Firefighters rescue man suffering from hypothermia under Post Street Bridge

Firefighters rescue man suffering from hypothermia under Post Street Bridge
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Spokane firefighters helped a man to safety early Thursday morning in what they are calling one of the most challenging technical rescues they have responded to this year.

Passersby heard a man yelling from below the Post Street Bridge around 1 a.m. When they looked over the side of the bridge, they saw a man on the edge of the river around 80 feet below.

The passersby called 911 and Spokane fire and police teams responded to the scene.

Spokane Fire crews said the man was at the bottom of a sheer cliff between the upper falls and lower falls of the river.

First responders located the man on the south side of the river using spotlights. He had been in the river and was suffering from hypothermia and assumed trauma from a fall.

Firefighters immediately lowered down blankets and other warm gear for the man.

They secured him to a rescue harness and personal floatation device, administered life-saving medical procedures and began preparing him for a mechanical ascent.

Firefighters then used a tillered aerial ladder to mechanically lift the man and the team 80 feet to the bridge’s surface.

When he was safely brought to the surface of the bridge, the man was cared for by paramedics and transported to a local trauma center.

“The rescue was likely the most technical and challenging event faced by the team this year, and undoubtedly saved the victim’s life,” said a Spokane Fire Tour Commander.