(NEW YORK) — The New York Police Department is lauding two detectives Tuesday who talked a 45-year-old Brooklyn woman out of jumping off a bridge and led rescue efforts to get her back to safety.
NYPD detectives Steven Stefanakos and Meghan Kinsella spent two hours at the Kosciuszko Bridge Monday afternoon talking to the woman, who was “on the outside of the bridge railing and standing on top of the side piping,” according to an NYPD news release.
Though the woman, who was “suicidal,” was not responsive at first, both officers “did not give up” and took turns talking to her and letting her know they were there to help, the NYPD said.
Kinsella said she was completely focused on the woman and tried to convince her they would be with her “every step of the way” no matter what.
“[Stefanakos] would talk, and I would talk,” she said. “I didn’t even realize I was there for two hours.”
Stefanakos said he was afraid she was going to jump because when he first started speaking, the woman let go of a wire she was holding and bent her knees.
“I told her, ‘I don’t know what is going on and what is happening with you, but give us a chance to talk to you,'” he said. Stefanakos then “mentioned the possibility of her having a family or children,” and she finally grabbed back onto the wire.
Kinsella then told the woman she was strong enough to get through the situation.
After two hours, the two detectives successfully persuaded the woman to come off the ledge and pulled her to safety, the NYPD said.
She was then transported to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment, the NYPD added.
“It’s a huge relief,” Stefanakos said. “It actually is euphoric because you made a difference in somebody’s life, right there and then.”
Kinella added that having empathy helped her resolve the crisis.
“I’m a mom,” she said, “so I just wanted to get her home safe with her family.”
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