‘There is noth­ing here we can’t fix’ One cop’s brav­eryry has cre­ated a life­long friend­ship,

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - writes Ava Benny-Mor­ri­son

It was a clear, early morn­ing in De­cem­ber 2014 when Con­sta­ble Arun Tre­vitt was called to an ur­gent job on Syd­ney Harbour Bridge. A se­cu­rity guard spot­ted a man bal­anc­ing pre­car­i­ously on a beam on the wrong side of the bridge’s barbed-wire fence. That man was Dan Price, then a 29-year-old prop­erty ex­ec­u­tive who was min­utes away from tak­ing his own life.

Dozens of emer­gency ser­vices, in­clud­ing po­lice ne­go­tia­tors, swarmed the bridge, bring­ing peakhour traf­fic to a crawl.

But it came down to Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt, a gen­eral du­ties of­fi­cer with just two years of ex­pe­ri­ence on the beat, to con­vince Mr Price that life was worth liv­ing.

That mo­ment — cap­tured by Sun­day Tele­graph pho­tog­ra­pher Jeff Her­bert, who just hap­pened to be driv­ing past on his way to work — marked the start of a unique friend­ship be­tween those two men, who have shared their ex­tra­or­di­nary story in a bid to raise aware­ness about sui­cide pre­ven­tion and men­tal health.

The pair have be­come close mates since Mr Price’s sui­cide at­tempt on De­cem­ber 4, 2014, af­ter re­con­nect­ing late last year.

Mr Price is now a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for men­tal health aware­ness, trav­el­ling the world to share his story with peo­ple who face sim­i­lar strug­gles.

In a re­mark­able change of cir­cum­stances, Mr Price has re­cently been a mate to lean on for Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt af­ter he re­sponded to a horrific fatal car crash in the CBD.

In Septem­ber, Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt pulled Joseph Ba­gala, the sole sur­vivor of the high-speed crash that killed three oth­ers, out of the wreck­age be­fore it went up in flames. The of­fi­cers in­volved in Mr Ba­gala’s res­cue, in­clud­ing Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt, have been nom­i­nated for a NSW Po­lice Com­mis­sioner’s Com­men­da­tion for Brav­ery.

Re­gard­less, the fatal out­come weighed heav­ily on Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt. It is a trauma Mr Price has been help­ing him process.

Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt doesn’t par­tic­u­larly en­joy talk­ing about his life-sav­ing feats.

He prefers to look at his ac­tions as part of a team ef­fort, steps that po­lice across NSW take ev­ery day with­out recognition.

“I don’t see my­self as any bet­ter than any other po­lice of­fi­cer that goes out ev­ery day to just have a crack to try and make a dif­fer­ence,” he ex­plained in a can­did in­ter­view.

The for­mer on-call fire­fighter joined the cops at the age of 40, de­cid­ing a child­hood am­bi­tion was worth giv­ing a go.

“It was a big call for me at 40. I had no ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, I left school in Year 10,” he said.

“To be hon­est, when I ap­plied I didn’t think I was go­ing to meet the aca­demic cri­te­ria any­way.”

For the past five years he has been sta­tioned at one of Syd­ney’s busiest sta­tions — Day Street in the city.

When Mr Price was on the verge of tak­ing his own life in 2014, he re­mem­bered Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt ap­proached him sim­ply as a “hu­man be­ing” with com­pas­sion and with­out judg­ment. For half an hour, Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt held onto Mr Price through the Harbour Bridge fence to stop him from falling or jump­ing.

“He talked about how his re­la­tion­ship with his wife had bro­ken down, he got into some drugs and he was just fed up with ev­ery­thing,” Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt said.

“I said to him ‘I am di­vorced my­self, I know ex­actly where you are com­ing from, I know it’s hard’.

“I said ‘but there is noth­ing here that we can’t fix or get you help for, and we re­ally want you to come back over’.”

Mr Price re­mem­bered feel­ing as though the of­fi­cer had his back.

“And I didn’t think that ex­isted. That is the sad thing about de­pres­sion and sui­ci­dal ideation,” Mr Price said.

“You think you’re alone and no one cares.”

For months Mr Price had been try­ing to put on a brave face in front of friends, fam­ily and col­leagues.

But be­hind closed doors, de­pres­sion en­gulfed him. He felt ashamed. He didn’t want to live any more. Within two min­utes of talk­ing to Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt on the bridge, Mr Price knew he had made the wrong de­ci­sion.

Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt talked him around be­fore he was even­tu­ally res­cued and taken to St Vin­cent’s Hospi­tal.

As he was wheeled into the emer­gency depart­ment on a stretcher that morn­ing, Mr Price turned to Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt and said: “I’ll buy you a beer one day for sav­ing my life”.

In late-2016, Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt and Mr Price met up for the first time since that har­row­ing morn­ing on the Harbour Bridge.

“It was a very spe­cial mo­ment. I got to ex­pe­ri­ence meet­ing the per­son that saved my life,” Mr Price said.

Last week, af­ter forg­ing their friend­ship in phone con­ver­sa­tions, Mr Price fi­nally bought Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt the beer he promised, at Ho­tel Steyne in Manly.

Po­lice of­fi­cer Arun Tre­vitt with Dan Price at Dar­ling Harbour today. Pic­ture: Sam Rut­tyn

Con­sta­ble Tre­vitt coaxes Mr PricePi backbk in­sid­eiid theth Harbour Bridge se­cu­rity fence in 2014. Pic­ture: Jeff Her­bert

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.