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The woman somehoiw crawled under the busy bridge, high over OMSI, and had noplace to go from there

PF&R PHOTO - With her backpack a few feet away, a woman stood on a girder, high underneath the top deck of the east end of the Marquam Bridge; its not clear just how she managed to get into that space without falling off the bridge in the process. Here, she was talking with behavioral-health-trained firefighters and police officers; she was soon rescued. Interstate Five traffic came to a standstill on both decks of the Marquam Bridge at 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, as Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters went into "rescue mode", responding to a report about "someone sitting over the edge of the bridge" – as a Portland Fire spokesperson later put it.

"When the first engine arrived, they found a woman sitting on the outside edge of the Marquam Bridge," the PF&R official said. "She then climbed down onto the steel structure under the bridge, making this a very dangerous situation – and causing the PF&R Technical Rescue Team to be brought in for a possible rope rescue."

Fortunately, a PF&R paramedic on the first-arriving engine had just completed a new crisis intervention class, and was able to talk to the woman, who was under the east end of the bridge, high over the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – and was soon joined and supported by members of the Portland Police Bureau's "Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team".

"After several minutes, the woman crawled under the bridge and was moving around on the steel structure under the top deck, and over the bottom deck of the bridge," the Fire Bureau official confirmed. "Squad 12 arrived on the bottom deck of the bridge, and made verbal contact with her."

These firefighters put a ladder up into the bridge's girders – and the firefighters were able to safely bring the woman down the ladder, and into a waiting ambulance for transport to a local hospital.

Another tense life-threatening crisis defused in Inner Southeast Portland, by Portland's trained public servants.


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