Two people’s lives in a span of two months were saved thanks to a Maryland Natural Resources police officer.
The two individuals exhibited signs they might be suicidal, and Fox 5 interviewed the officer who is being called a hero regarding his actions, the outlet reported Thursday.
One December evening Gerczak was on patrol and crossing the Chesapeake City Bridge when he noticed something unusual.
“When I saw her leaning over the bridge, I thought something’s going on. I had a gut feeling something was going on,” the officer recalled.
That was the moment he saw the young woman was showing signs she could be suicidal. He turned his patrol vehicle around to offer her aid.
“I could see she had been crying, very distraught,” Gerczak noted. “After talking to her for about five minutes I managed to get her away from the railing of the bridge, get her away from there, and walk her back to my patrol vehicle.”
“After talking to her, she leaned in, she gave me a hug, and she thanked me for being there because if I hadn’t been there she had every intention of jumping from the bridge,” he added.
Two months prior at the close of October, he rescued another woman who jumped from a fishing pier into the Bohemia River.
“I stripped out of my vest, my duty belt, I left my uniform and boots on. I jumped in, I swam out to her. I hooked her with my left arm and used my right arm to swim us back to the dock,” he explained, adding he secured her to the tip of a post until additional help came.
: Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer Prevents a Suicide in Cecil County River. Five-Year Veteran Dives into Cold Water to Rescue Woman. http://ow.ly/gcEw30rZSl8
His bravery was noticed by officials that included Gov. Larry Hogan who gave him the governor’s citation.
“I’m just very grateful and very humble that being put in those positions, to act efficiently and effectively to make a positive impact to prevent them from doing something that would be absolutely devastating to them and their family,” Gerczak told reporters.
A spokesperson with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said the women were well and taking advantage of mental health resources.