Members of the public have been rewarded for their bravery, receiving Royal Humane Society Awards from Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Lisa Winward.
On 25 November 2021, members of the public came to North Yorkshire Police Headquarters, Northallerton, to receive their Royal Humane Society awards after they each helped save another person’s life.
The Royal Humane Society awards medals, testimonials and certificates throughout the year across the country for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations.
Read their incredible stories below.
On 22 June 2020, Kevin King came across an accident at the Grimston Bar roundabout in York.
A car had been hit by a tractor and ended up on its side by roundabout. The driver escaped but the passenger was still trapped inside the car – suspended upside down by her seat belt.
Kevin saw this and immediately stopped to help. He climbed into the vehicle on his hands and knees and held the injured woman up, using his back as a platform while he remained on all fours bearing her weight.
He remained in this risky position for over 30 minutes, keeping her still and preventing further injury.
Our colleagues from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service arrived, made the physically unstable car safe and managed to free the woman by cutting the car. And with thanks to Kevin, she survived her injuries.
Kevin has been awarded a testimonial on vellum for his bravery at the incident.
14-year-old Robert has been awarded a certificate of commendation for his action at a farm in Crayke in York on 26 June 2020.
Robert’s grandfather was on the farm when some heavy cattle gates had fallen on top of him, pinning him to a wall by his head and throat.
Robert found his grandfather and managed to partially lift the gates away from his head. He then wedged a wooden strut in between the gates and the wall to release the pressure and give the man space to breathe.
Whilst doing this he also managed to call the emergency services. His grandfather was struggling to breathe and was bleeding from his head and neck.
An unknown person came to help just before the emergency services arrived and removed the gates. Robert’s grandfather was taken to hospital for further treatment
Surviving his injuries, he joined Robert to watch him receive his well-deserved award.
Jon Kama and Chris Parkin
Jon was awarded a resuscitation certificate for an act of bravery at Doncaster Road in Selby on 23 October 2020.
He was awarded this certificate alongside Chris who also received his award, but sadly was unable to join us for the ceremony.
Jon received his award after a man crashed his car into another vehicle and then collided with a public house sign.
Jon was passing in his own vehicle and saw the injured man clutching his chest. He stopped and ran back to help. He identified himself as an off-duty fire fighter and took charge of the incident.
He could see that the man was turning blue, so he decided to extract him from the vehicle.
Chris ran to a nearby petrol station for a defibrillator. Jon laid the man on his back and commenced chest compressions.
Chris returned with a defibrillator and then he took over CPR as Jon attached the device.
An off-duty paramedic then arrived and took over compressions from them both and applied shocks.
Three shocks were delivered, and CPR continued. After 15 minutes and five cycles of compressions the ambulance arrived.
Whilst the man did not recover consciousness at the scene, he was taken to hospital and following treatment, returned home a week later.
Steph and Dean Spray
Steph and Dean received their award after an incident on 11 August 2019 took place on a bridge above the A64 in Malton.
A female was seen by members of the public climbing the wrong side of the barriers on the bridge over on the A64 near Malton.
The A64 came to a standstill on both sides, and we received a number of calls from concerned members of the public who believed the female was about to jump.
Dean approached the female and tried to engage with her, but thinking that she was about to jump, took hold of her and kept hold of her.
He was assisted by his wife Steph and PC Emily Jackson who are both West Yorkshire Police Officers, although off duty at the time. Emily’s partner Craig Rushworth also helped.
They were also assisted by another member of the public, John Best. They all remained with the female until we arrived at the scene.
When Police Community Support Officer Geoffrey Wynn and PC Holly Hornsby arrived at the incident, Geoffrey took over from Dean by taking hold of the woman to prevent her from jumping and Holly engaged with her in an attempt to calm her down.
Shortly after, our colleagues at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service arrived and a plan was put in place to get the woman down safely and the help she needed.
Emily received her award after performing CPR on man who she noticed was in distress on the side of the A170 in Snainton on 31 August 2019.
As Emily was driving along the road, she noticed a man at the side of the road trying to flag someone down.
She pulled over and he informed her that his friend Paul had taken a turn for the worst whilst on his work break drinking some coffee in his parked van before he started struggling to breathe.
After seeing Paul, Emily immediately saw that he was having a seizure and called 999 right away.
She completed all the actions passed to her by the 999 operator and pre-emptively identified the need for CPR based on Paul’s deteriorating condition.
Emily told the male who flagged her down to get Paul out of the van and lay him on the floor. On updating the 999 operator of her actions she then proceeded with CPR, assisted by the 999 operator.
Whilst Emily initiated the CPR, she knew that the man who had flagged her down needed to take over to maintain the effectiveness of it.
As he took over, some other people had begun to stop and assist – between four of them, they conducted CPR until an ambulance arrived and took over.
Emily’s initial actions no doubt saved Paul's life.
Andrea Newell and Emma Lamb
On 2 October 2019, we received numerous calls into our force control room reporting a female, who matched the description of a high-risk missing person, was stood on a bridge parapet, some 25m above the busy A64 dual carriageway on Stockton Lane in York.
PC Michael Rowan and PC Tracy Sewell were immediately dispatched to the scene and upon arrival they found that the woman was being comforted by Andrea and Emma and was no longer stood on the 4ft high concrete parapet.
Accounts obtained from those at the scene, describe how Andrea, Emma and an unidentified man had stopped their vehicles and taken hold of the woman to prevent her from falling until medical professionals arrived at the scene.
Had it not been for the actions of Andrea, Emma and the unidentified male, there was a very real possibility that the missing person would have fallen from the bridge and suffered life threatening injuries along with a significant impact on any witnesses and any motorists on the A64 who may have also been hit or had to take immediate avoiding action. Their intervention was timely and brave.
David Ward, Matthew Robinson and Phillip Bennett
On 28 July 2019, a male had entered the sea at Scarborough beach.
Matthew, who sadly could not join us for the award ceremony, was walking along the beach when he saw the man 15 metres out to sea, floating in the water.
He asked his partner to call 999, whilst he waded through the water to find the man. The man was no longer breathing and so Matthew pulled him out of the sea and took him back to the beach.
Noticing another couple further down the beach, Matthew called them for help.
David Ward heard this call and rushed to Matthew’s assistance and both men began CPR and chest compressions to an attempt to resuscitate the man who had drowned.
They were also joined by a third member of the public, Phillip, so that all three took turns doing chest compressions until paramedics arrived.
Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have a happy ending as the man succumbed to his injuries.
However, the bravery of Matthew, David and Phillip is commendable.
Our thoughts are with the family of the man who died and hope that they can take some comfort from knowing that everything possible was done to save him.
A huge well done and thank you to everyone who has received their awards and took part in these life changing stories. Their actions are incredibly brave and truly appreciated.