EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 11, 2012

Saving a life on the homefront

Bradford soldier talks woman off bridge using her military training


“For her this was the end,” Boyle said.

Cox wrote in his report that as he approached from behind so as not to be seen, the woman’s hands gripped the bridge rail and she was sobbing.

Boyle had the woman’s full attention, telling her to “just let it out” and “things will get better.”

“I told her I know you’re overwhelmed and you don’t know where to begin, but to take it one step at a time, and take small steps,” Boyle said.

The woman was unaware that Cox was behind her when, using hand signals, he conveyed to Boyle that they would “pull back” on the woman on a three-count. It was a textbook rescue and seconds later the woman was safely on the sidewalk, where Boyle continued to listen to her story and tell her that things will get better.

“(Boyle) was instrumental in preventing the victim from jumping, and without her actions, the victim may have succeeded in jumping,” Cox wrote in his report.

An ambulance was on its way and Boyle told the woman not to be afraid of what will happen next.

“I told her not to feel like she is alone in this,” Boyle said.

When the ambulance arrived, the woman was still holding tight to Boyle.

“She kissed me on the cheek and thanked me,” Boyle said. “The ambulance people said I did a great job and the officer said I did all the right things.”

“Sometimes when you talk about your problems, when you let it out, it’s the first step in their healing,” Boyle said. “I gave her all the time she needed to let it all out. It’s called, actively listening and caring and letting them talk.”

Since that night, Boyle has often thought about why she was driving across the bridge at that precise moment.

“Was if fate? Was it God’s plan?... I just don’t know,” Boyle said.

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