what would have been a typical evening, yesterday, during this year’s Representative Assembly in Atlanta, two NEA members did the thinkable; they saved a man’s life.

Chad Gurzick and Rob Roberts of Michigan were out with colleagues. As they waited for the train at the Five Points MARTA station, in the middle of rush hour, they heard screams. 

Gurzick and Roberts said they had just seen a rat and thought the rat was causing the commotion. They quickly learned a man had fallen onto the train tracks and the flashing sign went from “Train Arriving” to “Arriving Now.” 

In a matter of seconds, Roberts jumped onto the train tracks—joining others in trying to push and pull the man to safety while the crowd on the platform was trying to get the train to stop.  Gurzick was on the platform, reaching his hand out trying to help Roberts who was trying to save the man who had fallen.

“I couldn’t just leave him lying there,” said Roberts. “I was certain he would die.” With little thought to the fact that they could have been electrocuted or run over by a train, these educators jumped to action to help save the life a man they didn’t know.

Both men say they’re not heroes. Gurzick said, “We were in a position to make a difference.”

According to them, educators are the real heroes for the work they do with students.

Chad Gurzick is an elementary physical education teacher at Hamilton Elementary in Troy, Michigan. Rob Roberts is a Reading Intervention teacher at Webster Elementary in Hazel Park, Michigan. Both are first time RA delegates.


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