Brazilian firefighters are trained to prevent suicide by 'catching' people jumping off bridges

Authorities are concerned about the suicide rate in Sao Paulo

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Brazilian firefighters are being trained to jump off bridges to catch people attempting suicide.

In its largest city, Sao Paulo, crews were filmed training from a bride over a busy road interchange that has frequently seen deaths.

Firefighters were seen tumbling over the side of the bridge, attached to ropes, and falling on to a crash mat below.

Diego Assuncaom, from the Sao Paulo Fire Department, said: “This exercise is called the suicide jump, where we simulate a victim on the side of the bridge ready to jump.

“In the victim's moment of despair, the fireman jumps with a safety rope, catches the victim, controlling the fall thanks to the rope."

Brazilian firefighters practicing a suicide drill

The technique has not yet been tried out in a real-life situation.

The most recent World Health Organisation statistics show that around 9,400 people commit suicide every year in Brazil – almost five people per 100,000 population.

Brazilian firefighters practicing a suicide drill

South Korea, Lithuania and Hungary are among the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world.