Off-duty Maryland firefighter risks life to save man from jumping off bridge: 'Rescue mode kicked in'

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An off-duty firefighter in Maryland risked his life Monday to save a man from jumping off a roughly 180-foot bridge.

Ryan Glenn with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services was driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when traffic began to slow. Up ahead, Glenn noticed a stopped vehicle and a crowd of people gathered near the bridge’s railing.

That’s when he saw a man standing on “what was maybe the highest point of the bridge,” Maria Hogg, a digital media specialist with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, told Fox News on Thursday. The man, who is currently unnamed, was threatening to commit suicide.

“I said hey, there’s a lot of people who care about you. Let's not do this, come down and talk. I’m here for you, I care about you,” Glenn told WMAR-TV.

Just as Glenn was within “arms reach” of the man, he looked down at the water and then back up at Glenn.

“That’s when he did the unthinkable,” Glenn told the station.

The man then jumped from the railing to a different part of the bridge.

“He was just holding on by his grip and his feet were dangling over the water,” Glenn said.

But before the man could let go, Glenn and two other men -- one of whom was an off-duty U.S. Capitol police officer and the other an off-duty Montgomery County Fire Department member, according to Hogg -- reached over the railing, grabbed the man and pulled him back over.

“They didn’t even think,” said Hogg.

Glenn echoed this sentiment while speaking to Fox News on Thursday.

"At that point, the true rescue mode kicked in for all three of us," Glenn recalled. "At the same time, all three of us grabbed him over the railing and pinned him down to the ground."

Shortly after, the man, who Glenn said was "inconsolable," was taken to a local hospital.

"It was a pretty tense situation; I was extremely nervous. I could feel my heartbeat in my throat,” Glenn added.

"[Glenn] is a lifesaver. He did what he thought was right."

— Maria Hogg

Hogg said both Glenn and the fire department had received a “crazy outpouring of support from all over the region” after sharing the news of the heroic act on Wednesday.

This isn’t the first time an off-duty firefighter with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services has saved someone’s life. Hogg recalled a time a couple of years ago one of their firefighters saved a child from drowning in a frozen lake.

“This is just a part of their lifestyle,” she said.

While that may be true, “he [Glenn] is a lifesaver,” Hogg added. "He did what he thought was right.”

Saving the man has been "a humbling experience," the firefighter said.

“The three of us were just lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “I believe any good person would’ve done the same.”