[T]wo Cumbria Police officers who prevented a suicidal man from setting himself on fire have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.
PCs Joe Rossiter and Neal Collins were nominated after they tackled a man who had doused himself in a liquid in order to set himself alight.
The pair were responding to a call from a member of the public who reported concerns for the man’s safety, and as they got out of their patrol car, they saw him lift a plastic container over his head and pour fluid over his face and clothing – and that he had a lighter in his hand.
They sprang into action and as he lifted the lighter above his head, they immediately intervened to stop him from committing suicide – putting the man’s safety above their own. Once they had done this, they spent time with the man, arranged a change of clothing for him at the station, provided reassurance and guidance, and then located him later that morning when he absconded from hospital.
Martin Plummer, Chair of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “PCs Rossiter and Collins displayed the utmost professionalism and discipline. Both officers assisted in the restraint of the man without hesitation. He was agitated and non-compliant and stated he was adamant he wanted to die.
“Both officers were also covered in fuel during the struggle and faced an immediate risk of serious harm. The risk they faced was real and imminent and they demonstrated outstanding bravery and determination to save this man.”