Syracuse Fire Performs I-81 Overpass Rescue

Published on September 17, 2022

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – On September 17, 2022 at 2:28 p.m., Syracuse firefighters were alerted by the 911 Center to a female hanging over I-81 from the Hiawatha Boulevard overpass. Multiple calls were coming into the 911 Center with some bystanders trying to talk her down and others trying to hold onto her. Firefighters from Engine 2 (Lodi St.) arrived to the Hiawatha Boulevard bridge to find the female standing on the outside of the chain-link fence facing the highway below her. Traffic at this point was still flowing at normal speed. Firefighters updated the 911 Center of her exact location so that Syracuse Police would know what highway lanes to shut down.
Firefighters from Engine 2, on the Hiawatha Blvd bridge, wrapped utility rope around her waist through the fence. This would allow them to pull her to safety, into the fence if she made attempts to jump. The Rescue Co. positioned themselves on I-81, blocking traffic directly under her. Truck 2, having an aerial tower with a bucket, arrived with the Rescue Co. on I-81 and firefighters climbed into the bucket and quickly positioned the tower next to her. A safety harness was secured to her torso for fall-protection. Then she was moved off of the bridge into Truck 2’s bucket. She was lowered to the ground and into the hands of awaiting Syracuse Police officers. She was cared for by AMR paramedics and moved to their awaiting ambulance. The female did not fight or cause issue with the firefighters, police or paramedics.
We thank our partners at the 911 Center, Syracuse Police, AMR and also the bystanders that assisted on the bridge for this female in crisis.
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