Two officers have been praised for their quick actions in saving the life of a young child as they were on patrol in Middlesbrough town centre.
On Friday 6th February Acting Sergeant Gareth Chalmers and PC Ian Clyburn were making their way through Marks & Spencer in the Hill Street Centre on shoplifting patrols as part of Operation Boost.
Suddenly a woman thrust her 18-month-old child into the arms of A/Sgt Chalmers. The child was limp and grey and clearly choking.
Immediately A/Sergeant Chalmers administered first aid to the child, whilst PC Clyburn comforted his mother, who was clearly extremely distressed.
The officer carried out a number of ‘back slaps’ resulting in the child’s airway clearing. He was then taken to James Cook University Hospital and later released following observation.
A/Sgt Gareth Chalmers said: “The incident happened so fast and a large crowd of people gathered around us very quickly as we tried to deal with the situation. The first aid training that we receive as officers meant that we were prepared for such an incident; however, it was something that we had never dealt with before in real-life. What happened didn’t really sink in until the following day but I’m just pleased that the boy is back to full health.”
PC Ian Clyburn said: “The child was limp and grey, he looked very poorly and his mum was understandably frantic. I tried to calm her down and make some space for Gareth to administer first aid to the child whilst we waited for paramedics to arrive. Thankfully they arrived on the scene pretty quickly and I think they were also pleased to see that he was breathing again. We were all relieved that there was a positive outcome.”
Supervising officer Inspector Kath Vickers, said: “These officers acted quickly and, although they are trained to deal with situations under intense pressure, nothing could have prepared them for the sudden circumstances that they found themselves in.
“Their actions have no doubt saved this little boy’s life and both officers should be very proud of themselves.”
The two officers will be put forward for a formal commendation.