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'He saved a life': Edmonton man recognized for actions on High Level Bridge

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An Edmonton man was recently recognized as a hero for saving another man’s life while wearing his toddler on his back.

Chris Hancock was walking with his son on the High Level Bridge in March when he came across a man on the bridge who he says seemed distraught.

“I kind of touched base with him and I asked him, ‘How are you? How are you today? How are you feeling?’ and they didn't respond much to me.”

Hancock is a stay-at-home-dad, but he has a background in social services. He used to work at a supervised-consumption site, and said his training kicked in.

The man didn’t want to talk, Hancock said, and after a couple of minutes, he saw him quickly bypass the suicide barrier on the bridge.

“That's where I held on tight, as hard as I could, and as soon as I could see other people coming down, I just yelled and said, ‘Call 911.’”

He said several people rushed over, and emergency crews responded.

“To tell you how chaotic it was, I even had to run,” said Sgt. Curtis Hoople of the Edmonton Police Service.

“You could tell there was some exhaustion and relief when they saw us arrive, like OK, someone is going to help."

Hoople said he was struck by the fact that Hancock didn’t hesitate to help, even though he had his child on his back.

“I commend it…he saved a life. It's as simple as that.”

He was recently recognized by the Edmonton Police Commission for his actions, filling him with conflicting emotions.

“Receiving an award for when someone is at one of their perceived lowest points in their life, my wife and I we talked about it at length and kind of discussed it, but when we went to the actual awards banquet the police chief explained that it's about community acknowledgment, it's really the follow through of a community coming together to help individuals ... and to respond. And it just all made sense,” Hancock said.

If you are in crisis or in need of mental health or addiction support, call the Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line toll-free at 1-877-303-2642.

The help line is a confidential service operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and throughout the year. 

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