Watch CBS News

Port Authority Officers Recognized For Swift Response To Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The response to the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse four weeks ago was swift. Emergency crews swarmed the area as they tried to save lives and prevent any more harm coming from the situation.

Friday, Port Authority police Lt. Rob DiPippa, Sgt. Shawn Mauro, officers Nicholas Masi, David Harris, Trastian Collins, David Walters and telecommunications specialist Greg Sherman were honored for their work and recalled every moment they encountered during the rescue.

"It's nice to be recognized," said patrolman Nick Masi. "Just really nice to realize we did the job we had to do that day, realizing we preserved all life and nobody was seriously injured in the accident."

Masi wasn't just one of the first to arrive on scene, he was also one of the officers to realize there was a gas leak. He then climbed into the wreckage to help save everybody involved.

"Seeing the whole bridge collapse like that, seeing all the vehicles going down there on the hillside and looking up and realizing where you are in reference to the Fern Hollow Bridge, seeing that when you're getting people out, looking at yourself and how dirty you are in the uniform, but just realizing what is truly going on out there and how dangerous it was and how you want to get people out of there as quickly but efficiently as possible," Masi said.

Behind-the-scenes, coordinating efforts was Port Authority dispatcher Greg Sherman, who says he couldn't believe what he first heard.

"You're thinking, 'did I really just hear what he said?' And then it clicked, yes," said Sherman. "It took a few minutes to establish there was actually a bus on the bridge."

It was a day nobody involved thought they'd ever have to deal with, but all were trained for and responded as best as they could.

"The thought process going through my mind was, just make sure that my guys are safe, getting the people out of the vehicles. It's always fulfilling to get people there and help people and that's why I started this a long time ago," Sherman said.

On the ground and on the coms, they're all heroes in their own right.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.