Joe Romano of PANYNJ saves two lives on George Washington Bridge in just three hours

To his own amazement a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) police officer was a hero twice within hours of each other in preventing a pair of suicides on the George Washington Bridge.

In a mere three-hour window on Tuesday, September 5, Joe Romano, a 37-year-old officer from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), demonstrated remarkable heroism twice on the George Washington Bridge. Remarkably, Romano rescued two individuals from the precipice of tragedy.

A Dash for Life

The first instance unfolded around 5:30 p.m. Romano responded to a report of a person trying to scale the bridge’s north walkway fence. When he arrived, he discovered a young man who had already bypassed the barrier and was dashing toward the New York side.

In a tense standoff at an observation point, the 26-year-old man threatened, “I’m going to jump,” as he clung to the fence. Fellow officers Greg Rose, Chris Figuero, and Dave Ferrara soon joined Romano. The man repeatedly warned them, “Stay back.”

A timely distraction by two officers provided Figuero and Ferrara the crucial moment to seize him and ensure his safety. Visibly shaken, the man expressed his gratitude to the officers before being transported to Harlem Hospital.

Officer’s Instincts Lead to Second Rescue

The evening was not over for Romano. At approximately 8:30 p.m., another distress call echoed through the police radios. The report concerned a 48-year-old woman threatening self-harm near the bridge, information supplied by a worried family member who had also provided a photograph of the woman and her potential whereabouts.

Using the image as a reference, Romano intuited her location and headed towards the New York side. Traversing the wooded paths near Fort Washington Park, Romano’s flashlight pierced the darkness. A sudden cracking sound directed him to the woman, injured by shattered glass and bleeding profusely. Without hesitation, she was quickly transported to NewYork-Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center.

A Rare Feat in Policing

The world of policing is unpredictable and often thankless. Most officers traverse their entire careers without directly saving a life. Yet, Romano, who has been in service since 2016, achieved this noble feat twice in mere hours.

Seek Help

If you or someone you know is in distress:

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