Brave@Heart Awards 2015: Police Scotland
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon presented awards for bravery to proud members of Police Scotland who went above and beyond the call of duty in their jobs.
PC Brian Tennant and Police Dog ‘Ozzy’
This constable responded to a call about a disturbance at a block of flats where a drunk man had assaulted a couple with a knife, fractured a gas pipe and threatened to ‘blow up’ the building. Concerned for this man’s own safety the police constable and his dog entered the flat.
On entering the man charged at them whilst holding a lighter ready to ignite the gas. Ignoring warnings and threats, the dog was released and tackled the man to the ground. The actions of the officer, and his dog, showed undoubted bravery to himself, the other residents and stopped extensive damage to the flats.
Sergeant Christopher Brain and Constable Christopher Harland
Two police officers arrived at a house engulfed in potentially deadly acrid smoke. Disregarding their own safety they entered the house and located a women who was responsible for the fire and managed to take her to safety. Once outside the woman revealed that her two young children were still inside.
The air was thick with smoke as the two officers re-entered the building to find the children. Breathing was difficult but the officers risked their own lives and managed to save this young family.
Detective Constable Bruce Kennedy and Temporary Detective Sergeant David Black
While out on patrol in an unmarked police car two police officers came across a man brandishing a knife at passing vehicles in an attempt to get to the drivers. Identifying himself as a police officer, he instructed the man to drop the knife but the man refused to do so and repeatedly shouted, “I’ll kill you”.
The other officer pulled up alongside repeating his colleagues command to drop the knife. Startled the man suddenly lunged at him with the knife through the gap in the window. In an attempt to escape the man tried to climb a wall but stumbled and the officer attempted to restrain him as he continued to strike out with the knife. Together the two officers managed to overpower and restrain this extremely aggressive man. In apprehending this violent man, the two officers placed the safety of the community ahead of their own.
Constables Norman Hill (pictured) and David McDowell
While on patrol alone this police officer came across two men fighting in the street. As he stopped the car and approached the men he noticed that one man was being repeatedly stabbed in the stomach. The officer drew his baton and pursued the man but unfortunately he ran off. On return the officer gave first aid to the victim whilst waiting for back up.
Unbeknown to the officer at the scene his colleague was in the area and caught the attacker. During this time the attacker dropped his knife and was later charged with attempted murder. The swift response and actions of the two officers meant there was no risk to the wider community.
Constable Barry Carlin responded to a call late at night that a woman had been spotted in the River Esk, waist deep and losing consciousness due to the freezing cold water of the river. The officer attached himself to a rescue line and swam out to her aid. Due to his quick thinking he managed to pull the lady to safety which ultimately saved her life.
Sergeant Lesley Winter and Constable Kirsten Kiddie
Smoke was billowing out of the windows of a first floor flat within a supported living accommodation for disabled residents. The two responding officers on the scene found two disorientated residents, one who had sustained serious burns and both under the influence of alcohol. As the fire raged on, the two officers pulled the residents to safety and then led another seven from neighbouring flats to a safe point. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said that the efforts of these two officers not only prevented further damage but saved many lives.
Constable Derek Thow
On a wild, wet and windy January night this police officer was responding to a call that a man had been seen in the rough sea at Stonehaven Harbour. The officer entered the water and in spite of the conditions managed to take a hold of the man who by this time was unconscious and removed him from the water. On returning to shore he then started chest compressions until the casualty was taken to hospital by a rescue helicopter. Regrettably the victim succumbed to his injuries the following morning however, the officers selfless bravery was instrumental in allowing all possible opportunities to be taken to save this man’s life.
Constables Dale Graham and Mark Aldridge
In response to a report that a man was sitting slumped over in the water at Kirkcudbright Harbour the answering officers noticed that separating them and the man was quick sand. The man began to panic as his legs were trapped. The officers decided to attempt a rescue. By holding on to each other they were able to reach the man and pull him to safety. The two officers’ quick decision-making abilities and teamwork undoubtedly helped to rescue the man safely.
