Firefighter stops woman from jumping off New London building

The Mohican Hotel Apartments building in New London is seen from the air May 17, 2016.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The Mohican Hotel Apartments building in New London is seen from the air May 17, 2016. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

New London — A city firefighter is being credited with saving a woman’s life Tuesday morning after his quick thinking helped responders pull her to safety from the edge of the Mohican Hotel Apartments’ roof.

According to Battalion Chief Tom Curcio, firefighters responded to 281 State St. about 1:30 a.m., when a suicidal woman called 911 threatening to jump off the 11-story building's roof.

Curcio said a dispatcher worked diligently to keep the woman on the line as Curcio, Lt. Jonathan Paige and two police officers made their way to the top.

On arrival, the responders at first didn’t locate the woman, who Curcio said is approximately 50 years old. Fearing the worst, Curcio called the dispatcher, who said he had lost contact with her.

The emergency personnel continued through the ballroom, at which point they spotted the woman outside. Curcio said she had climbed the retainer-like wall that lines the roof and was pacing back and forth on the thin ledge behind it.

According to Curcio, he and Paige carefully approached the woman from the left as the police officers did the same from the right. They had intended to engage her in conversation, Curcio said, but things moved too fast for that.

Curcio said the woman, looking behind her and realizing nothing was there, grabbed the top of the wall. Almost without thinking, Paige darted forward and grabbed her arm from the other side. From there, responders pulled the woman over the wall and back onto the main section of the roof.

“It went like clockwork,” Curcio said of the response, adding that firefighters have responded to the State Street apartments multiple times for calls involving the woman. “Now we’re just hoping to get her some help.”

l.boyle@theday.com

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