School of Medicine employee recognized for life-saving effort

June 2, 2015

It was a typical workday for Jessica Williams, but on her evening commute, it became something else entirely. Williams, a licensed practical nurse in the Department of Neurological Surgery, OHSU School of Medicine, was crossing the Gibbs Street pedestrian bridge in October 2014 – on her way to meet her husband and friends to watch the Oregon Ducks game. In Williams's words, this is what happened next:

JessicaWilliams_MayAwards2-webI never take the elevator. I always take the stairs up, but a man held the door for me as I approached so I decided to get in. After asking if I worked at the hospital and if I was a nurse (my answers were both yes), he asked for directions and then told me that he was going to jump off the bridge. The man headed toward the edge and I followed.  He dropped his backpack and climbed over the railing, but he was still hanging on. He told me he would jump right now if I called the cops. So I told him I had to call my ride and called 911 instead. I was talking to him and the police for close to an hour or maybe longer before he climbed back over the edge. The police took it from there. 

In honor of her bravery and calm under pressure, Williams (pictured above) was recognized by the Portland Police Bureau with the Life Saving Medal at the Bureau's awards ceremony in May. The School of Medicine applauds Williams for her efforts.

Read more about this year's Portland Police Bureau award recipients. Here is another image from the May ceremony: