Derbyshire Police Federation

Police Bravery Award nominee interviewed during annual conference

9 June 2021

Derbyshire Police Bravery Award nominee and ‘Whaley Bridge dam hero’ Geoff Marshall has revealed he would not have been able to live with himself if a young officer had volunteered in his place and something had happened to them. 

PC Geoff Marshall appeared during this year’s national Annual Conference to speak about his nomination for the 2020 Police Bravery Awards ahead of the postponed award ceremony later this year.

PC Marshall received the nomination after the dam at Whaley Bridge became unsafe, leading to him selflessly risking his life when placing sandbags on the weakened structure. 

During the virtual conference, TV’s Mark Durden-Smith, host of the yearly Police Bravery Awards, asked PC Marshall why he volunteered.

“You just make that decision at the time,” said PC Marshall, “It came down to me being old and stupid.

“I couldn’t have lived with myself if the dam had gone and a younger officer had been at risk. Some of them have children at home.”

Despite the fact the dam was at huge risk of collapsing, PC Marshall, along with other officers and engineers, spent a nerve-wracking two hours placing sandbags on the wall to secure the reservoir. 

PC Marshall, who has been with the Force for more than 25 years, said his wife, Jennifer, was proud but not overly impressed when he returned home following the incident.

“She called me an idiot,” he revealed.

PC Marshall, who has received a Chief Constable’s commendation, is among 92 other police officers nominated across the country.

The 2020 ceremony has been postponed repeatedly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with it hopefully happening this October. 

During the conference, Mark Durden-Smith teased the 2021 ceremony, which is set to take place in December, with nominees yet to be revealed.

“There are so many wows when it comes to the Police Bravery Awards,” he said, “And it’s not just the nominees we should recognise. It’s all serving officers who put their lives on the line to protect the public.

“Thank you for all you do for us. I look forward to hopefully seeing you later this year.”

 

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