CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Cheatham County woman who tried to kill herself is alive tonight thanks to brave first-responders who risked their own lives to save her.
The call for help went out on August 21 around 4 a.m. in the dark of night.
Bodycam shows the moment that Cheatham County deputy Zack Roesler and Corporal Martin Aubrie arrived at Feather Ridge, it’s a remote cliff some 150 feet above the Harpeth River.
According to deputies upon arrival at the sheer cliff, family members report the 53-year-old woman was despondent and threw herself off the edge.
Lt. Ken Miller says by the Grace of God the woman jumped in a place where she was snagged by a tree attached to the cliff. Instead of falling 150 feet to the rocks and river below, she fell 10 to 15 feet.
The officers on video were heard talking to the woman who complained of a head injury and an injured back as the deputies tried and secured a rope to her to keep her from falling.
Miller says the fact that a woman tried to kill herself doesn’t change the first responders’ desire to rescue her.
“We value all life. that is one of our big missions, why we got into this career path. we want to save lives,” said Lt. Miller.
While waiting on the Ashland City Fire Department, the Cheatham deputies risked their own lives, actually lowering themselves near the woman, tying her arm to a rope that was then secured to each of the men and a nearby tree.
Lt. Miller said Deputy Roesler went down there and tied a rope around her wrist to keep her from falling further. He was there with her for an hour. Corporal Aubrie was over him to help in case she fell. They were a human chain to hold her in place.
While the woman is in obvious pain, she is also thankful and urges the men multiple times to be careful for their own safety.
Woman: Please don’t fall.
Deputy: He is not going anywhere.
Woman: Oh don’t hurt your self. Oh, thank you, Jesus.
When Ashland City fire crews arrived, a rope rescue ensued. The crews secured the woman and pulled her to safety.
Lt. Miller said in the end the woman wanted to live.
“Exactly! She did. She realizes there are people out there who do care about her who are willing to go that extra step.”
Lt. Miller said the woman was checked out physically and then sent to a treatment facility to get help for problems related to suicide. As far as the first responders who put themselves on the line; Lt. Miller said they are all heroes.
“Absolutely! Every day of the week, they do something to make a difference. They do positive things to try and make the world a better place to be in. We value all life. That is one of our missions. It is why we chose this career. We want to save lives. We want to give people a second and third and fourth chance.”
Because of their heroic action, Lt. Miller says the deputies will soon be up for a commendation.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255.