Fast thinking Police Sergeant saves life of 11 year old

Police Sergeant Robert Jackson from the Roads & Transport Policing Command has been presented with a Royal Humane Society (RHS) Resuscitation Certificate by Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey and RHS Chairman John Grandy in front of Chief Inspector John Oldham and others at a ceremony held at New Scotland Yard on Wednesday, 13 May.

On the morning of 17 October 2013 PS Jackson was travelling on a bus to Gravesend Railway Station in Kent to catch a train into work. The bus was very busy with school children and when it stopped in Rochester Road the bus driver left his cab to speak with some children who were sat behind him. Initially the officer thought the driver was berating the children, however he soon realised that the driver was concerned about one boy and was asking if he was “OK”.

Sensing that something was not quite right, PS Jackson went to assist. He saw a young boy aged around 11 slumped forward on his knees with his head on the floor. Nobody else had realised that anything was amiss. The officer lifted the boy’s head up and started talking to him; he was a dead weight and unconscious. 

PS Jackson removed the boy’s rucksack and lifted him into a space where he could lay him flat. The boy’s face was grey; his lips had turned blue, his eyes were in the back of his head and he wasn’t breathing. The officer checked the airway and immediately gave two rescue breaths. The boy began to breathe but it was laboured. He was making noises as if his airway was blocked. At this point a female passenger went to assist PS Jackson whilst he directed another passenger to call for an ambulance. 

The officer checked the boy’s airway again and noticed that his tongue was restricting his breathing. He placed the boy into the recovery position and tilted his head back unblocking the airway. The boy started to cough and continued to breathe. He remained unconscious for some time and the officer continued to monitor his condition and talk to him until a paramedic arrived on scene. The boy was given oxygen and started to come round. After treatment at the scene he was taken by ambulance to hospital. 

PS Jackson made follow-up calls to the hospital and was told that the boy had been moved to the paediatric ward were he was in a stable condition and undergoing tests. That evening the officer spoke to the boy’s mother on the telephone and she expressed her eternal gratitude to PS Jackson for saving his life. 

It is believed that the boy may have suffered from some type of epileptic fit, an illness which had been undiagnosed until this time. The boy was released from hospital the following day. 

Upon receiving his award, PS Rob Jackson, said:“I am very pleased to receive my Royal Humane Society certificate in recognition of my actions on Thursday 17th October 2013. Anyone in my position would have done the same thing. 

“As a police officer I am lucky that I have received training in life saving techniques which I had to use on this day. I have never had to use it before, up until resuscitating an 11-year-old. Having four children myself, and two being of similar age, this was a horrible and frightening experience for me. At the time I honestly thought he was going to die as he was not breathing, his face was grey and his lips turned blue. After giving him two breaths, I was relieved that he started to breath, cough and cry. 

“I have seen him and his mum on the bus a few times since and his mum always thanks me for helping her son.”