Heroism awards for police who saved man's life in Knaresborough on 25-metre-high railway viaduct
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PCSO Denise Booth and PC Stephanie Maslen were recognised by the Royal Humane Society in awards which celebrate acts of kindness, determination and courage.
The officers received the award at a ceremony attended by North Yorkshire Chief Constable Lisa Winward and special guest, Clare Granger, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire.
PCSO Denise Booth and PC Stephanie Maslen responded to an incident on May 15, 2022involving a man who was laid on the railway tracks at Knaresborough Viaduct, over the river Nidd.
When officers arrived the railway track was live, with trains approaching at high speed there was a real danger of death to anybody on the tracks.
Despite this both PCSOs exposed themselves to this danger, going onto the viaduct to bring the man to safety.
He was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.
More awards were handed out to two officers after an incident in Harrogate on April 6, 2022 when two police officers demonstrated exceptional courage in saving the life of a distressed woman on the Harrogate railway bridge.
Police received a report of a woman on the wrong side of the railway bridge in Harrogate.
When PCSO Nicola Shearing arrived at the scene she found a distressed woman. Believing she was about to jump from the bridge, she held tightly onto her, stopping her from falling onto the train track below in front of an oncoming train.
PCSO Shearing, who is of small stature, showed incredible strength and determination in keeping hold of the woman who was struggling to break free. With help from a member of the public she continued to keep the woman safe and radioed for immediate assistance.
When PC Joshua Snaith arrived, he risked his own life by climbing out onto the bridge ledge in order to lift the woman back onto the right side of the bridge. Whilst this was happening trains were still using the track below.
Both PC Snaith and PCSO Shearing demonstrated exceptional care in dealing with this very distressed woman, carefully explaining why and what they were doing, and trying to minimise the use of force.
PCSO Shearing has been awarded the ‘Honorary Testimonial of the Society’ inscribed on Parchment and PC Snaith the ‘Honorary Testimonial of the Society inscribed on Vellum’ for the exceptional courage shown during this incident which saved this woman’s life and ensured she got the appropriate Mental Health support.
The officers were praised by Chief Constable Winward who said: “The courageous actions of the recipients are an inspiration to us all, and I was proud to be able to honour them in this way.
"They should be extremely proud of their actions.”