AN officer who stared down the barrel of a gun four days into the job, an officer who got stung fifty times by hornets during a treetop rescue and an officer who assisted paramedics with keyhole surgery were among those recognised during a special commendations ceremony at Police HQ on Friday, 25 May.
Friends, family and special guests looked on as Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh paid tribute to seven officers and three members of the public for acts of “immense bravery, courage and dedication”.
Pc Mark Weeble was commended for attempting to save the life of a man involved in a car accident in July 2016. Mark was the first officer on the scene of the accident in Waltham Abbey and immediately performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived.
Only a few weeks later, he went to another accident in Tilbury where he rescued a woman from a car and gave her CPR for 30 minutes. The officer then assisted the air ambulance doctor with open heart surgery at the side of a busy road.
In January 2017, DS Natalie Rooney pursued a violent offender of a domestic abuse incident. She chased the man down eight flights of stairs before managing to catch up with him. Although she believed the man to be armed with a weapon, Natalie tackled and restrained him without a thought for her own safety.
In September 2016, DC Mark Miller went to an incident in Stanford Le Hope where a man was threatening to harm himself. Mark climbed a tree to speak to the man and despite being stung over 50 times by a hornet, was able to talk him down. Although in severe pain he gained the man’s trust and got him to a place of safety.
In May 2016, Pc Richard Marsh was helping to search for a high risk missing person threatening to harm himself. Richard used his extensive knowledge of the local area to locate the man and found him covered in petrol, holding a box of matches. Without hesitation for his own safety, Richard intervened and persuaded him to get help from paramedics.
A member of public, Mr Ashley Jones and one of our officers were commended for their dedication and commitment whilst saving the life of a man who had suffered a heart attack. Ashley spotted the man on the ground and immediately started CPR, working alongside the officer for 40 minutes. The man was rushed to hospital where he made a full recovery. In recognition of their actions, they received an award from the Royal Humane Society.
Pc Matt Harkness was commended with two members of the public, Adrian Stevens and Mechelle Todd, for helping to save the life of a man involved in a car accident in January 2016.
Mechelle, an office manager from Fordham, was the first person to stop at the scene of the accident in West Bergholt and immediately called 999. Pc Harkness arrived within minutes and, after realising the man had stopped breathing, began commencing CPR.
Pc Harkness was joined by a second member of the public, Adrian Stevens, who assisted with providing treatment. Working together the pair managed to resuscitate him three times. Firearms officers Pc Coe, Pc Oats, Pc Nolan and Pc Holt arrived to assist with vital chest compressions and a defibrillator. The man was taken by air ambulance to hospital where he remained in a medically induced coma for just over a week before stablising.
In December 2016, Pc Avive Martin and Pc Nick Hayter attended a burglary in progress. At the time, Avive was a trainee officer and only four days into her new job. During the incident, the offender emerged from the house and threatened Avive with a handgun. He shouted at her to get on the floor but she stood her ground. Avive was commended for her dedication, professionalism, bravery and perseverance during a potentially life threatening incident.
Addressing the group, Chief Constable Kavanagh said: “These commendations represent the best traditions of British policing and we have heard some remarkable stories from brave men and women who have gone that extra mile; not because they expect a thank you, but because they know it’s the right thing to do.
“Every day our officers make immense sacrifices; there will be occasions where they might miss dinner, school open evenings or special anniversaries. Today is not only about recognising their bravery and dedication, but it is a chance to say thank you to their loved ones and family, whose support is so important.”
The ceremony was also attended by Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. Mr Hirst said: “It’s a real privilege to be part of today’s commendations and I would like to say a heartfelt thank you on behalf of the people of Essex.
“I’ve been out with officers on patrol and have seen first-hand some of the amazing things that take place. These officers and members of public have shown remarkable bravery and courage in the face of adversity.”