Monday, July 20, 2015

Update - Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Officers Rescue Man Attempting Suicide Jumping Into East River From Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Ledge Last Week

Reported July 15 from a NYPD Spokesperson:

... just after midnight there was a 32 year old emotionally disturbed male who attempted suicide by jumping off the ledge by the Light House. He was rescued and pulled from the water and removed to Elmhurst General Hospital for evaluation with no life threatening injuries.

At the time of the reporting, I did not know of the key role played by officers of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department (PSD) in the rescue saving the life of the man

PSD Deputy Director Lynda Marmara sent memo below to PSD Director Jack McManus several hours after the rescue detailing the events leading to the rescue. The memo is slightly edited to remove the names of the emotionally disturbed man and the friend who called PSD alerting them to the situation.

PSD Deputy Director Marmara writes:
At approximately 2343 hours, SPO Fischer received a call at the PSD Desk from a female caller in Seattle, who informed him that she had been on the phone with her friend ..., who was on Roosevelt Island in Lighthouse Park and that this individual was talking about killing himself. SPO Fischer immediately dispatched the Tour Supervisor (Sgt. Rivera) and Unit # 1 (SPO Randolph Forde) to that location and call 911.

2350 hours, Sgt. Rivera arrived at the Lighthouse Park area and is directed by a passerby that saw “someone sitting on the wall by the Lighthouse”. Sgt. Rivera and SPO Forde responded to the area with a life preserver.

2355 hours, Sgt. Rivera notifies/confirms that there is an individual in the water at this location. She and SPO Forde throw out the life preserver to the individual and “direct” him to place it around his arm, the individual complies and they are able to pull him closer to the Seawall. It immediately becomes clear to both Sgt. Rivera and Officer Forde that the individual in the water is intoxicated and distressed. Sgt. Rivera is able to grab the individual’s hand and begins to engage him in a conversation. The officers continue holding onto the individual, but are unable to pull him from out the water. Unit #10 (SPO Walker) arrives on scene to provide additional support.

0006 hours, the “First” FDNY response unit arrives and take over rescue operations; followed by a multi-agency response that included NYPD Aviation; NYPD ESU; FDNY Special Ops; FDNY Harbor; FDNY EMS; NYPD (Uniform and Plainclothes) and the US Coast Guard. Arrived on scene and conferred with Sgt. Rivera and NYPD Sgt. Chang-114th Precinct Patrol Supervisor

0024 hours,-FDNY Harbor Unit pulls the individual from the water and he is subsequently transported to Elmhurst Hospital....

... SPO Fischer states he was unclear how the caller knew to call RI Public Safety, he suspects that either she has been here before or the Aided articulated his whereabouts before they were disconnected....

... As stated, if not for the immediate response and actions of these Officers, I’ve no doubt this individual would have not been able to swim and/or stay afloat based on his condition in the water’s current and likely would have perished as a result. I commended the actions of our staff and I think it “went a long way” that you did the same at such a late hour!!! Thanks!!!
Kudos and huge thanks to the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers, NYPD, FDNY and all others who helped in the rescue.