Belfast Telegraph

Royal Humane Society honours hero PSNI officers who saved driver's life

The four officers - Constables English, McClintock, McKenna, and Russell - have all been awarded Royal Humane Society resuscitation certificates
The four officers - Constables English, McClintock, McKenna, and Russell - have all been awarded Royal Humane Society resuscitation certificates

By Staff Reporter

Four police officers who fought a kerbside battle in Newry to bring a motorist back from the brink of death have been awarded top national honours.

The horror incident happened in Monaghan Street on September 21 last year in busy traffic when the motorist crashed his car after collapsing at the wheel.

The first two officers on the scene used their car to block traffic and protect the crashed vehicle.

Then they immediately began to administer cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Two more officers arrived with a defibrillator and used this to administer shocks to the man. On top of their lifesaving actions, the police also had to direct traffic and cope with a growing crowd of people.

Now the four officers - Constables English, McClintock, McKenna, and Russell - have all been awarded Royal Humane Society resuscitation certificates.

The motorist, who is from Kilcoo, was taken to hospital where he was put into an induced coma for two days and went on to make a full recovery.

In addition to the awards they are to receive, the four officers have also won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Humane Society.

As he announced the awards at the society's London headquarters, he said: "All four officers worked as a team and did a brilliant job.

"They were on the spot rapidly, which is essential if a person is to be saved in circumstances such as these, and went into action to resuscitate him at once.

"This was despite the problems with a gathering crowd and having to control traffic at a busy time of day.

"Had they not arrived when they did and taken the action they did, the motorist would almost certainly not have survived.

"Instead we're told that he's now living a 'full and busy life' again. What a wonderful outcome.

"The four officers all richly deserve the awards they are to receive."

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards but it is expected to take place in the near future.

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. The Queen is its patron and its president is Princess Alexandra. It is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.

It was founded in 1774 by two of the day's eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.

However, as it emerged that numerous people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save others, the awards scheme evolved, and today a variety of awards are made depending on the bravery involved.

The society also awards non-healthcare professionals who perform a successful resuscitation. Since it was set up, the society has considered over 87,000 cases and made over 200,000 awards. The society is a registered charity which receives no public funding and is dependent on voluntary donations.

It was one of a select number of organisations to receive a donation from The Patron's Fund, which was set up to acknowledge work done by organisations of which the Queen is the patron to mark her 90th birthday.

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