Minneapolis Firefighters Save Man in Icy Rescue

Minneapolis firefighters save man in icy rescue on the Mississippi River Ten members of the Minneapolis Fire Department have been recommended for meritorious commendations after they rescued a man from the Mississippi River in downtown on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007. At 3:55 p.m., crews from Engine 11 and Rescue 9 were dispatched to a river emergency at the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. A man had been seen jumping over the rail on the northwest side of the bridge.

When Engine 11 arrived, the man was discovered clinging to ice on the west bank, approximately 40 feet from the river wall. Three firefighters from Rescue 9 suited up in Mustang suits and rigged life ropes, and two of them headed out onto the ice to attempt a rescue.

Firefighters Kraig Egeland and Joe Lompart climbed across the ice over the swift current of the river. As firefighters approached, the man in the water was struggling to stay above the surface, and was nearly submerged. When they reached the victim, both firefighters secured the man while members of Engine 11 and Rescue 9 pulled them to safety on the west bank. The victim was secured in a Stokes basket, lifted up the wall, and transferred to a waiting Hennepin County Paramedic Unit. Rescuers say that if they had arrived 30 seconds later, he may have slipped below the surface and out of their reach.

Because of the professional performance of the fire crews under extraordinary conditions, the personnel of Engine 11 and Rescue 9 have been recommended for meritorious commendations from the Minneapolis Fire Department.