Peoria firefighters recognized for their efforts to save bridge jumper

By WEEK Producer

September 13, 2013 Updated Sep 13, 2013 at 10:44 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. – Peoria firefighters are being recognized for their efforts to save a man who threatened to jump from the Murray Baker Bridge last month.

On August 28, crews from Peoria’s Battalion 1, Rescue 1 and Engine 1 responded to the Murray Baker Bridge where they found a man standing on a girder beneath the bridge.

Peoria Fire Chief Kent Tomlin called the crews’ actions “exemplary”.

“The fact that the Peoria Fire Department was on the scene so quickly, in order to diffuse the incident, definitely contributed to the successful rescue of the jumper,” stated Chief Tomlin.

Tomlin stated that crews went over the edge of the bridge to talk to the jumper, and called their ability to get the jumper to put on the rescue harness “truly firefighters at their best”.

According to Tomlin, the jumper agreed after he realized that if he did jump, Marine personnel were positioned and ready to pull him from the river.

The man was transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

The incident closed the westbound lanes of Interstate 74 for approximately one hour.

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