Rookie Marietta police officer saves woman's life in daring rescue

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

A rookie cop being hailed a hero. 

Marietta Police say an officer, who has been on the force less than a year, saved a woman's life, who was contemplating suicide. 

Early Thursday morning, police say a woman climbed over the fence of the Delk Road overpass at Interstate 75. 

Marietta Police Officer Austin Martin was one of the first on the scene. He quickly yet calmly approached her.

"I'm Austin, talk to me, what's going on?" he can be heard over body camera video.

He makes a connection with her and soon she will only talk to him. She doesn't want anyone else around. 

"Suddenly he's faced with this life or death situation that he has to resolve," said Marietta Police Officer Chuck McPhilamy.

While fellow Officer Joe Sivley is on the radio, coordinating the shutdown of the interstate, and getting extra crews in place, Officer Martin talks to the woman for almost an hour. 

"The video is gut-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time because you're watching a young officer pour his heart out, to try to get her to let go of some of the pain and frustration she's feeling, and just try to open up with him," said Officer McPhilamy. 

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As the woman is holding on to the chain link fence, Officer Martin laces his fingers over hers and holds on, just as she passes out. Other officers rush in and grab onto pieces of her clothing. They hold on tight, keeping her from falling on to the interstate below. No one breathes as Cobb County Fire's ladder truck moves into position.

The woman is safely lowered to the ground.

Officer Martin and Officer Sivley have both been on the Marietta Police force for less than a year, but they knew exactly what to do to help this woman during a crisis situation.

"What an amazing thing to be able to say as part of your job, you were put in a place that you were able to be there for another human being and help them," said Officer McPhilamy.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line). As of July 2022, those searching for help can also call 988 to be relayed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.