Warning: This story discusses suicide, which may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
With his one-year-old strapped to his back, Edmontonian Chris Hancock saved a person trying to jump off the High Level Bridge in March.
Hancock was honoured with a Citizen Award from the Edmonton Police Commission (EPC) on Nov. 18, along with two other men who also helped during the incident.
Hancock was walking with his baby in a carrier on his back when he noticed someone acting suspiciously on the High Level Bridge.
“Hancock’s previous work experience related to social services taught him to stick around,” said the EPC.
The suspicious person suddenly started climbing under the bridge’s suicide prevention barriers. Hancock grabbed the person by the legs to prevent them from falling into the freezing North Saskatchewan River below.
Two other men, Joseph Chambrinho and Derek Olson came over and together the three of them were able to stop the suicidal person from jumping from the bridge.
Police arrived, put the person in custody and then took them to hospital, according to a news release.
“There is no doubt that the quick and selfless actions of these three citizens saved a life that evening, which earned them this recognition,” said the EPC.
If you are in crisis or in need of support for mental health or addiction, call the Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line toll-free at 1-877-303-2642. The help line is a confidential service operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and throughout the year.
Other people honoured by the EPC included:
- Olga Muradov, a nurse who “likely saved the life” of a driver who had suffered a heart attack and been in a collision,
- Ngoc Duong, who the EPC said acted with great empathy to deescalate a situation where a person was running through rush hour traffic and climbed over a guardrail on the bridge at 23 Avenue and Gateway Boulevard,
- Carter Domprova, an EMS member who protected police from a growing aggressive crowd as they arrested a teenager near the Youth Emergency Shelter in Bonnie Doon,
- Jackson Whyte, who chased someone he said was breaking into his neighbour’s vehicle,
- Dylan Power, a transit peace officer who found a man wanted by EPS for a recent homicide,
- and Travis Erickson and Pablo De Leon, two peace officers who used Narcan, a defribrillator and chest compressions in an attempt to save an unresponsive person’s life.