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Award for “courageous” Birmingham PC who stood in front of oncoming train to save woman’s life


Ch Supt Allan Gregory and PC Matt Godsall

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Standing in front of a moving train to try and save a woman’s life is an extreme example of our officers’ commitment to helping vulnerable people on the railway and not one we’d ever advise people to attempt.

But that’s exactly what PC Matt Godsall did when he went on the tracks to help a woman in crisis at Kings Norton railway station, on the outskirts of Birmingham, on 27 July 2016.

Officers were called to the station following concerns for the safety of the woman, who was crying and extremely distressed. Spotting her on the ramp down to the tracks, PC Godsall ran the length of the platform to get to her, but was unable to reach her before she managed to get onto the running lines.

Stepping onto the tracks, PC Godsall saw a train approaching the platform at full speed and he immediately stepped into the path of the oncoming train to alert the driver. The brave officer then managed to get out of the way, with the train missing him and the woman by less than a metre.

Despite the close encounter, PC Godsall was able to remain calm and persuade the woman to move away from the tracks in order to get her the help she needed.

On awarding the officer a commendation at a ceremony on Monday (19 June), Midland policing commander Superintendent Sandra England said: “PC Godsall went trackside with the sole intention of saving the woman’s life - a courageous and selfless act which rightly deserves recognition.”

We’re committed to helping vulnerable people on the railway and last year, we made 1,269 life-saving interventions. For advice and support, please visit our website:

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