‘Being trained in first aid means you can make a difference’ – PCSO recognised after performing CPR on man who collapsed in Stevenage town centre

PCSO Anne Charters and Gwen Slack with their awards, pictured alongside former deputy Chief Con Andy

PCSO Anne Charters and Gwen Slack with their awards, pictured alongside former deputy Chief Con Andy Adams who was the guest of honour and Chief Con Andy Bliss. - Credit: Archant

A police community support officer who tried to save the life of a man who collapsed in Stevenage town centre has spoken about the importance of knowing first aid after being recognised for her actions.

Lee Piggott from Stevenage receives the Hertfordshire Constabulary Award from guest of honour and fo

Lee Piggott from Stevenage receives the Hertfordshire Constabulary Award from guest of honour and former Deputy Chief Con Andy Adams and Chief Con Andy Bliss. - Credit: Archant

PCSO Anne Charters from Lower Stondon has received a Royal Humane Society award for her efforts to help the man whose heart stopped beating outside the McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Queensway in June last year.

The 48-year-old – who has worked as a PCSO in Stevenage for the past four years – was recognised alongside fellow colleagues in a ceremony held at the Herts police headquarters, with members of the public also being saluted for acts of bravery and community spirit.

Anne had been patrolling Stevenage town centre when she received a call from the control room reporting that a man had collapsed in Town Square.

By this point 53-year-old Gwen Slack from Biggleswade had already called 999 and relayed instructions to another member of the public who performed CPR on the man.


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“I got there in two or three minutes and the two women had put him in the recovery position – he was breathing but was going quite purple in colour,” recalled Anne.

“Then his heart stopped beating so we put him on his back and I started CPR.”

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Anne continued her efforts for about 15 minutes while paramedics who had since arrived at the scene set up a defibrillator.

After they administered electric shocks, a faint pulse was established and the man was taken to hospital.

Sadly he died in hospital three days later, but Anne takes comfort from the fact his family were able to see him before he passed.

She added: “It was a very scary experience and the first time I’d had to use my training. I wasn’t expecting an award for my actions as it’s part of the job to help whenever you can, but for members of the public to step in was going above and beyond – and it is very important they have been recognised for this.

“Being trained in first aid means you can make a difference.”

During the ceremony Lee Piggott from Stevenage was presented with the Hertfordshire Constabulary Award after helping to persuade a man to climb back over the railings of a footbridge above Fairlands Way in the town during June last year.

The 26-year-old and another member of the public managed to gain the man’s confidence through conversation and, along with help from police officers in attendance, were able to see the man to safety.

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