• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

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Lifesavers honoured with top awards

POLICE officers and members of the public who saved two people’s lives have been awarded top lifesaving honours.

A special presentation was held at Durham Constabulary headquarters yesterday (November 30) where the three police officers and three members of the public were presented with Royal Humane Society awards for helping to save the lives of two people in two separate incidents.

Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, who presented the awards, said: “I am honoured to give these commendations from the Royal Humane Society today. The actions of these people have, without a doubt, saved the lives of two people and ultimately made a huge difference to not only their lives, but to the lives of their families and friends.

“It takes someone truly extraordinary to step forward and have the compassion and ability to provide resuscitation in a time of crisis.”

On December 24 last year, a 48-year-old woman was shopping in Sainsbury’s at the Arnison Centre, in Durham, with her husband and three children when she collapsed in the foyer, suffering a cardiac arrest.

The alarm was raised by staff, and Janet Atkinson, a first responder at the supermarket, rushed to her aid. She was also joined by her colleague, Lee White, and PCSO Deborah Sadler-Watson who quickly discovered the woman was not breathing.

They began to administer CPR when off-duty paramedic Stephen Tate saw what was going on and took over as lead first aider.

They worked on the woman and used a defibrillator until paramedics arrived. She was then airlifted by the Great North Air Ambulance to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where she received urgent medical attention before recovering at home.

It was discovered that the cardiac arrest was caused by a blood clot which was blocking the supply of blood to her heart. This had been dislodged by the CPR allowing her heart to work again, and ultimately saved her life.

In a separate incident on October 15 last year, PCs Michael Hall and Ellis Hutchinson were called to the Queens Head pub in Willington following reports of a man being assaulted.

On arrival, they found a man who said he had been punched and had fallen to the ground, hitting the back of his head on the floor.

An ambulance had been called, but could not attend immediately due to a high volume of calls.

Realising the man needed medical assistance, the officers decided to take him to hospital themselves. On the journey there, he slumped down in his seat, became unresponsive and had stopped breathing.

The officers immediately stopped the car and administered CPR. Thankfully they managed to revive him and take him to University Hospital of North Durham where he made a full recovery and was discharged the following day.