A North Yorkshire police officer who helped to save a man’s life was himself given life-saving first aid a month later.
The two incidents highlight how useful first aid training is and how it can be the difference between life and death.
The officer, his colleague and the man who saved him, have all been presented with Royal Humane Society awards for their actions during the unrelated incidents.
In the first incident, in September 2021, PCs Neil Duffy and Louisa Simpson responded to a report from a caller who was concerned for the safety of a man who intended to harm himself.
Neil and Louisa arrived at the scene with their team colleagues and forced entry into the property.
Louisa found the man with serious lacerations to his arms. He was distressed and upset but Neil and Louisa talked to him, reassured him and explained exactly what they were going to do and why.
They both quickly recognised the need for a tourniquet and urgent tactical medical intervention (known as Tac-Med) to save the man’s life.
Louisa applied a tourniquet while being advised by Neil.
They both kept up communication with the man, reassuring and supporting him throughout. Once the tourniquet and bandages were applied, Neil helped the man keep his arm in the air to minimise blood loss.
The rest of the team then took the man to hospital for treatment.
A month later, Neil was on the receiving end of life-saving first aid himself.
While he was off duty and picking his car up from a garage in Northallerton, Neil collapsed, hit his head on a glass door, fell to the floor and stopped breathing.
The director of the garage, Ant Eaton, immediately sprung into action, called an ambulance and began first aid. For ten minutes Ant performed CPR on Neil, before a paramedic arrived.
Another officer, who was on duty nearby, saw the paramedic arrive.
Concerned that the paramedic was attending an emergency on his own, he approached the scene of the incident to see if his assistance was needed and was shocked to find it was his long-term friend and off-duty colleague who was unconscious on the floor.
The paramedic confirmed Neil had had a heart attack and used a defibrillator to restart his heart, assisted by Neil’s on-duty colleague.
Neil was taken to hospital where he was in a coma for two days. Thankfully and thanks to Ant’s incredible quick-thinking, Neil made a full recovery and quickly returned to duty.
Ant received a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate for saving Neil’s life.
All three life-savers were presented with their certificates by Chief Constable Lisa Winward earlier this week. Neil’s on-duty colleague, who came to the assistance of the paramedic will receive a Chief Constable’s commendation for compassion later this year.
Chief Constable Winward said: “It is incredible to think that just a month after Neil and Louisa were using their skills to save someone else’s life, Neil’s life was saved thanks to Ant’s first aid training. It really does bring the significance of learning first aid into clear focus, and how it can literally mean the difference between life and death.
The Royal Humane Society
The Royal Humane Society awards medals, testimonials and certificates for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations.
These medals, testimonials and certificates are presented throughout the year with no limit to the number given.
All awards can be awarded posthumously as ‘In Memoriam’ medals or as an ‘In Memoriam’ Testimonial.
For consideration for a certificate of commendation, the nominee(s) must have made a significant contribution to the saving or attempted saving of a life, though their own life was not necessarily at risk.