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Awards for brave Burnham police who prevented M5 tragedy
FOUR courageous members of Burnham and Highbridge's police team who risked their lives to prevent a motorway tragedy are to receive national bravery awards.
Special Constable Philippa Baskwill, PC Ryan Dinham, PCSO Sarah England and PCSO Tracey Grobbeler stopped a 6ft 5ins, powerfully built man from throwing himself off a bridge over the M5 at Harp Road, Mark.
The quartet headed to the scene after being informed the man was standing on the wrong side of the railings, with family members nearby pleading with him not to jump.
The officers bravely attempted to hold him back, but such was the man's strength, they at one stage feared they could be dragged over the railings.
During the dramatic rescue, PCSO Grobbeler sustained an injury but she and her colleagues eventually managed to pull the man back inside the railings and restrain him.
The four are now to receive Royal Humane Society Testimonials on Parchment later this year.
The Society said they had averted chaos on the M5 during the incident, which happened on October 13 last year, and fully deserved their awards.
Sgt Ian Kennett, of Burnham police, said: “I am very proud that four members of the team will be recognised for their brave and determined efforts to prevent a tragedy last October.
“Their actions prevented a man from jumping onto the busy motorway where the consequences could have been devastating.
“These actions go to show the difference PCSOs make in our communities and that where they are needed they will risk their own safety to protect the public.”
For PC Ryan Dinham, it will be a third life-saving award in the past year.
He was one of three Burnham police officers who last year received Royal Humane Society Awards, and the Avon and Somerset Police Authority's Act of Bravery Award, for rescuing a woman stuck deep in mud on Brean beach.