Constables Jennifer Ferguson and Adam Bailey
Two police officers were responding to a report of people trapped in a house fire. On arrival the officers entered the smoke-filled building where they escorted a heavily intoxicated and confused man from the property. The officers returned to the house where they located an unconscious woman who was heavily under the influence of alcohol and a two-year-old child. One officer immediately wrapped the child in a blanket and took her outside whist their colleague roused the woman who was later treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. If it wasn’t for the courage of these two officers all three people may not have survived.
Constables Mark Tyson and Stewart Reid
Whilst out on patrol in the Drumchapel area of Glasgow in the early hours of the morning two police officers noticed that there was smoke coming from a first-floor window. Once in the block of flats the officers could hear the noise of the smoke alarm and began to evacuate residents, including a number of young children. The officers went back into the building and managed to waken the occupant of the flat that was on fire and led him to safety. The courage , bravery and commitment of the two officers ensured the safety of all the residents and prevented a potential tragedy.
Constable John Cuthbert
Responding to a report of a break-in to a garden shed the police officer disturbed the criminal who then ran off and jumped into a nearby canal to avoid capture. Immediately, he got into difficulty and disappeared under the water. Realising that the man was in danger the officer removed his protection gear and went to his rescue. He managed to pull the man to safety even though he was unconscious. The man was taken to hospital and later discharged into police custody. Had it not been for this officer’s quick and selfless actions this man may well have drowned.
Constables Christopher Pile and Donald Sinclair
Occupants of a house on a remote island off the west coast of Scotland called the police after a man had entered their house and became threatening and abusive. The man, was sitting at the top the stairs and threatened both officers with a samurai sword and baseball bat. He became very agitated and barricaded himself in the bedroom. After an hour-long negotiation, he calmed down and the officers were able to take him in to custody. The calm and careful approach taken by the two officers turned a very tense and volatile situation into one where no injuries occurred.
Constables Keith Leinster and Craig Donaldson
Two police constables answered a call where a man had been attacked with a glass bottle. On arrival, they saw the attacker had a number of large knives, he charged towards the officers, and paramedics who had also been called, waving the knives. While making a hasty retreat one of the paramedics stumbled and fell to the ground. One officer grabbed hold of the paramedic who was now in serious danger and pulled him to his feet. The other officer stepped in to block the attacker’s access and used his CS spray, causing the man to stop in his tracks and drop the knives. The man struggled and tried to resist arrest but he was eventually brought under control. By their selfless dedication and commitment the two officers put their own lives at risk to protect others and apprehend a violent and dangerous criminal.
Constable Ian McArthur
Whilst driving south over the Forth Road Bridge towards Edinburgh a police officer recognised a woman who had been reported missing. As he slowed down the woman ran between the road and the footpath before climbing over the railings. The officer got out of his vehicle and pursued the woman. As the woman was clearly in an agitated state the officer engaged in conversation whilst moving closer to her. Suddenly, without warning, she started to fall backwards and the officer grabbed hold and managed to pull her back. With help from a member of the public they were able to get the woman to safety. Thanks to the officer’s quick thinking, ability to communicate and calm approach a life was saved.
Constable Kairen Swan
In the early hours of the morning an officer was off duty driving home from work when she saw a figure standing on the wrong side of the railings of a remote Clydeside bridge. The 17-year-old young man, who had been reported missing by his family, was clearly distressed and prepared to put his life in danger. The officer engaged him in conversation and eventually managed to persuade him to climb over onto the safe side of the barrier. If the young man had jumped into the River Clyde it is extremely unlikely that he would have survived. The officer’s calm approach and good communication skills undoubtedly saved this young man’s life.
Constables Daniel Garven, Louise Spence and Gary Cameron (not pictured)
A distressed man called the police to say that he was on the Tay Bridge armed with a knife and prepared to harm himself. As these three police officers tried to talk the man down he became more intent on harming himself and climbed beneath the bridge to a ledge where he started to stab himself in the face. Despite the 120 feet drop onto dry land the officers climbed over the edge onto scaffolding. The conditions were treacherous due to bad weather however their actions meant the rescue was a success.
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