The numbers are jaw-dropping, frightening, inspiring. Per a profile in People magazine by LA-based staff writer Ken Lee and west coast correspondent Cathy Free, California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs has failed only once in 201 instances to convince an individual contemplating a suicide jump off the Golden Gate Bride to change their mind:
“I try to find out what brought them to this point,” says Briggs, a cancer survivor and father of two boys. “If I can get them to break down, that’s a good sign, it shows they’re listening and thinking. If someone says they have no plan for tomorrow, I say, ‘OK, let’s make one.’ ”
“Sgt. Briggs not only saves lives, he inspires us all with his compassion and dedication,” says Robert Gebbia, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention director. “He’s a true American hero.”
The photo above reunites Briggs with Kevin Berthia, who in 2005 – battling depression as a then-postal worker and new father – was rescued from the brink of the abyss by Briggs.
Many of us wonder whether we truly make a difference in this world. Briggs must have no such doubts. Bravo.
[Photo credit: People/Winni Wintermeyer]