PORTLAND -- Three off-duty Portland firefighters rescued a man from the Willamette River Saturday morning while the nearest engine crew was on a separate emergency call, fire officials said.
Station 21 received the report just before 8 a.m. of a person in the water near the Hawthorne Bridge, according to A.J. Schaffer of Portland Fire and Rescue.
"Engine 21 was responding to a different emergency call," Schaffer said. "It just so happens that there were three off-duty firefighters at Station 21 who chose to deploy Rescue Boat 21 thinking they could make a significant difference being so close to the victim."
One firefighter swam from the bank of the river to the victim, while the other two firefighters got the rescue boat. When the rescue swimmer reached the victim, a Multnomah County deputy used a piece of driftwood to help pull both people to shore.
The victim was pulled from the river within ten minutes. Members from Station 1 provided additional support at the scene.
"We're just glad we were still at the station and could lend a hand," said Portland Fire and Rescue Lt. Allan Burns. "All the responders worked as a team and we were able to achieve a positive outcome."
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries.