by Kate Eckman
Shock jocks from the nationally distributed "Bubba the Love Sponge Show" are credited with keeping a suicidal man alive.
It happened last Wednesday when the man, who called himself "Doug" called the show on Sirius satellite radio threatening to kill himself.
The caller told Bubba he lost his job, his wife, and his daughter.
He explained that he had a lot of debt and little money.
He also told them he was overweight, drunk, and had a gun on his lap.
"We just had a gut feeling that it was real, and he was also communicating that he was willing, and had the means to carry out taking his own life. So we definitely had to take that seriously," said DJ Brant Hatley.
The man provided a fake name, asked that his voice be masked to avoid detection, and requested that no attempts be made to trace his call.
The DJs were able to keep the man talking for 40 minutes while the call was traced to an address near the city of Punta Gorda.
After nearly an hour, the man finally calmed down.
"I think to hear somebody on the other end of the phone that heard what he was saying, listened to him, and cared about what he was saying - I think that's what made the difference," said Hatley.
Hatley, Bubba, and the other DJs also told the caller about several listener emails, offering to get the man out of debt and offer him a job.
Hatley says they felt an amazing sense of relief.
"I'm glad he's going to take a second look at life," said Hatley. "It's surreal and I'm just happy that this gentleman didn't take his life."