Being a firefighter is an honorable profession, but it’s also one that comes with its fair share of trauma. These brave men and women are constantly shuffling in and out of life-threatening situations, putting the safety of others ahead of their own. Firefighters in the United States are trained extensively about the nature of various calls. But with the rising rates of suicide in the country, critics are wondering if firefighters been trained well enough to handle it.
In an article published in Fire Rescue Magazine, author Jason Gallimore notes that firefighter policies about responding to suicides are inconsistent at best. “Even at the same fire station houses among different shifts, these calls are being addressed differently,” he said.
Suicides are one of the most difficult calls for emergency respondents to diagnose.
When respondents arrive on the scene, they must determine how serious the person is about taking their life. While making this assessment, they also have to be prepared for whatever devastating scenario may arise.
Most recently, a duo of firefighters from Latvia was praised internationally for the way they handled a potentially dangerous suicide call.
The footage was shared to Facebook by the Latvia Fire Service, where it immediately went viral. In the post, the fire service explains they had been called to multi-level apartment building because people suspected a suicidal man was going to jump out the window.
“During the weekend we received a call to a multi-apartment building there was a suspicion that a person was going to jump from a fourth-floor window.”
As mentioned, suicide calls are delicate situations, and the firefighters didn’t want to do anything that would push the man over the edge. They worried approaching him directly may ultimately spook him into jumping— so, instead, they entered an apartment on a lower floor of the building and prepared to catch him if he decided to leap.
In the twelve-second clip, you see the firefighters leaning out the window.
When the suicidal man jumps from above, one of the firefighters latches onto him in mid-air, nearly tumbling out the window in the process.
Luckily, the firefighter’s colleague is able to steady him. They then pull the suicidal man inside to safety.
Since being uploaded online, the firefighters’ incredible rescue has been going viral.
National officials expressed praise for the two men. Oskars Āboliņš, Head of State Fire and Rescue Service, stated: “Our work is a very important aspect of courage and self-respect, therefore, the actions of those firefighters and the ability to ‘think beyond the usual frames’ are worthy of praise, as a result of which a human life was saved.”
Rihard Kozlovskis, the country’s Minister of Interior Affairs, also complimented the firefighters on their heroic actions, saying:
“The work of the rescuers is very special. It requires courage, professionalism and the ability to act quickly and decisively in complicated and often non-standard situations.”
See the incredible moment below!
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