A PARAMEDIC from Bromsgrove has received an award for talking a woman threatening to jump off a motorway bridge down to safety.
Last year, Adam Joynes, 32, then working as a West Midlands Ambulance Service clinical team mentor, was sent to the M5 Motorway following reports that a woman was threatening to jump off a bridge near the junction 4 exit.
With no other emergency services on the scene at the time of his arrival, Adam decided to strike up a conversation with the woman.
"We have a duty of care and even though I wasn't trained in negotiating I felt it was either speak to her or face the worst case scenario of her doing what she was intending to do," said Adam.
"It's just something that happened and thankfully it worked out. It was more about listening to her, finding out the reasons she had for what she was doing and telling her what kind of support we could offer her. I guess I just said the right words."
Although police soon arrived they were also untrained in negotiation techniques and as Adam's repartee was going so well he continued his conversation.
"It was one of the most testing jobs I've ever been too," he said. "I remember when I arrived there was a young couple there who were trying to talk to her as well. They told me they were on their way to get IVF treatment and it was their last chance to have it.
"They didn't want to be late but they also didn't want to leave this woman while she was still in danger. They did a lovely thing."
Eventually, Mr Joynes' supportive and delicate words persuaded the woman to climb back over the bridge parapet to a place of safety, preventing her from suffering serious or even life-threatening injuries.
"I felt very relieved when she came down. It was a typical motorway bridge and the ramification of her falling off there would have been tragic."
Adam received a chief officer commendation at this month's Long Service and Excellence Awards for his professionalism and negotiation skills.
"The awards ceremony was lovely and it only really dawned on me then what I did. I haven't really thought about it since - I remember a lot of police officers shaking my hand at the time but it didn't really sink in while I was there, and afterwards I just went on to my next job."
Chief executive of the regional West Midlands Ambulance Service Anthony Marsh, who was at the awards ceremony, praised the hard work, determination, commitment and professionalism of al the winners on the night.