Bridge rescue firefighter awarded Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation

Firefighter Adrian Sargent has been presented with a Certificate of Commendation from Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Chris Lowther Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, for his meritorious conduct while under extremely challenging conditions.

At around 9.30pm on 29 April 2019, South Shields crews were called to the Wearmouth Bridge after receiving reports of a person threatening to jump. When they arrived, they found the distressed 21 year old female on the wrong side of the railings.

Firefighter Sargent calmly approached the young woman, reassuring her in an attempt to gain trust. By listening and supporting, he ultimately persuaded her to let him and another firefighter help her back over the barrier. The young woman was then handed safely into the care of our partners, Northumbria Police and the North East Ambulance service.

CFO, Chris Lowther explained:

“Firefighter Sargent demonstrated compassion, professionalism and bravery in the proficient way in which he undertook his duties, reflecting the high standards set by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. This was a first class rescue and the way in which he dealt with a very high pressured situation was exemplary – a very fitting act of bravery on the eve of his 18th anniversary of becoming a firefighter.”

Firefighter Sargent was dispatched to the scene as part of the Service’s rope rescue team. The team comprises a specialist crew that are trained in rescuing people and animals from inaccessible places, such as cliffs, bridges and confined spaces.