A team of firefighters who carried out a daring rescue of suicidal man threatening to jump off North Bridge are to receive recognition for their bravery. The seven-strong team used line rescue equipment to bring the 34- year-old man to safety after he fell asleep.
The suicide bid brought chaos to the city centre for nearly 48 hours after police closed all four lanes across the bridge as well as Market Street, as they tried to talk the man out of jumping.
He had climbed on to one of the bridge’s support pillars at 7.30am on April 23 last year, and was finally pulled to safety at 6am the following day.
Emergency crews were able to rescue him after slipping a harness around his waist.
The Bluewatch firefighters from Tollcross fire station who are set to receive the Lothian and Borders Police meritorious awards are Bob Copeland, Philip Lawson, Ian Porteous, Moray McCulloch, Iain Patterson, Garry Murray and George Noon.
Temporary group manager Neil Forbes, who oversaw much of the operation as commanding officer, today paid tribute to their bravery.
He said: “The firefighters were very committed personally to the man from their arrival at the bridge. The situation remained extremely delicate during those 48 hours. The firefighters from Bluewatch returned in shifts during the two days and they were deeply concerned for the man’s wellbeing.
“We had a plan prepared so that if the right situation arose we would try and rescue him.
“But we also need to pay tribute to the police and Network Rail who worked alongside us to bring the situation to close.”
The firefighters climbed on to the 2ft-wide ledge where the man was sitting and put a harness around the man’s waist then hoisted him over the parapet to safety.