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Officer nominated for bravery award after saving woman's life from top of burnt-out building

Officer nominated for bravery award after saving woman's life from top of burnt-out building

by Tom Martin (October 2021)

A SEFTON police officer who saved a woman’s life from the top of a burnt out building was nominated for a national bravery award.

Sergeant Mark Wilson, who is based in Bootle but covers the whole borough in his role, was on shift in Woolton in May 2019 with fellow officer Constable Liz Cargill when they talked the young woman out of jumping to her death.

In order to do so, they had to climb onto the roof of four-storey dilapidated building and balance on a narrow ledge to reach her and at one point had to grab onto her to stop her falling.

The pair successfully built up a rapport with her until she calmed down enough to safely get her down with the help of other officers and specialists from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

Their lifesaving actions were recognised at the Police Federation’s Annual Police Bravery Awards 2020 in London on October 12, alongside many other stories of heroism by police officers up and down the country.

Sergeant Wilson has been an officer for 16 years having served in south Sefton before moving to Sefton. He said: “The building was in a really bad state and had been a popular place for kids to hang out in, despite how dangerous the site was. Anti social behaviour was a regular occurrence there, but when we got there we realised it was someone attempting to take their own life.

“Our job is to protect people and we knew we didn’t have much time so we decided to climb onto the roof and talk her down. It was pretty high up and we had to inch along a two foot wide ledge to get to her. We told her who were, explained that we were there to help her and at first she calmed down. But then she got agitated again and looked to be about to jump so Liz grabbed her, and then I did, and we kept hold of her until help arrive and we could all get down safely.

“A lot of our work is helping people with mental health problems and it was just nice to be there in someone’s time of need and stop them doing something out of despair when there is actually help for them out there.”

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