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Police, Firefighters Involved In JFX Rescue Honored For Quick Thinking

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Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Rainy weather causes an accident on the Jones Falls Expressway–a scene that quickly turns into a swift water rescue.

Now–members from the police and city fire departments are honored for their bravery.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

Ask any of the police officers and firefighters involved and they’ll tell you–it’s all just part of the job. But their team effort took a bad situation, and saved it from becoming a very tragic one.

A dramatic rescue under the JFX, as a man plunges 25 feet into the Jones Falls River.

“I thought the guy was dead,” a witness said.

This–just moments after an officer is investigating an accident on I-83–when another car plowed right into the officer, sending another man flying into the water below.

“There was a tree that went all the way to the bottom. We kind of used that as our support system and dropped off about 10-15 foot down there to the water,” said Officer Scott Reid, Baltimore City Police.

Six police officers and the fire department’s Special Operations Command Team used rope rescue and swift water tactics to reach and retrieve the victim. Then they use the ladder as a bridge over the rushing water to pull him to safety.

“Without hesitation, my guys go into very dangerous scenes day after day, night after night and we’re not always on the front page,” said Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore City Police.

Now–they are.

“We are all grateful for your quick thinking and your bravery,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

City police and firefighters are recognized for their quick thinking and inter-agency cooperation. But those involved say it’s all in a day’s work.

“I mean, like the commissioner said, it’s just our job. We do it every day,” said Lt. David Strup, Baltimore City Fire Department.

Both victims were taken to area hospitals. You’ll recall, another Baltimore City Police Officer was injured last year when she fell off the JFX in the same area.

The incident shut down the southbound lanes of Interstate 83 for about two hours.

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