We gotta go down, we’re all going: Pittsburgh cops recognized for bravery after bridge collapse

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PITTSBURGH, PA – Five Pittsburgh Police Department officers were recognized today for their act of bravery after the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Frick Park. Without hesitation, the four officers descended down the ravine and climbed through the wreckage and debris to attend to those wounded during the collapse.

With disregard for their own personal safety, they worked through tough conditions, including an active natural gas leak nearby.

“On the morning of January 28, five Zone 4 officers had just completed roll call and were starting their shifts when reports began coming in that the Fern Hollow Bridge had collapsed in Frick Park,” the Pittsburgh Police Department said.

Officers Tyler Nestler, Ryan Henry, Jeffrey Labella, Rebecca Franks, and Matthew Salerno (L-R) jumped in their police cars and made it to the Squirrel Hill side where they could see vehicles and a bus in the tangled concrete where the bridge used to be.

As the first Public Safety personnel to arrive on scene, Officer LaBella radioed his supervisor to say, “We gotta go down, we’re all going.”

“The officers slid down the steep and snowy hillside and went vehicle to vehicle to find the wounded and get them to safety with the help of EMS and Fire. The odor and sound of an obvious gas leak added to the pressure to get everyone out as quickly as possible,” the Pittsburgh Police Department said. “Congratulations to these officers whose rapid and selfless response helped save lives.”