Eighteen North Yorkshire Police officers receive bravery awards - including an inspector who saved a man's partially severed hand after a road accident

Pc Heidi McLoughlin and PC Jordan DrummondPc Heidi McLoughlin and PC Jordan Drummond
Pc Heidi McLoughlin and PC Jordan Drummond
Eighteen North Yorkshire Police officers have been honoured for their courage by the Royal Humane Society in 2020.

The charity's awards are given to those who have saved or attempted to save the life of another.

The officers were recognised for their work at incidents they attended in 2019 and 2018, although their presentation ceremonies have had to be postponed.

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They include an inspector who provided first aid at the scene of a serious collision in Selby which resulted in a man's hand being partially severed. The off-duty officer's actions meant that surgeons were later able to save the victim's hand, and medical staff said he would have bled to death in front of a small child travelling in the car with him had the inspector not given assistance.

PC Gemma ChurchwardPC Gemma Churchward
PC Gemma Churchward

Other commendations were given to officers who resuscitated a driver who suffered a heart attack at the wheel, who pulled a man from the River Foss in York, and who helped a teenager who had self-harmed.

One of the officers, Sergeant Tom Ibbetson, from Thirsk, was commended for his involvement in two separate incidents.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward, who presented the officers with their certificates individually in lieu of a ceremony, said: “Our officers and staff have acted with compassion, humanity and professionalism in difficult and distressing circumstances.

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"I am proud of them and pleased that the Royal Humane Society has recognised their actions. It is important to acknowledge the unseen work of our officers. I also want to acknowledge and thank the members of the public who have faced very distressing situations, for their quick and selfless actions.”

The off-duty inspector who saved a man's hand after a road accident

The inspector, who did not wish to be named, was driving home after his shift when he came across a car that had crashed into a tree near Selby.

He used his vehicles to protect the scene, and discovered that the driver had suffered life-threatening injuries, including catastrophic blood loss from a partially severed hand. A small child travelling with him had minor cuts and bruises.

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He applied a tourniquet to the man's hand and managed to slow the bleeding, working in almost complete darkness.

Medical staff later said that his actions had prevented the man from bleeding to death in front of the child. Surgeons were able to reattach his hand.

The officers who resuscitated a driver who collapsed at the wheel

York-based PC Andrew Pearson and Sergeant Tom Ibbetson, from Thirsk, were on patrol when they were flagged down by a distressed woman who was concerned about her husband's erratic driving.

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He had undergone surgery a few days previously, and was driving to hospital with his wife, who decided to get out of the car as she felt unsafe. Her husband continued his journey.

The officers found the man in the car nearby, and he suffered a seizure and stopped breathing while they were speaking to him.

Sergeant Ibbetson carried out chest compressions while PC Pearson administered air to his mouth via an air bag. Other officers arrived and flagged down a passing paramedic who informed them that the man was having a heart attack.

They continued to give CPR while the paramedic prepared their equipment, during which time the man regained consciousness. He was taken to hospital by ambulance where he remained overnight and was discharged the following day.

Both the officers’ actions saved the man’s life.

Five officers who helped a man who fell and struck his head

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Sergeant Ibbetson was commended again along with four colleagues from the firearms support unit who saved a man who fell and hit his head on a footpath in Sherburn-in-Elmet.

The injured man’s friend flagged PCSO James Hudson and another PCSO down in the street after he had collapsed.

Officers found the man unconscious and not breathing. The two PCSOs carried out CPR on him by themselves until four of their colleagues arrived. Specialist firearms officers are all trained in advanced first aid.

A paramedic arrived at the scene a short time later and the officers continued CPR for over 40 minutes to support the medical staff and allow them to carry out other treatment.

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It was noted by the clinical supervisor on scene that he was impressed with the knowledge and competence of the officers at scene, giving his staff the opportunity to administer drugs to give him the maximum opportunity of survival.

The man was taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma, but very sadly he later died from his injuries.

The man who was pulled from a river after a night out in York

Sergeant Mark Grimes, PCSO Grenville Dowson and a colleague who did not wish to be identified were honoured for rescuing a man from the River Foss in York.

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On a night in December 2019, he entered the water following an argument with his partner and before long got into difficulty and was unable to get out.

The officers arrived at the scene and after negotiating a gate, a fence and thorn bushes, reached the man, who was submerged in the water. His partner, who was becoming increasingly distressed, was holding onto him through a fence.

Despite the cold conditions and a metal fence being in the way, the officers worked together to get the man out of the water. They first lifted him onto a small ledge, which although still in the water, allowed them to secure him so he was not fully submerged. They then worked together to lift the man up and over the fence and to safety.

The man was taken to hospital and made a full recovery.

The teenager who had self-harmed

Four police officers and three members of the public were all commended for resuscitating a teenager who had harmed themselves, using CPR and a defibrillator.

Four officers who saved a man who tried to end his own life

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Four officers from Selby received awards for coming to the aid of a man in mental distress.

PCs Heidi McLoughlin, Jordan Drummond, Gemma Churchward and Rebecca Easton were each awarded a Certificate of Commendation.

The officers were called to a property in the Selby district on a night in the summer of 2019 after the man indicated that he wanted to end his life

They began talking to the man to encourage him to come to safety. They acted with great care and consideration in difficult circumstances and what was a distressing and volatile situation, while also considering the welfare of the family members who were present.

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After talking with the man, he suddenly jumped from a height. The officers acted immediately, taking hold of him and removing a ligature from around his neck.

The swiftness of the officer’s actions ensured the man did not suffer any serious injuries. The ambulance service was called to the scene and man was transferred into the care of healthcare professionals.