Suicide attempt thwarted by recycling crew in Albany

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ALBANY — The three-man Department of General Services crew was out doing recycling Wednesday morning when they noticed something unusual. They took the time to go over and look, and they found a woman who was trying to take her own life with laces around her neck.

“As I’m going down the block, I see something just leaning on a tree,” said Dominique. “I ask the guys, hey, check on that real quick. Move over and go check on the sidewalk.”

“Like standing against a tree and it seemed like she was scratching her back, but when we got closer, she didn’t have any shoelaces on, no shoes on, and she had a string over her neck,” Frank said.

As they called for help, they said she was already groggy and turning blue.

“We were talking to her,” Jacob said. “We were just trying to make her stay conscious, just so she didn’t pass out or anything like that. We were able to keep her in a good state until the authorities came.”

Jacob, Dominique, and Frank are Albany Department of General Services workers. They asked us to use only their first names.

Their actions are being called heroic.

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“That’s somebody’s daughter, sister, whatever,” Jacob said. “And I just hope someone would do it for me if I was in a situation like that.”

On this day, they were kind faces and a lifeline in someone’s darkest moments.

DGS crews see a lot, and do many things that often go unnoticed.

“And it just becomes part of like, the garbage gets picked up every day, but there’s a whole component behind that, there’s a human component to that,” said Albany DGS Commissioner Sergio Panunzio.

“They walk a woman across the street because of the snow piles, whatever it might be,” said Albany DGS Deputy Commissioner Frank Zeoli. “But they’re doing it, and they’re doing it with a sense of compassion and pride that I think goes unnoticed.”

This crew may have changed the course of someone’s life.

“Every day you walk out, you always want to, anything you see, especially if it’s going to at least help somebody or make it a better day for somebody, why not,” Dominique said.

“I’m glad that somebody can have a second chance,” said Frank. “It’s good to have a second chance at life.”

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, help is available 24 hours a day. Call 988 to speak to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.