Naeem Akhtar and his son Ibrahim at the awards ceremony
A security officer saved a patient’s life after she discharged herself from hospital and stood at the edge of a bridge.
Naeem Akhtar, who works at Watford General Hospital, was alerted on Sunday, January 12 that a young woman in a mental health crisis has gone missing from the hospital in Vicarage Road.
The patient in her 20s had left the hospital without telling anyone and was later spotted standing on a bridge.
Mr Akhtar, 50, and colleagues rushed to the scene after calling police.
On arrival, they realised the woman was on the wrong side of the railings. Mr Akhtar climbed over and took hold of the woman to stop her from falling.
The woman’s family and Mr Akhtar’s colleagues were on hand to help pull them both to safety just before police officers arrived.
For Mr Akhtar’s bravery during the incident, he was given a Chief Constable’s award on Thursday (June 25) at Watford Police Station in Shady Lane.
Under normal circumstances the award would have been given at a ceremony held at police HQ, but Mr Akhtar was invited to a socially-distanced presentation instead at the police station.
Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips said: “Thanks to Naeem’s bravery and quick-thinking, this lady was thankfully pulled to safety. Consequently, she was able to return to her family and get the help she needed to feel better.
“Naeem saw someone in danger and did not think twice before helping them. His actions undoubtedly saved this lady’s life on that day. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Naeem and his son Ibrahim, and congratulate him on an award which is truly deserved.”
Mr Akhtar, who has worked as a security officer for 12 and a half years, said: “I want to thank the local police commander and Watford police department for the Chief Constable’s award I received today.
“It was a most welcome surprise at a strange time we are all living in due to Covid-19. I sincerely hope the lady is well after getting the help she needed.
“I had no idea the police were considering me for this award, so it came as a complete shock. I can only express my sincere thanks again to the police for this recognition.
“I would also like to thank my line management team and also David Ore, the hospital trust security manager, for their continued support.”
Mr Akhtar lives in Watford with his wife, their six daughters and their son Ibrahim, aged 12.
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