Jessica Tabinor Rail and Transportation
Iman Masoud, part of Vital’s LNE & East Midlands Trespass and Vandalism Patrol teams, saved the life of a suicidal woman earlier this year.
The alarm was raised by staff at New Southgate Station after a young lady was spotted at the edge of Platform 2 who wasn’t boarding any of the trains. Iman arrived on site within five minutes of receiving the call and used all his training to carefully approach the distressed lady, where he spoke with her at length to gain her trust and was eventually able to coach her away from the platform edge. Iman talked to her for more than 30 minutes where she opened up and said how she wanted to end it as she couldn’t take being in an abusive relationship any longer.
During this time, Iman’s partner was informing the British Transport Police of the situation and stopped all the trains from passing through.
Someone commits suicide on Britain’s rail network every 31 hours. This is 10 times more likely to be a man than a woman.
According to figures from Network Rail, there were 237 suicides on the overground rail network in 2016/17, 15 fewer than the previous year. This is the lowest figure ever recorded and we are working with Network Rail to go a step further and continue reducing this statistic.
In partnership with Network Rail, Samaritans, British Transport Police, a number of Vital Track Patrollers work across LNE and EM infrastructure to monitor the route for vandalism, trespassers or suspicious behaviours. Initially, the contract was for six Vital Track Patrollers to support Network Rail for a 12 week period, which has since been extended into an 18-month contract.
Each are trained how to intervene in suicide attempts and work across communities to dispel the stigmas around suicide and promote help-seeking behaviours. They have received extensive safeguarding, preventative and trauma training and underwent rigorous applications to ensure each had the right personality, values and mindset to deliver such an important role.
We cannot praise our team enough for the outstanding work that they do. Thanks to Iman and his colleagues, individuals go on to live their lives and staff, customers, friends and families are spared the trauma of being involved in what could be a potentially tragic event.