ALTON - Wednesday was a prime example of the importance of area first responders.

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First, Wednesday morning, Alton Police and Alton Fire Department were called to assist when a woman was discovered walking on the Clark Bridge. The Alton Police Department spoke with the woman for a period of time, which included a crisis negotiation but unfortunately, the woman jumped from the outer ledge of the bridge into the Mississippi River.

In the process of the negotiation, the Alton Fire Boat positioned itself near where the woman would land if she did jump and was there shortly after she hit the water. The firefighters were able to rescue the woman and position her in the fireboat. Then the first responders quickly moved to shore to an awaiting ambulance for additional hospital treatment. This shows the importance of the fireboat and trained personnel for these types of river rescue situations.

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"The person was alive when they found her in the water and when transferred to the hospital," Alton Deputy Fire Chief Rob Franke said. "The fireboat and rescue training paid off today."

Franke said the woman was injured but he could not elaborate on the injuries. The firefighters are all hopeful the woman will survive with treatment.

Later in the morning, there was a report of a garage on fire in the 200 block of Main Street in Alton. When firefighters arrived, the garage was fully engulfed with flames and about 100 feet from a vacant house on the same property. Franke pointed out firefighters extinguished the fire quickly and prevented the blaze from spreading to the vacant house.

"I was proud of our firefighters this morning for both situations," Franke said. "It shows how important all our training is each year for quick, efficient response."

Read More:

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