Responders rescue man who tried hanging himself from cliffs above Washington City park

WASHINGTON CITY —  First responders came to the aid of a man who police say attempted to hang himself off the top of a cliff above Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park Thursday night.

A cliff above Sullivan Virgin River Park in Washington City was the site of the rescue of a man who attempted suicide on Dec. 26, 2019 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

A combined response by Washington City Fire, Police and Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue brought the man down via stretcher from around 30 feet above the north side of the park in Washington City.

“When I got here, it looked like he had a rope around his neck,” Washington County Undersheriff James Standley told St. George News.

The man ended up on a crevice about 15 feet below the top of the cliff. After he was rescued, the man appeared to be conscious though restrained on the stretcher as he was loaded onto the ambulance, trying to move his head up despite having a neck brace on.

See video of the rescue at the top of this report.

He was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Rescuers bring down a man who attempted to hang himself in the cliffs above Sullivan Virgin River Park in Washington City on Dec. 26, 2019. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The first calls came in just after 7 p.m. and Washington City Fire and Police were quickly on scene.

“I give credit to Washington City,” Standley said. “By the time I got here, they were already all here.”

It took around 10 members of the search and rescue team to scale down the cliff to the crevice and give immediate aid to the man, then bring him down the additional 30 feet to the park below, with one rescuer scaling with the gurney in a careful fashion down the cliffside. Additional first responders were awaiting below to help wheel the man on to the ambulance by approximately 8:15 p.m.

For rescuers who are used to situations involving suicide attempts and cliffs being recoveries rather than rescues, there was reason to mark the outcome Thursday night as favorable.

“This is a success,” Standley said. “Absolutely.”

Suicide resources

If you or someone you know is in danger because of suicidal thoughts or actions, call 911 immediately. Suicide is an emergency that requires help by trained medical professionals and should always be treated seriously.

Nationwide suicide hotlines, 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) and 1-800-273-TALK (8255), have counselors available 24/7. The Southwest Behavioral Health Center also offers help for Southern Utah residents; call 800-574-6763 or 435-634-5600.

Other resources include, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American Association of Suicidology. All provide comprehensive information and help on the issue of suicide, from prevention to treatment to coping with loss.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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