By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
An off-duty Bowling Green firefighter and his wife were given standing ovations in the City Council chambers Monday evening, for saving a man’s life.
Steve and Dawn Tyda stopped a man from jumping off the East Wooster overpass at Interstate 75 last month.
The Tydas were on their way home from Columbus, when they pulled off I-75 around 11 p.m. They saw a man standing on the overpass, facing the highway.
Steve Tyda turned the vehicle around and went back to the overpass and pulled up next to the man. Dawn Tyda asked the man if he was OK.
The man reportedly said, “I’ll be OK in about four seconds when I jump.”
“Tyda’s years of service as a firefighter and a paramedic told him he needed to act quickly,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said as he retold the story during the council meeting.
So Dawn Tyda offered to talk or pray with the man, who turned back to the highway below and leaned over the side. Meanwhile Steve Tyda came up behind the man and tackled him to keep him from going over onto I-75 below. Tyda held him down until police arrived.
The man, a 49-year-old Bowling Green resident, was taken to Wood County Hospital where he was checked out by Behavioral Connections. He was transported to Flower Hospital in Sylvania for evaluation.
Fawcett commended Steve Tyda for his “selfless and valorous act.” He presented the firefighter with a distinguished service award, for taking a substantial risk to himself to save another person despite the fact Tyda was off-duty at the time.
Mayor Dick Edwards also presented a commendation to Dawn Tyda for her efforts in saving the man’s life.
“She distinguished herself from the average citizen,” Edwards said.
Dawn Tyda put herself at great risk, “buying valuable time,” the mayor said. “Her actions resulted in saving a life.”
After the commendations were presented, the mayor noted the number of city firefighters in the council chambers and overflowing into the hallway Monday evening.
“Something like this speaks volumes,” Edwards said, pointing out the value of co-workers wanting to be present for the awards. “I was really pleased to see so many of them here.”
Also at Monday’s meeting, Edwards announced that the city made it through the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations relatively unscathed. Police Chief Tony Hetrick had reported that “things went rather smoothly.”
The mayor received a letter from Bowling Green businessman Bob Maurer complimenting the quick and effective responses by the police division during such occasions, to protect citizens and property.
In other business, council learned:
- The city has hired Amanda Gamby as its new sustainability coordinator.
- The next food truck meeting will be Monday, March 26, at 4 p.m.
- Wednesday is “March for Meals,” when officials like the mayor help deliver meals for the Wood County Committee on Aging.
- A groundbreaking will be held at Betco, at the corner of Fairview and Van Camp roads, on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
- The Community Interfaith Breakfast will be on April 3, from 7:15 to 9 a.m., in the junior fair building.
- The annual adult egg scramble will be held April 6, starting around 8:30 p.m.