The RailStaff Awards 2024

Nominations for Samaritans Lifesaver Award

Cindy Knowles

Said the following about Charmaine Russell:

“Charmaine has been a Rail Enforcement Officer for over 3 years and is a very valued and respected member of the team.

I would like to nominate Charmaine's for the Samaritans Lifesaver award for her quick reactions to an incident and her empathy and commitment.

As an REO she is trained for many things including track safety but on this evening as Charmaine was heading home, little did she know she was about to save someone's life.....

Wednesday 10th February 2021 Charmaine was just finishing her 10 hour shift as a Rail Enforcement Officer at the station,

Charmaine was alerted to calls from platforms 4 & 5 and on hearing this she jumped into action grabbing her Hi viz jacket, radio and bodycam. She ran over to platforms 4 & 5 where she found a woman lying in the middle of the train tracks, she looked confused and vulnerable.

Luckily she had not been on the track long so no trains had come through on this platform, but she was avoiding eye contact with staff and was not talking.

REO’s work in pairs but due to the time of the incident Charmaine was on her own and needed to build a rapport with her so she could help.

Charmaine got in touch with CCTV and got them to find her and monitor the situation via the cameras plus making sure that the line block was in place all whilst trying to keep the woman calm and know she was there to help. The woman had an injured arm (which was later reported to be broken) from a prior incident which made moving her more difficult but Charmaine kept a good rapport with her, telling her she was there for her.

Charmaine got down on the track and carried on speaking to the woman trying not to alarm her or make her jump.

Charmaine stayed down there with the lady talking to her, reassuring her all whilst trying to keep her to be calm but also encouraging her to get up and go to a place of safety away from the track. She finally encouraged her up on to her feet and got the lady up off the tracks and to a place of safety, BTP and London Ambulance were now attended and took over.

Due to Charmaine's quick reactions this lady received medical help at a time she needed it and was invaluable to our colleagues on the platform at the station.“