Hero door staff praised after risking their lives to save man who tried to jump off Blackpool building

Lewis Totten, Cara Shaw, Leo McKenzie and James Tilley.
Lewis Totten, Cara Shaw, Leo McKenzie and James Tilley.
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Hero door staff from a Blackpool bar saved a man’s life after he tried to jump off the top of a town centre building.

But it nearly cost them their own lives when they all came to close to going over the edge during a desperate struggle.

Carla Shaw, licensee of Brannigan’s on Market Street, rushed to help with some of her doormen.

The 41-year-old, who used to work on the doors herself, helped her staff restrain the man and haul him down to a safer spot in a frightening 15 minute struggle.

Now she says the near-tragedy is a warning of the mental health problems facing many people in the resort – and why it is so important people get the help they need.

She said: “He was right on the edge. There was one point where I thought ‘that’s it –that’s the end of us’.

“I thought we’re all going here.”

She became aware of the issue through a doorman who had heard about the incident on the Pub Watch radio system on a Friday evening earlier this month.

She and three others ran to help, hoping to talk the man down. However, it ended in a struggle as they tried to pull him to safety.

“It still plays on my mind now,” she added.

“The lad on the roof was so angry we had stepped in, but hopefully he will get the help he needs.”

Police said officers arrived to find the man had already been restrained and he was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken for treatment after the incident on March 8.

And mum-of-four Cara –who was helped by doormen Dan Kendrick, Lee Mackenzie and Lewis Totham – said it is a poignant reminder of the mental health problem facing society.

“You don’t know what other people are battling,” she said.

“It’s touched me in the last 12 months as to how wide-spread it is.”

Having worked on the doors herself, she said the industry has a particular mental health problem.

She added: “I’m sure there’s an issue in other industries too but these lads have a reputation to uphold.

“Being a doorman can be a thankless job and this incident brings it home how it can takes its toll.

“Mental health issues are a bigger problem than many people realise.

“Some people think of doormen just as big hard lads who are up for aggro but in reality they have to put up with all kinds of provocation just to keep people safe.

“You can be spat out, abused and even attacked, yet many of those in the job are great guys who show a lot of restraint and act professionally.

“But they often don’t want to admit it when their finding it tough to cope.

“I know for a fact that some lads in the job have suffered from mental health issues as a direct result of the work.

“I would say that anyone who is feeling the strain needs to talk it over with someone they can trust and not bottle things up.”

Following her staff’s act of heroism, Northern Security, the firm Brannigan’s uses, has decided to make a donation to an as-yet-undecided mental health charity, Cara said.

A police spokesman said: “We attended the scene and found that the man had been restrained by doorstaff.

“We then took the man to Blackpool Victoria Hospital under the Mental Health Act.”

Mental health hotlines

• Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (9am until 6pm, Monday to Friday)

• Samaritans: 116 123 (24 hours a day, every day of the week)

• Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line: 0300 5000 927 (9.30am until 4pm, Monday to Friday)

• Saneline: 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm until 10.30pm)

• ChildLine: 0800 1111

• Mind legal line: 0300 466 6463 (9am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, legal information relating to mental health)

• Mind blue line: 0300 303 5999 (9am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, for emergency services staff, volunteers and families)