Five Lancashire Police officers have won at the National Police Bravery Awards 2023
Five Lancashire police officers who jumped into a river to do everything they could to save a woman who had sadly tried to take their own life have won at the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.
PCs Sam Stinchon, Taylor Gregson, Katherine Maxwell, Mike McMahon and Vanessa Fowler all went above and beyond to try to help the woman who had gone into the water.
On 21 July last year at around 9pm, police received a call from a distressed male in Accrington stating their mother had just ended their life.
Her body was now in the river, and upon officers’ arrival, they were confronted with a difficult situation as they were met with a high wall with a 10-foot drop on the other side of it into the river once they made their way through the grassland.
PC Sam Stinchon and PC Taylor Gregson were first on scene, and they discovered a male in the river holding the victim above the water.
Without any thought for themselves and concentrating solely on helping the female, PCs Stinchon and Gregson climbed over the wall and jumped into the river, wading over immediately to the male and moved the female across to the other side of the river where it was much shallower, and the victim could be laid above the water for them to commence CPR as she was unresponsive and not breathing.
PCs Katherine Maxwell and Mike McMahon arrived on scene shortly after and both went over the wall into the river, bringing extensive first aid equipment carried by the armed response officers. Both PC Maxwell and PC McMahon assisted with providing first aid and CPR to the victim.
PC Vanessa Fowler then arrived on scene and entered the water further assisting in the administration of CPR before other emergency service workers arrived to support the rescue efforts.
After performing CPR for 13 minutes, her pulse was obtained, however, she was not breathing at this time.
A multi-agency approach and plan was established on how she was going to be taken out of the river in the safest manner as it was inaccessible due to the 10-foot wall either side.
The Fire and Rescue Service mobilised an aerial platform which was lowered into the river where she was transferred to a stretcher and placed onto the aerial platform. The platform was then raised back over the road where she was transferred to a stretcher and into the waiting ambulance where she was transported to hospital.
She was in a medically induced coma in Royal Blackburn Hospital for 10 days for assessments. Sadly, she passed away in hospital several days later, but was given every chance to survive thanks to the phenomenal effort, courage, bravery, and professionalism shown by all the officers.
Rachel Hanley, Chair of Lancashire Police Federation, said: “These officers showed immense courage and bravery by entering the water. We all are rightly proud of them; they represent the very best of Lancashire Constabulary.”
Lancashire Constabulary Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: ““I am hugely proud of our officers who have deservedly been recognised by winning this award. The actions of these officers epitomise everything that is great about our police officers. They have shown courage and selflessness in trying to save the life of somebody in crisis. In policing, officers are faced with challenging situations every day, and this is one such example of heroic actions of our officers. The other nominations were all of incredibly high standard, so winning the award is exceptional. They have shown the ultimate professionalism and the true spirit of public service, and they should rightly be extremely proud of this achievement.”
Hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, and sponsored by Police Mutual, the annual awards honour the bravest of our brave police officers for displaying outstanding commitment to their role as police officers while on or off duty.
The winners were selected from 90 impressive nominations received from 36 forces of eight regions in England and Wales.