Hertsmere police officers given Royal Humane Society awards

PUBLISHED: 13:04 10 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:04 10 November 2016

From left to right: Captain Kevin Shaw, commanding officer of Northwood, PC Matthew Knowles, PC John Phelan and Hertfordshire Constabulary's Chief Constable Charlie Hall

From left to right: Captain Kevin Shaw, commanding officer of Northwood, PC Matthew Knowles, PC John Phelan and Hertfordshire Constabulary's Chief Constable Charlie Hall

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Two police officers who work in Potters Bar have been awarded for helping save a woman's life in Borehamwood.

PCs John Phelan and Matthew Knowles, who work in the Hertsmere Community Safety Partnership which includes Potters Bar, Bushey and Borehamwood, were presented with Royal Humane Society awards for their role in saving a woman in cardiac arrest.

They were presented with the award, which is given for acts of bravery in the saving of human life or the restoration of life by resuscitation, by Captain Kevin Shaw, commanding officer at Northwood.

The award was presented on Tuesday, November 8 at Police Headquarters in Borehamwood.

PCs Phelan and Knowles were called to an address in Borehamwood at 6pm on February 2, 2016, to reports of a woman in her 40s who was in cardiac arrest.

They arrived shortly after the paramedics to find the woman collapsed face down in a bedroom in a confined space between a cot and a wardrobe.

Colleagues PC Pete Glover and PC Yaser Khan also attended and helped lift the cot onto the bed to make some space for everyone to work. PC Phelan was asked to take over CPR while the paramedics set up equipment, and PC Knowles found some medication to show the paramedics.

After 10 minutes of CPR by PC Phelan, PC Knowles took over. He continued for a similar amount of time until one of the paramedics said that the lady had a pulse and that he should stop CPR.

Both officers continued to assist by holding IV drips and administering fluids until they were ready to transfer the woman to hospital.

PC Knowles said: “It was hard work doing CPR but adrenalin takes over and you want the best outcome. Hearing her pulse returning was very emotional and hugely satisfying.

“Sadly she died three days later but we gave her family the opportunity to say their goodbyes.”

PC Glover and PC Khan supported the woman’s husband whilst trying to find out as much information about her health as possible, and kept her three children out of the way while their colleagues and paramedics worked to save their mum’s life.

Hertsmere Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe said: “I am extremely proud of all the officers involved in helping to prolong the life of this mother.

“Without their help, she would have died suddenly. They greatly assisted the paramedics and worked in extremely difficult circumstances over a long period of time.

“Their hard work and commitment paid off and they managed to resuscitate the lady, enabling her family to spend precious time with her before she passed away.”

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