Police officer and nurses honoured after heroic Orwell Bridge rescue
PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 October 2020
A heroic Suffolk policeman has been given a second bravery award in two years after rescuing a man on the Orwell Bridge.
PC Jon Harvey, who works in Suffolk police’s dog unit, rescued a man from the bridge in May this year with the help of two nurses from Colchester and members of the public.
Having already shown his heroics during a rescue in the River Orwell in 2017, PC Harvey again put his life on the line after spotting the man in danger while driving to Norfolk’s police headquarters.
He said. “I called a colleague and turned around at the next junction, but I couldn’t close the bridge with my car as I couldn’t risk my dog getting hurt in the event of a crash.
“The only thing on my mind was saving this man’s life.”
PC Harvey immediately put himself in danger to prevent the man from falling and was assisted by the nurses and members of the public, who closed the road – while he thankfully helped the man to safety after a perilous five minutes.
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PC Harvey, alongside nurses Catherine Ritson and Zoe Reynolds and passerby Gary Birch, have all been awarded Royal Humane Society Certificates of Commendation.
He previously was awarded the prize in 2018 following the River Orwell rescue, although will receive his latest award at a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “After 10 years of policing, dealing with various kinds of incidents, I don’t think I have ever been involved in one as worse, but at the same time more rewarding.
“It is a real privilege and very humbling to receive the award.
“But really, this was around the peak of lockdown, everyone was scared of one another – yet right there, everyone came together, everyone played a part and everyone helped to save his life.
“The police, just like all of the emergency services, do all they can to keep people safe. But as cheesy as it sounds, we really all are just doing our jobs.”
PC Harvey added he has been in contact with the man since the incident, who thanked him for his support and said he is doing well.
•If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 113 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.
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