(Associated Press) As he shivered on a narrow iron bar 220 feet above San Francisco Bay, 22-year-old Kevin Berthia heard a voice. It did not belong to the old wounds, crushing worries and inner demons that had driven him to the Golden Gate Bridge.

This voice, calm and kind, patient and reassuring, belonged to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Briggs. And it was all that stood between Berthia and all-but-certain death. For more than an hour, Briggs kept talking as the younger man poured out his troubles.

“I know you think things are bad, but they can get better,” Briggs said.

Berthia decided to believe him and eight years later credits him with saving his life.

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