Last night at approximately 21:00 hours Boston Fire, Boston EMS and Boston Police responded to the Summer Street Bridge for the reported “Jumper Up” who had also set himself on fire. Multiple callers stated that the man had light his shirt on fire while threatening to jump off the Bridge near South Station.
Boston Fire dispatched a technical rescue with multiple speciality assets responding to the scene. Boston Police and EMS Command staff as well as Police Negotiators also responded.
The subject was located at the top of the bridge’s beam approximately 20 to 30 feet about the pavement on one side and a little over 55 feet above the water on the other side. Crews immediately attempted to make contact with the man in attempts to persuade him to come down however they were unsuccessful at first.
The man, who we latter learned from family on scene had a lengthy mental health and substance abuse history. He had stopped taking his medication earlier in the week and relapsed, prompting this episode. Additionally on top of this there was also a Spanish language barrier, making opening lines of communications even more difficult
Luckily a Fire Fighter from Tower Ladder 3 was able to connect with him and form a bond with the man. While the firefighter kept the man talking and distracted, crews were able to set up a large airbag under the man on the bridge side with hopes it would mitigate the risks of injury.
Once everything was in place the firefighter from TL-3 successfully convinced the man, in part with the promise of a cigarette, to come aboard the truck and safely delivered him to awaiting EMTs and Paramedics for evaluation and transport.
The man was transported by Boston EMS to a local area hospital where we hope he, as well as his family, are able to get the help they need. No further information is available at this time. Great work and response by all the different agencies and public safety professionals who responded. A happy ending had all around.
If you ever find yourself in crisis and thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one and in need of emotional support, please contact the Good Samaritan Helpline at (877) 870-4673. You can call or text any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The services are free, confidential and completely anonymous.