Elite NYPD Emergency Service Unit Takes Courage, Compassion To New Heights

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rescuing people who, for one reason or another, end up stuck high above New York City on bridges and buildings is an extremely dangerous job.

CBS2’s Jessica Layton recently took a rare look at how an NYPD team is trained to climb to new heights.

It’s an elite group with elite views of the city, Layton reports. Not that they’re focused on sightseeing. They’re more concerned with saving someone who most likely doesn’t want the help.

Whether it’s a person attempting a life ending jump or a protester attempting such a steep climb, the NYPD Emergency Service Unit is called to the tallest bridges and skyscrapers when someone is in danger.

Last week, they were training 267 feet in the air on top of the Brooklyn Bridge, with Chopper 2 looking down on the delicate mission.

The world watched them last summer when a man used suction cups to scale the side of Trump Tower.

“I stuck my head out, I greeted him once more, and I said, ‘sir, can you please hook yourself in for your safety,’” NYPD Det. Christopher Williams recalls.

Williams helped pulled him inside.

“I grabbed him by his arm, and did an arm drag and pulled him inside the window with the help of my partner,” he says.

“Of all the techniques we use for handling an emotionally disturbed person — active listening, trying to make that connection – it’s even more critical up here,” instructor John Flynn says.

They’re never sure what scenario they’ll face, while constantly taking courage and compassion to new heights.

Members of the elite squad are required to have at least five years of patrol experience, plus months of extra training.

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