Brian D. Rothell helped to save a man from falling, Richmond, Virginia, March 25, 2006. In a suicide attempt, a 45-year-old man climbed over the railing of a bridge spanning the James River, which was rocky and shallow there. Rothell, 42, off-duty firefighter, had been following the man, and he immediately grasped him by his attire and an arm. Others responded and, reaching through the balusters of the railing, tried to lift the man, who was suspended 50 feet above the river. Rothell climbed over the railing and secured himself to the bridge by hooking one leg through the railing, then under the edge of the bridge deck. He reached toward the man with one hand while he held to the bridge with the other. Although the man outweighed him by 85 pounds, Rothell grasped him and helped pull him up toward the railing as the man struggled against him and the others. Those on the bridge pulled the man over the railing to safety, then they helped Rothell over the railing. The man was taken to a psychiatric facility. Rothell sustained contusions and lacerations to his leg, and he recovered.
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