Emilie Stevens held on to a suicidal young woman who was halfway over a bridge railing until police arrived
Emilie Stevens was seven-months pregnant walking home from a long day at work in June of 2017 when she noticed a woman sitting on the sidewalk of the Granville Street bridge.
“There were people just walking past her. I initially walked past her as well, but something just didn’t seem right,” Stevens said this week.
She went to speak to the woman and quickly found out that she was in her early 20s, had just been discharged from the hospital and wanted to jump off the bridge. There was no persuading her otherwise.
Stevens called 911 giving a description of the young woman’s clothes.
“As luck would have it, another person wearing the same colours was actually about 20 feet down on the same side of the bridge,” recalls Stevens.
When police arrived, they stopped early, mistaking the other person for the jumper.
As soon as the woman heard the police sirens, she made a jump for it.
“I honestly didn’t think …. but I just grabbed her and held on.”
The woman was halfway over the railing.
Stevens was able to hold on to her long enough for police to arrive and rescue them both.
“I say that Lily here was my counterbalance, because I was a bit heavier than usual and had a different centre of gravity than I usually would,” said Stevens.
On Thursday, Stevens held her five-month-old baby Lily as she walked across the stage at the Roundhouse Community Centre where she and five other civilians were given the award of merit by the Vancouver Police Department for their bravery.
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VPD Chief Constable Adam Palmer and Vancouver Mayor and police board chair Gregor Roberston handed out the awards at the annual VPD commendation ceremony.
Steven’s husband Bradley Coe was also at the ceremony and said he was very proud of her.
His initial reaction was, “You did, WHAT?”
“In the end, that’s just what Emily is like. I would be surprised if she did anything else,” said Coe.
“Hopefully, Lily takes after her mom on that,” he said.
Stevens hopes the woman she rescued is doing well.
More than 50 police officers were awarded commendations and citations for their bravery and dedication to their work.