A FORMER inspector who risked his life to save a suicidal woman from the path of an oncoming train has been recognised at the Police Federation Bravery Awards.

Inspector Ian Stevenson, who recently retired from Wiltshire Police after 30 years, attended the national awards ceremony in London on Thursday (July 12) and was named regional winner for the south west.

He said: “I’m very proud and was very humbled to be in a room with so many brave men and women who have done some incredible acts of bravery. Still now I don’t see what I did as particularly brave. It is nice to be recognised right at the end of my career. It ends on a real high.”

On May 6, 2017, police received a call from a woman, who had a history of mental health issues, saying she was on a railway line waiting for a train to end her own life.

Ian found her on the tracks after spotting the light from her mobile phone. He heard a train horn sound and dashed across the line to speak to the woman.

On the opposite side of the track, the woman kept jumping on and off the line. A train appeared and the woman ran onto the track but Insp Stevenson grabbed hold of her and wrestled with her to get her out of the way of the train.

Ian said: “I remember it all quite vividly. The outstanding thing was the fact there was another human being in front of me who was clearly very distressed.

“I just wanted to help her.”

He says when she got near the train he admits his instincts took over, adding: “I didn’t really think about it. If I had hesitated the outcome would have been different possibly for the both of us.”

Ian managed to wrestle her out of the way of the train, which narrowly missed them, and get safely to the embankment.

Ian was previously awarded the Chief Constable’s Commendation at the Wiltshire Police Force Awards for his actions.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “Ian is a shining example of bravery and dedication to public safety and I am honoured to have had him as a police colleague.”

“Everyone at Wiltshire Police is so proud of Ian and we are glad that his public-spirited actions have been recognised in this way.

“The recent events in Salisbury and Amesbury have shone a light on the dedication of the police and other emergency services and public servants, and I know the public are incredibly grateful for everything we are doing.

“We have received so many messages of gratitude and support from our local communities and I hope Ian’s story just reinforces the point about how far our officers and staff are willing to go to protect the public.”

He added: “I know officers in Wiltshire and across the country are prepared to run into danger on a daily basis in order to protect the public. On this occasion Inspector Stevenson took this to another level and was clearly prepared to risk his own life in order to save that of another. I am hugely proud of what he did to ensure the safety of a vulnerable lady who was in crisis.”