Man res­cued off Bay Bridge

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

KENT IS­LAND — Early Thurs­day, May 26, po­lice, fire and res­cue units re­sponded to res­cue an man who was cling­ing to a sup­port beam off the William Pre­ston Lane Jr. (Ch­e­sa­peake Bay) Bridge.

Lt. Kevin Bren­ner, a para­medic with Queen Anne’s County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices, was on his way to work Thurs­day morn­ing when he spot­ted a man out of his car and climb­ing over the side of the Bay Bridge, said Beth Lewis, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for DES. He stopped and called 911.

Ja­son Hayes of Ridgely also stopped to help. Bren­ner and Hayes kept the man talk­ing un­til emer­gency crews ar­rived, Lewis said.

First Sgt. Jonathan Green, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Author­ity Po­lice, said the in­ci­dent took place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.

Fire boats from Kent Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment were launched in the event of a wa­ter res­cue. In ad­di­tion to KIVFD, units from MdTA, Anne Arun­del County Fire Depart­ment, Queen Anne’s County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices, Coast Guard and the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources re­sponded.

When emer­gency crews ar­rived the man was hang­ing on to a girder be­low the bridge’s road sur­face.

KIVFD 1st As­sis­tant Chief Tracy Schulz, who re­sponded in one of the fire boats, said the man was res­cued from above. Fire and res­cue per­son­nel from AACFD Squad 23 con­ducted a high-an­gle res­cue to bring the man back to safety.

One fire­fighter wear­ing a har­ness climbed over the side of the bridge and down to the man. Once the man was se­cured with a ca­ble and har­ness, res­cuers helped him back up onto the bridge deck. He was trans­ported to Anne Arun­del Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Green said.

The east­bound span of the bridge was closed for a lit­tle over an hour dur­ing the in­ci­dent, and two-way op­er­a­tion took place on the three-lane span. Traf­fic back­ups ex­tended for miles and lasted into the morn­ing.

Any­one con­tem­plat­ing sui­cide is urged to con­tact the Mary­land Cri­sis Hot­line at 1-800-422-0009.

PHOTO BY BRAD FRE­ITAS

A res­cuer from Anne Arun­del County Fire Depart­ment ap­pears to hug the man over the side of the bridge.

PHO­TOS BY BRAD FRE­ITAS

A res­cuer from Anne Arun­del County Fire Depart­ment reaches the man over the side of the Bay Bridge.

A man clings to a beam over the side of the Bay Bridge Thurs­day morn­ing, May 26.

Res­cuers help the man back onto the Bay Bridge deck and to safety.

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