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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS

Firefighters save man from jumping off bridge

Crews were able to talk to the man until they were close enough to grab him

By EMS1 Staff

CHICAGO — Firefighters talked to a man intent on jumping off a bridge into the Chicago River long enough to thwart him Tuesday morning.

Firefighters and police waited for nearly an hour as the 43-year-old man stood at the edge of a Loop bridge threatening to jump, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The man reportedly kept telling the first crews that he couldn't go back to jail. Authorities said he was being sought for a domestic abuse charge.

Negotiators talked to the man for about 45 minutes as they got closer and closer until they were about a foot and a half away.

"We were running out time," Firefighter Eric Sobolewski said. "It seemed like his attitude had changed a little bit."

The man then dropped his key and cell phone, as if he was going to leave them behind.

Firefighter Sobolewski then told the man to think about his children and along with another firefighter, got within reach of the man and grabbed him.

The man collapsed and started sobbing and was taken to the hospital.

"It was unreal.…You're out there in the freezing cold and you don't imagine that these things are going to happen," Firefighter Sobolewski told the Tribune.

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