Rescue team training in Missouri River saves woman who leaped from the Bond Bridge

While training to save lives in the Missouri River, a rescue team was suddenly alerted to a suicidal person who had leaped from a nearby bridge.

The Kansas City Fire Department’s rescue division was in the water Tuesday training students when the Kansas City Police Department alerted the team that a woman had jumped from the Bond Bridge. Training quickly transformed into an active rescue situation.

The team was able to save the woman as a veteran member swam to her and helped her into a boat. The rescue came about 10 minutes after the team was alerted.

Larry Young, a battalion chief, said rescuers found the woman about 900 yards downriver of the bridge.

She exhibited what’s known as instinctive drowning response, a phrase used to describe a person’s state just before drowning.

Later in an ambulance, the woman was alert. Her present condition is unknown.

Young said it is encouraging when hours of training culminate in a successful rescue.

“Unfortunately a lot of the time we don’t get a good outcome on the river,” Young said. “But the more we train and the faster we can respond — hopefully we have (more) successful outcomes just like today.”

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg