Highways Hero of the Year: Lifesaver Archie Pope of Balfour Beatty

19/12/2022

Control room operative for Balfour Beatty Living Places, Archie Pope, has been commended as a Highways Magazine hero of the year after saving a local resident's life.

Based in Southampton, Mr Pope is one of several operatives who monitor CCTV cameras located across the city through ‘Citywatch’ – a 24/7 public safety and traffic monitoring control hub.

While on duty, he witnessed a member of the public jump from Itchen Bridge in Southampton into the river below.

Without hesitation, he took immediate action and alerted the emergency services through the police airwaves radio in the ‘Citywatch’ control room.

Despite the severity and upsetting nature of the situation, Mr Pope remained calm under the immense pressure. He continued to check the surrounding waters for signs of the individual and guided the emergency services to the exact location where the individual had jumped.

Mr Pope's quick reaction led to two emergency boats arriving on the scene, seeing the individual rescued and taken to hospital for treatment.

Following the incident, Mr Pope continued to support Hampshire Police with investigations - reviewing camera footage across the bridge so that routes of access could be determined, and future incidents prevented.

Brian Hammersley, contract director for Balfour Beatty Living Places, said: 'The health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce and the public is always our priority. It is through services such as Citywatch, that our dedicated team can not only react to disruption on the highways but can intervene to save people’s lives and truly make a difference for the communities in which we operate.

'For his bravery and noble actions, I couldn’t think of a better person for this commendation to be given to - Archie truly is our Highway’s hero.'

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