News release from the Fort Wayne Fire Department:
Water Rescue, Columbia Street Bridge
(April 6, 2016) – The Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) was notified of a man in the water near the Columbia Street Bridge at 13:26 on April 6, 2016. Crews responded rapidly from Station 1, arriving on scene within three minutes of the dispatch.
Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) units were instrumental in the initial location of the victim, guiding FWFD rescuers to him on the east side of the bridge where he was found in the water clinging to a bridge abutment.
FWFD dive personnel and line firefighters quickly organized into three teams: one team lowered a rescue harness from the top of the bridge and towed the victim to the shoreline. Another team, already in dive suits, retrieved the victim once he was close to shore. A third team placed boats in the water as a contingency. Medic units and supervisors were also on scene and were prepared to treat the victim for hypothermia immediately upon removal from the water. This coordinated effort between multiple agencies resulted in the victim being safely pulled from the water within nine minutes of the initial dispatch and receiving immediate medical care.