Jordan Hendler, executive director of the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Auto Body Association, averted a suicide attempt in January by physically intervening when she encountered a teenage girl threatening to jump from a freeway overpass. Hendler called 911 as she approached the girl on the edge of the overpass, then kept talking to her, pleading with her not to jump.
“I told her something my father (CIC Administrator Jeff Hendler) always told me about suicide: “This is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.’” Jordan Hendler kept talking to the girl as another by-passer approached from the other end of the overpass.
Together they restrained the girl and pulled her from the barrier she had climbed over. Hendler said it took both of them to hold the hysterical girl down until emergency responders arrived about four minutes after the call to 911. “It seemed like an eternity, a lot longer,” Hendler said.
She said she knows nothing about the girl other than she looked to be about 14 or 15, and lives in a group home for teenagers. “You don’t know that one day you’ll be called upon to do the right thing at the right moment, but when the time comes, if you have your heart open, you will know exactly what to do,” Hendler said.