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Fireman and Royal Marine reservist to receive award for saving woman’s life on Lambeth Bridge

By Padraig Belton

A man who last year in dramatic circumstances saved the life of a woman in difficulty on Lambeth Bridge is due to receive an award from the Royal Humane Society in April.

Fifty year old London Fire Brigade station manager and Royal Marine reservist Dave Hill, who was walking home across the bridge at the time, found a woman about to jump from the bridge. He calmed her and then rescued her from the ledge.

After climbing on to the ledge, Hill saved the woman using a Royal Marines scarf he was given for his most recent birthday. “In the Brigade we’re trained to help people,” he said.“I just saw it as my duty to help.”

Hill was keen to point out that other passers-by also put themselves in danger to help the woman. Black cab driver Steve Teague, 50, was on his way home following a shift. Another passer-by held Teague’s belt while he leant over to grab hold of the woman’s wrist, before Hill arrived.

When firefighters and a lifeboat crew arrived, they passed Hill a rope, which he used to tie a one-handed bowline to secure her to the bridge. With a half-hitch around her chest, he and the Lambeth firefighters were able to lift her to safety.

The Royal Humane Society is awarding Hill its Testimonial on Vellum, which is given when “someone has put themselves in considerable danger to save, or attempt to save, someone else”. The Testimonial will be signed by the Society’s President, HRH Princess Alexandra. The Society was founded in 1774 by doctors William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, who were keen to promote techniques of resuscitation. It hands out awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations.

The testimonial Hill will receive is not actually written on vellum, the Society explains. “Although we’ve kept the historical name of the award, these days it is made of good quality card,” it said.

The Samaritans have a 24-hour hotline, reached by dialling 116 123, for anyone in the UK or Ireland in emotional distress or at risk of suicide.

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