This week, a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) received an award for his trucker-involved response to a woman having a mental health crisis last year.
On April 18, 2023, NSP Trooper Hardin was honored with the “Lifesaver Award” for helping to rescue a woman in crisis in Omaha last summer.
Today Captain Miller presented Trooper Hardin the lifesaver award for his heroic actions in helping a suicidal party last year that was on the Maple Street bridge above Interstate 680. pic.twitter.com/PfbULegXNA
— NSP Troop A Day Shift (@NSP_TroopA) April 19, 2023
On August 15, 2022, NSP responded to I-680 and Blondo Bridge in Omaha for a woman threatening to jump from the overpass.
As part of NSP’s response to the incident, five semi truck drivers lined their vehicles up under the overpass to help prevent a long fall if the woman jumped.
The woman was eventually helped down from the overpass to obtain medical treatment.
“Thankful for the quick response by officers, troopers, paramedics, and others to this situation today in Omaha, and especially to these truck drivers for stepping up to help. If you ever need someone to listen, help is a phone call away at 988,” said the Nebraska State Patrol in a social media post.
Truckers Stepped Up In A Similar Way in Detroit In 2018
After a similar incident occurred in Detroit in April 2018 during which 13 trucks lined up under an overpass to assist with a man experiencing a mental health problem, a Michigan State trooper explained that that the truck technique has been used by law enforcement for many years.
Michigan State Patrol’s Lt. Mike Shaw told Fox2 following the 2018 incident, “We have been doing this for as long as I have been in the department, which is 1995. We have kept it quiet for that long but social media and cell phones kind of changes that.”
Shaw went on to explain how the technique works: “We know that usually if someone jumps from that height it’s usually not going to be a good outcome. We will actually steal semi trucks out of the crowd and as we get the cars off the freeway we will direct the semis to another trooper that’s standing underneath the bridge and we will start to line them up right across.”
Shaw said that he never has a shortage of truck drivers who volunteer to help prevent a possible suicide. “They want to help out too. Nobody wants to see somebody take their own life and if it takes parking your truck underneath an overpass for a couple of hours to make sure somebody’s safe, they’re more than willing to do something like that,” he said.