NEWS RELEASE 01/14/12: Portland Firefighters Rescue Woman from Frigid Waters of Willamette River near Ross Island Bridge
At 12:39 pm, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a woman jumping off the Ross Island Bridge. Multiple witnesses who were driving across the bridge at the time of the incident called 9-1-1 to report that they saw a woman who was walking westbound across the bridge suddenly turn, climb over the rail, and jump off the side.
Upon receiving the call from dispatch, firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue Station 21 (Eastbank Hawthorne) ran down the Eastbank Esplanade dock adjacent to the station and boarded the Eldon Trinity rescue boat. Given the rescue boat's rapid response capabilities, firefighters arrived on scene within six minutes of the call. They located the woman's body in the river, lowered the boat's front platform into the water, and pulled her out of the frigid water.
Portland Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Weichal started CPR immediately and as a result of his efforts, the woman regained a pulse. Meanwhile, Firefighter Colin McGladrey piloted the rescue boat to shore and the patient was transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to OHSU where her condition is unknown at this time.
"Thanks to eye witness reports, firefighters were able to quickly pinpoint the exact location where she entered the water. With water rescues, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Arriving on scene and resuscitating her so quickly may have saved this woman's life," said Portland Fire Lieutenant Dean Krake.