Alameda County Firefighters Intervene in apparent Suicide Attempt on I-80

Published On May 5, 2016 | By Bobby Lee | News, News & Commentary

Alameda County Firefighters rescued a distraught woman who was apparently contemplating taking her own life by jumping from the Powell Street/I-80 overpass yesterday. Firefighters were driving back after a call when they noticed the woman who was visibly distraught and crying, noting she was in pain. The tense moments of the departments successful rescue were captured on video.

Department Chief Dave Winnacker described the rescue at Tuesday’s Council Meeting during the City Manager’s report. “Engine 34 was returning from a call westbound on Powell and they noted a citizen standing on the guardrail of the Powell Street over crossing on [highway] 80, in what appeared to be a posture that suggested she was going to jump from the bridge.”

After notifying police and requesting Engine 35 from Hollis Street, traffic was diverted around the scene.

“One of the members established dialogue from the street with the citizen, in an attempt to ascertain and to calm. At the same time, several other members moved on foot up the embankment, onto the freeway shoulder…which has a particularly dynamic section of freeway…they moved north along the freeway the member on the ground engaged with the citizen…They then moved very decisively and were able to remove the citizen from the opposite side of the guardrail, bring her back on to the freeway,” described Winnacker.

The Chief recognize the dangerous situation and the presented a few of the members of both engines before the Council.

“Given the very dynamic section of the freeway there, very precarious position the citizen was in, this was the time for action. That is not a decision that’s made lightly by these crews or our department. I wanted to recognize and applaud them for their very decisive action that mitigated the situation and removed the citizen from a very dangerous position.”

Engine 34 and 35 firefighters received a resounding applause and a thank you from the council and from those in the council chamber. The E’ville Eye has contacted ACFD for an update on the condition of the woman and will update this story when more information becomes available.

Chief Dave Winnacker recounted his crews action at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting:


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About The Author

is a Bay Area native who’s lived in the Christie Core Neighborhood since 2010, Bobby enjoys exploring the far corners of our region, trying the newest restaurants in the area, or relaxing to 80's era television sitcoms and game shows. For the past six years, he's hosted a web video series called 2 Minute Finance teaching basic money management and consumer education.

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