Officer who risked his life to prevent dam collapse is nominated for bravery award
Main article content
An officer who risked his life to prevent a dam from collapsing and flooding a nearby town will tonight find out if he has won a national award for his bravery.
PC Geoff Marshall has been nominated for a Police Federation Bravery Award and will go up against more than 40 other nominees from forces across the country.
In August 2019, days of heavy rain had sent water raging over the dam wall at Toddbrook Reservior in Whaley Bridge, taking with it a huge section of the structure.
If the dam failed, billions of litres of water would hit the town. An emergency operation was launched and officers in the potential flood area evacuated 1,000 people.
At the dam, it was critical that sandbagging was completed to try to prevent the structure from collapsing.
PC Marshall volunteered to work on the spillway and secured himself with a rope while his colleagues passed sandbags down. For around two hours, officers and mountain rescue worked to place bags on the wall and buy enough time to temporarily secure the reservoir.
Derbyshire Police Federation Chair Tony Wetton said: “Were the dam to have failed, it is highly unlikely any of those involved in the sandbagging operation would have survived. All the officers present elected that they could not stand by and risk the death of around 2,000 people, including colleagues, without doing something. There were numerous officers involved in the incident and I would like to acknowledge their bravery and outstanding efforts too but PC Marshall went over and above the call of duty while thankfully supported by his colleagues.”