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Firefighters save man who jumped off Niles bridge

Published 12:00pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Niles firefighters were able to rescue an Indiana man who jumped off the Broadway Bridge and into the St. Joseph River in Niles early Sunday morning.

City of Niles Fire Chief Larry Lamb said firefighters were dispatched around 2:20 a.m. Sunday to the Broadway Bridge, where a man was threatening to jump.

The firefighters were unable to talk him down off the bridge, Lamb said, but had boats in the river when he jumped. They were able to rescue him out of the icy waters relatively quickly, according to Lamb.

“It’s a good thing we had the boats ready because it was really cold, 19 degrees with a wind chill of 11,” Lamb said. “He wouldn’t have survived very long with those temperatures.”

When the man was put inside the boat, he attempted to get out and back into the water, but the firefighters were able to detain him and hand him over to the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service for treatment.

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