Firefighters and police officers commended for bravery

Thu 11 Jun, 2015

Five people, including two of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s firefighters, have been recognised for their exceptional act of bravery in saving a woman who had climbed over the railings of a bridge in Milton Keynes in an attempt to take her life.

Yesterday (10 June) they received commendations from Francis Habgood, Thames Valley Police’s Chief Constable, at a ceremony in Berkshire.

The incident happened on the evening of 13 February near Saxon Street, Fishermead. The officers managed to bring the woman to safety even after she released her grip on the bridge.

Those commended for their roles in the incident were:

  • Watch Commander Kevin Mercer, Broughton Fire Station (pictured top left with Chief Constable Francis Habgood)
  • Firefighter John Williams, Broughton Fire Station (pictured top right with Chief Constable Francis Habgood)
  • PC Matthew Waters, who worked as part of the Roads Policing Department at the time of the incident but has since left Thames Valley Police.
  • Two other police officers who do not wish to be named.

The ceremony also recognised the hard work and achievements of 15 other people and a police horse. 

Mr Habgood said: "I am delighted to have commended officers and staff for their hard work and dedication.

“The cases are excellent examples of the contribution that they have made to protecting the public of Thames Valley through high quality investigations, significant reviews and acts of bravery. They are great examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary things."

Group Commander Calum Bell, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Service Delivery Manager for Milton Keynes, said: "I am extremely proud of the actions of both John and Kevin which, through their involvement with officers from Thames Valley Police, brought to safety a woman who was intent on taking her own life. 

“Not only did they save a life, but they also demonstrated in a quick and decisive manner the very behaviours which are at the core of our values.”

At its meeting yesterday, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, led by Councillor Adrian Busby, Chairman, and Jason Thelwell, Chief Fire Officer, sent its congratulations to Kevin and John.