Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Hop, Skip and a JUMP off the Brooklyn Bridge

It's a beautiful September Saturday morning in lower Manhattan. Mark and I are working 11 Victor. It's a part time job for both of us.Every Saturday, 7am to 11pm. We had stopped in our favorite deli on Carmine Street, picked up some bagels and cream cheese and headed back down to our area. We just finish (thankfully) our breakfast when the dispatcher gives us a yell
"11 Vic for the diff breather"
Mark answers "11 Vic, send it over". The call comes over the computer. We read the text and find that our "diff breather" is actually a 34 year old male who has been constipated for a week.Just as we're about to start griping we hear over the police radio
" 5 John"
"5 John, central'
"John I'm getting numerous calls for a jumper up on the Brooklyn Bridge"
"5 John on the way"
Mark and I look up quick. We had been eating our breakfast right at the entrance to the bridge.
"Mark", I yell excitingly "Jump on it! Jump on it'
Mark slams the vehicle into drive and we lurch towards the bridge. Thirty seconds later we're mid-span
"Rocco, there he is!" yells Mark as he points to my right.
Sure enough there is a man standing on the outside edge of the bridge. Below him nothing but two hundred feet of air and the East River.
I grab the mic
"11 Vic to central with an urgent transmission"
"Vic go ahead"
"Central be advised we have been flagged for a jumper up on the Brooklyn Bridge. Confirmed job central! Get us PD and ESU!"
"10-4 Vic. Be careful" the dispatcher responds.
Mark and I get out of the vehicle and slowly make our way over to the man. He's standing on a ledge that is about two feet lower than the roadway we're standing on.He's about 35 years old, a bit disheveled, wearing a tan overcoat and a fishing hat.. He's looking down at the water
Mark speaks up
"Hello sir, we are paramedics. We're here to help you".
The guy raises his head almost nonchalantly, looks both me and Mark up and down, turns his head away and lets go!
"Holy shit" me and Mark scream out in unison. We immediately look over the edge to see him cartwheeling through the air just before smacking the water so hard that that we could almost feel it above.
Mark and I run back to the ambulance
'11 Vic emergency transmission"
Dispatcher "All units stand by. 11 Vic go"
"Central be advised he jumped! Jumper down in the water!"
"10-4 Vic. I'll advise PD"
"Mark, go into Brooklyn" I gasp out short of breath
"That's where I'm headed" he responds back
We're about to leave the bridge into Brooklyn when we hear the police dispatcher calling us over the police radio
"EMS for the Brooklyn Bridge on the air"
I pick up the mic
"EMS central"
"EMS meet harbor at Pier 17 on the Manhattan side"
" 10-4 central"
Mark spins the ambulance in a u-turn and we're back on our way to Manhattan. We exit the bridge. Mark hangs a left and there is Pier 17 a block in front of us. As we get closer we see the harbor cops.
"Mark!, I turn to my partner, "You gotta be fucking kidding me! Do you see what I see"
Mark responds back to me in the same incredulous way, "I see it but I can't fucking believe it!"
Up ahead walking towards us are 4 harbor cops. Between them walks none other than our flying friend from the bridge, upright and in handcuffs.
One of the cops looks at me and Mark and starts laughing "close your mouths before you get flies in them'
He goes on to explain that they were going under the bridge as the call came in . They actually saw the guy jump and then us peer over.
"Lucky son of a bitch. As soon as he hit the water we scooped him up" the cop said still chuckling.
Mark and I proceeded to place the patient in a protective neck collar and put him down on a plastic backboard to protect against possible spine injury.We cut all his clothes of looking in vain for any type of injury. Due the the nature of the accident we took him to Bellevue, a trauma center. On the way I asked him why he did it. All he said was "Could you please call my girlfriend up and tell her what I did". Satisfied with his roundabout answer to my question I assured him that I would call his girlfriend.
Arriving at the hospital we wheel him inside and to the trauma room where the nurse signs my call report legally relieving me of custody of the patient. Walking out of the emergency room Mark looks over at me and asks
"Roc, did you ask why he jumped'
"Yep" I answered
"What was it?"
I stop walking and answer "What the fuck do you think it was?"
Mark looks at me, eyes wide and his right hand covering his mouth, "A fucking woman?!"
"You got it brother" I answer. We both walk over to the ambulance shaking our heads and laughing. It's only 10 am; we got another 11 hours to go