Honouring our police heroes: Life saving officers recognised at awards

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Detectives, police officers, PCSOs and members of the public were honoured at the Wakefield District Police Awards 2018.

Among those recognised this year were two officers who saved the life of a man taken ill at the wheel of his car, and an off-duty officer who protected a child from a violent drunk man. Chief Superintendent Paul Hepworth of Wakefield District Police said: “The District Awards night provides us with an opportunity to recognise those who continue to go above and beyond to keep people safe, and I’ve been very pleased to see some exceptional work from our officers.

“In what remain difficult and stretched times in policing, it is really heartening for me to see our officers and staff continue to display the qualities we all expect and far more to protect those who need our help.” More than 30 officers were awarded a Divisional Commander’s Commendation at the awards e earleir this month.

Officers whose quick-thinking saved the life of a man who suffered a stroke at the wheel of his car were recognised.

The man was passing Havertop Police Station, Normanton, and phoned the emergency services saying he was feeling unwell.

Response officers PC Jessica Beeton and PC Joseph Ellis, who were preparing for the end of their night shift, were contacted, and headed outside, where they immediately saw him slumped over the wheel of his car.

“We ran over and when opening the car door he nearly fell out,” PC Beeton said. “We managed to get him sat up but he couldn’t speak, so it was difficult to work out what was happening to him.

“We had both seen the signs of a stroke in our personal lives and quickly decided this was our main concern.

“We knew that we needed to get him urgent medical treatment.”

Unsure that they had the time to wait for an ambulance to be dispatched, the officers made the decision to take the man to Doncaster Hospital, where his care was taken over by nursing staff.

The officers had not expected to hear from the man again, and were surprised to be contacted by email a few weeks later. They have since met with the man, who made a full recovery.

PC Beeton said: “It was great to hear that he was doing well because after something like this happens you start asking yourself if you did the right thing, or if there was anything you could have done better.”

“We are both very humbled to get the award for helping,” said PC Ellis.”We were just doing our job and we know any other officer would have done the same if they had found themselves in the same situation.”

PC Luke Davis and his wife, Sarah, were commended for their “public spiritedness” in confronting a violent man and safeguarding a neglected child.

In March of this year, PC Davis and his wife were passing through Thornes Park when they noticed a man with a young toddler. The man had been drinking and posed a risk to a child.

When confronted, the man became aggressive and assaulted PC Davis, who then tackled the suspect to the ground.

His wife comforted the child, who had become hysterical, until support arrived at the scene. The couple then accompanied the child to A&E, where he was assessed and found to be healthy.

Awards were also given to officers and members of the public who saved the life of a runner who collapsed while running the Pontefract Half Marathon.

Mark Weaver, 49, was less than three miles into the race when he collapsed on Pontefract Road, Featherstone, during the race on Sunday, September 30.

Off-duty nurses Kirsty Shepherd and Laura Royston, nurse carer Tom Camponi and off-duty paramedic Rachel Ely responded to calls for help, and provided CPR to Mr Weaver, who was not breathing.

Mr Weaver was taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where doctors fitted a stent in his heart to help bloodflow. He also suffered a collapsed lung.

His wife, Diane, said that without the quick response of the officers and members of the public, he would not have survived.