A Traffic Safety and Control Officer (TSCO) from HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd has been recognised with a new highway award.
Sean O’Rouke received an inaugural Highways Heroes Award following his actions to prevent a suicide. Sean, alongside Luke Waddy from VGC and Bernard Laird from Lingwood Security were all praised for their actions after a young woman was seen clearly distressed on a nearby bridge. The trio took immediate action to ensure she was safe and sat with her to keep her calm until emergency services arrived.
Not one for the limelight, Sean sees his actions as just part of his responsibilities as a TSCO:
“I don’t do things for the reward, as far as I’m concerned its my job as a TSCO to ensure the public and our workforce are safe within site limits. But it’s nice to have some recognition for something good, especially with the amount of depression around following the COVID-19 lockdowns which has inevitably taken its toll on people in different ways. One of my former roles was Silver Commander in Area 7 and a substantial amount of my duties involved ‘after the event’ fatalities, so being able to prevent a potential fatality and helping people find the support they need makes my outlook on life better.”
But the power of human connection as demonstrated by Sean, and the positive impact that can have on someone’s mindset cannot be understated. It can save a life. This isn’t the first time that Sean has been involved in preventing a suicide, making the recognition even more deserving.
Launched in 2021 by Safer Highways, the Highways Heroes Awards recognises those like Sean who have gone above and beyond their duty to help someone or improve a situation, either in the communities they work in or to unconditionally support fellow workers in their team.
David Shaw, Director at HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd said:
“The pandemic has been the catalyst for unprecedented change, not only in our industry, but in our everyday lives making compassion and kindness toward each other more important than ever. I am immensely proud of Sean and I am pleased that we have had this opportunity to recognise his efforts in a memorable way. He, like many others in our workforce across the country, are unsung heroes and it’s important that we take a moment to mark their achievements and to say thank you. Sean’s selfless work to support an individual when she was at crisis point embodies the philosophy of Safe by Choice – caring for the safety and wellbeing of ourselves and one another.”
Sean remains committed to his work as a TSCO doing his best for the community near the A63:
“I think the most important thing is that I’ll continue doing my job to the best of my ability and ensuring people are safe. And when I’m on my patrols I’ll remain vigilant for any other opportunities for me and my team to do further good.”
(Pictured: Sean O’Rourke and Mark Sturdy-Bullock A63 Castle Street Improvement H&S Manager from Balfour Beatty who presented the award to Sean).
If you or anyone you know is experiencing difficulties with their mental health it’s important to get help as soon as possible. You’re not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.
For more information about different ways to get help for your mental health and how to access this support follow this link.