999 call handler saves life of distressed woman on way home from work after earlier phone alert

24 March 2019, 10:25 | Updated: 25 March 2019, 08:54

A police call handler has been praised for saving the life of a distressed woman while on her way home from work.

Emergency worker Megan Brunt took a call about the woman earlier in her shift, and later coincidentally spotted her hanging over a motorway bridge.

Ms Brunt, who works in the police control room at the Avon and Somerset force, had been alerted about a missing young woman who had gone to hospital after self-harming and was at high risk of suicide.

Ms Brunt, 20, completed the call and the case was then sent to police for officers to be deployed.

It transpired to be same person who she later spotted on the bridge.

Ms Brunt, from Weston-super-Mare, stopped to talk to her after recognising the woman as the person whose details she took down earlier.

On the bridge, the young woman was crying and distressed.

Ms Brunt started to build a rapport with her and kept her talking as she was hanging over the barrier towards the motorway and the traffic below.

She was able to distract the woman long enough to give police officers enough time to detain her for her own safety.

Speaking about the incident last April, Ms Brunt told the BBC: "I get calls like this quite often with people who are in distress or who are feeling suicidal, but I've never been in a situation where I've been with it face-to-face.

"It was quite weird especially as it was coincidental that I took the call about her as well."

The call handler has now received a Royal Humane Society's certificate of commendation for saving the life of the unnamed woman who was having a mental health crisis.

Officials said Ms Brunt helped her "through courage, composure and a great deal of caring".

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK.