Brave constable wins award after risking his life to stop Derbyshire dam collapse

A brave constable who risked his life to prevent a dam from collapsing and flooding a nearby town in Derbyshire has won an award.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 2:30 pm

PC Geoff Marshall was named the regional winner of a Police Federation Bravery Award in honour of his actions 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.

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Well done to Derbyshire constable Geoff Marshall, awarded for his heroic work in the Toddrook Reservoir drama in the summer of 2019.

An emergency operation was launched and officers in the potential flood area evacuated more than 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.

He was the final link in a chain of officers working to place 300 sandbags at the top of the dam wall to stop water getting in.

For around two hours, officers and mountain rescue volunteers worked to place bags on the wall and buy enough time to temporarily secure the reservoir.

Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “Geoff’s actions that day were brave and selfless.

“He placed himself in great danger to protect the town of Whaley Bridge.

“I am delighted that his courage has been recognised.

“Every officer and member of staff involved in the operation did outstanding work in very challenging circumstances and I am proud of them all.”