Video: Milwaukee firefighters praised for saving suicidal man about to jump from overpass

Video: Milwaukee firefighters praised for saving suicidal man about to jump from overpass

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --Members of the Milwaukee Fire Department are being praised for their actions in helping a man threatening to end his life by jumping off a bridge on North Teutonia Avenue.

It happened Thursday, June 24 as officials were responding to a crash on the Teutonia Avenue overpass, which goes over West Silver Spring Drive.

The fire department says a bystander alerted a MFD paramedic about the driver involved in the crash who was experiencing a mental health crisis and had threatened to end his life by jumping off the bridge. The driver climbed over the guard rail and lowered himself over the side.

Paramedic Nyles Wray was able to grab the man's hand just as he let go of the guardrail. The man was brought to safety and was provided medical assistance.

"The whole situation was just so crazy because you never know what someone is going through, and it really traumatized me," Taylor Evans, the woman who recorded the video on her phone told CBS 58 in an interview.

"It was amazing to see but I wasn't surprised because it is what we do," MFD Deputy Chief of Operations DeWayne Smoots told CBS 58.

Smoots said the video affirmed the benefits and quality of situational awareness training MFD members go through to prepare for unexpected situations like what happened on June 24.

"The members are outstanding, they go above and beyond," Smoots said. "Because if you look at [the video], realistically, the firefighter who went to save that person, could've went over with them also."

Smoots said while the video highlights a moment of heroism on video, it's the mentality firefighters go to work with every day.

"The mindset is, we're here to save you, even at our own peril and that's what we try to do."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours at 800-273-8255.

Other mental health resources in Milwaukee can be found HERE.  

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