Wash. FFs, medics pull unresponsive man from river

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said first responders restored the patient's pulse before transferring him to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center


Nick Gibson
The Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE, Wash. — A 20-year-old man was in critical condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on Sunday afternoon after being resuscitated following a water rescue near the Greene Street bridge.

Xenon Berkeley, a public information officer for the Spokane Police Department, said they received a 911 call just before 1 p.m. regarding a possible water rescue. The caller, who was a bystander walking along the river, reported seeing two people in the water frantically calling for help and an unresponsive man underneath the Greene Street bridge.

Members of the Spokane Fire Department, paramedics with American Medical Response and Spokane police officers responded to the scene.
Members of the Spokane Fire Department, paramedics with American Medical Response and Spokane police officers responded to the scene. (Photo/AMR Spokane)

The Spokane Fire Department, paramedics with American Medical Response and Spokane police officers responded to the scene and were able to retrieve the man from the river and move him up the embankment to East Upriver Drive.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the man's heart had stopped, and first responders were able to get a pulse back before transferring him to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for further care.

Schaeffer said it appeared the trio were floating the river in inner tubes prior to the water rescue.

The man's two companions were able to make it to the shore on their own.

As more individuals flock to the Spokane River to escape the summer heat, Berkeley said it is important to be prepared before recreating.

"At any time of year, it's important to be attentive to the water conditions, to pay attention to the resources that are out there," Berkeley said.

"There are numerous websites, both public and private, that will report on the conditions of the river. Pay attention to those, have family and friends nearby who know and have access to a cellphone, wear flotation devices and just try to make safe choices."

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(c)2022 The Spokesman-Review 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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