A man has been honoured by Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Chief Constable, for his act of bravery in pulling a woman from the River Avon in Bath earlier this year.
Police officers and staff were given accolades at the event, which was attended by Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and the High Sheriff of Bristol, Mr Anthony Brown.
Many were given Awards of the Royal Humane Society (RHS), made to those who, at personal risk, save or endeavour to save life.
Mark Burdis was given an RHS award for showing real bravery and putting others before himself, with his actions no doubt saving a women’s life.
At 1am on New Year’s day, Mr Burdis was walking with his partner Lisa Haynes back to their hotel after a night out in Bath along the towpath following the river bank.
They heard unusual noises and a mobile phone ringing near the Avon Street area and found a woman struggling in the fast flowing, freezing river.
Mark positioned himself on the river bank, and stooped to pull the woman out of the river, putting himself at risk of falling in too. Eventually he managed to pull her clear and both he and Lisa stayed with her and used what they could to keep her warm until an ambulance arrived.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “I’ve been in policing for over 30 years and within that time our work has changed greatly. Moving away from simply tackling crime we now also play a role in demanding new issues such as sexual exploitation, modern slavery and mental health; cases of which you will see in these awards.
“At the Bristol Force Award ceremony we presented 21 accolades and each celebrates the very best of policing; remarkable efforts, brilliant work, saving lives and acts of bravery.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “It’s a fantastic privilege and honour to meet the 21 extraordinary men and women who go above and beyond for other people and put themselves in danger with no consideration for their own safety.
“The heroism from residents, police officers, Specials and investigators is remarkable, our communities and their families should feel very proud of them.
“In my role as Police and Crime Commissioner I meet exceptional people who expect no recognition at all for what they do, particularly our police officers and staff.
“The dedication and commitment of these award winners to their communities is exemplary and their endeavours are hugely appreciated by the whole of Bristol.”