Charleston Police and Charleston Fire Save Life of Suicidal Person
Charleston, S.C. - Charleston Police Officers and Charleston Firefighters are credited with saving the life of a man wanting to jump to his death from the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
Officer Dylan Kwitchoff, who was patrolling the Arthur Ravenel Bridge at 9:05 p.m. on February 22, 2023, received information by radio from Officer Zachariah Azari about a call coming in for a man on the edge of the bridge threatening to jump off.
Officer Kwitchoff immediately began scanning the area and located the man clung to the outside of the railing near the apex of the bridge. He attempted to make contact with the man who told him to stay back. Officer Kwitchoff did as the man asked, and began talking with him from a distance away. Officer Azari arrived shortly thereafter, and in both officers talking with him, the man eventually reached his arm through the railing in an apparent request for help.
Officers Kwitchoff and Azari, as well as the original caller, grabbed the man’s arm to hold onto him as other officers arrived to assist. CPD officers from Team 1 Patrol District’s Squad D, as well as K9 Officer Joseph Hartmann, arrived on the bridge, and the officers worked together utilizing the K9’s dog leash as a means to harness the man to the bridge until Charleston Fire arrived at the scene.
Charleston Fire Ladder 104 B shift, Rescue 115 B Shift, and Battalion 103 B Shift arrived, and set up a quick anchor for fall protection. Firefighter O’Bamsawin then donned a harness and rappelled over the railing where he was able to secure the man safely. Assisting firefighters and police then brought the man over the railing safely.
The man was transported to a local hospital for care. As they promised at the beginning, Officers Kwitchoff and Azari went to the hospital to meet with the man who thanked them for the care and kindness they showed him in such a time of need.
Chief Luther Reynolds said, “Our troops are dedicated to helping others and saving lives – sometimes even at risk to their own lives. The officers and firefighters who responded to this person experiencing a mental health crisis displayed an exemplary level of care and compassion. They worked together using crisis intervention training, skill, and bravery to save the life of a person they had never met. I could not be more proud of the good work they and all our courageous men and women do every day in the city of Charleston.