AN heroic police officer has described the dramatic moment she saved a knife-wielding woman from killing herself as “like a horror film”.
PC Joanne Collinson was faced with the terrifying sight of the distressed woman after she was called to a Blackpool flat following reports of a person self-harming.
And today PC Collinson, who was honoured for her bravery at a ceremony on Monday evening, told The Gazette how she managed to save the woman from killing herself after kicking down a door to get into the flat on Hornby Road.
She said: “All I could see was her legs on the couch.
“It was like a horror film, there was blood everywhere.
“In those brief seconds she plunged (the knife) into her chest in front of me.”
PC Collinson was armed with a Taser and tried to stun the woman to stop her self-inflicted frenzy, but unfortunately it failed and she couldn’t prevent her from plunging the eight-inch knife into her own body for a second time.
Thankfully PC Collinson was able to wrestle the knife away from the woman, who was suffering a psychotic episode, and tend to her while she waited for back-up and paramedics to arrive.
She said: “She looked at me then plunged the knife into her chest.
“I dragged the knife from her hands and tried to cover her wounds as best I could. I didn’t think, it was just automatic.”
The woman survived her injuries after the incident, which happened in September 2010, and was treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for her mental health issues.
PC Collinson received her Lancashire Constabulary chief constable’s bravery award at Force HQ in Hutton, near Preston.
Speaking after receiving her award, she said: “It was surreal but it makes you very proud.
“I just want to get in there and help people as best I can.
“It’s a massive honour, it’s mind-blowing.”
Also honoured on the evening was PC John Traynor, who stopped a Turkish man who had doused himself in petrol from self-immolating.
The man was threatening to set himself alight in Breck Road, Poulton, in June 2010, but PC Traynor was able to calm him down and avert disaster by snatching his lighter and petrol can.
PC Traynor, who has since retired after 30 years on the force, said: “I felt like I just needed to get close enough to engage him in some conversation. At the time I was acting on instinct and I was too focused on trying to maintain some dialogue.”
Three officers and a special sergeant also received accolades for their heroism in preventing a man from committing suicide.
Special Sgt Sonya Boden came across the desperate man on a railway bridge in Harrowside, South Shore, while driving home from her shift in January last year.
The man was bleeding heavily having slit his left wrist and was threatening to jump.
She was later joined at the scene by police officers Nick Van Deurs Goss, Deaglan Mac Cormaic and Colin Walker, who managed to talk the man down and rushed him to hospital in the back of a police car.
Special Sgt Boden said: “I could see all the blood, he had a big knife and he was cutting his wrists.
“I eventually got him to throw the knife on to the train tracks before the others arrived.”
The man was treated in Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was later released into the care of his parents after a mental health assessment.
Special Sgt Boden added: “It was good to help because I couldn’t just sit there and wait for the others.
“I had to do something, the adrenaline just kicked in.
“I don’t think I did anything out of the ordinary but I’m honoured.”