Hitchin and Henlow police officers recognised for brave acts at Hertfordshire awards ceremony

Sergeant Karl McDermott from Henlow was commended by policing minister Mike Penning, who was guest o

Sergeant Karl McDermott from Henlow was commended by policing minister Mike Penning, who was guest of honour, and Chief Constable Andy Bliss. - Credit: Archant

Police officers have been praised for brave and selfless acts to helps others, including trying to resuscitate a toddler and stopping a man from harming himself.

Herts police dished out awards at a ceremony last week after coming to the aid of members of the public.

Sergeant Lisa McNaughton from Hitchin was among those to receive the Chief Constable’s Commendation and a Royal Humane Society award for her actions in June last year.

Sgt McNaughton was called to a house after reports that two-year-old child had gone into cardiac arrest.

Arriving at the scene, the toddler lay unconscious on the floor with two paramedics setting up life support equipment. Sgt McNaughton was asked to start CPR which she carried out for 40 minutes. During this time she also ensured family were supported and the control room updated.

The child was rushed to hospital but tragically died later the same day. Her actions were later described as “outstanding in the circumstances’ at an inquest.

Sgt Karl McDermott from Henlow was also commended after helping a man while out on patrol in Letchworth overnight in July 2012.

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Walking along Bridge Road and over the railway bridge, he noticed a man sitting with his legs over the wall.

Despite repeatedly being told to go away, Sgt McDermott persisted and was eventually able to get him to engage in conversation where the man revealed that he wanted to harm himself.

Sgt McDermott was slowly able to gain the man’s trust and eventually managed to edge closer to him. Trained negotiators arrived but the man refused to let them approach and escalated his aggression whenever they tried, so they had to withdraw. Eventually after talking to the man for 1½ hours, Sgt McDermott persuaded him to return to the road side before being taken to hospital for treatment.

Det Con Heulwen Williams, who lives in Stotfold, was also commended for her investigative efforts in a historical case of gross indecency on three teenage girls, while Stevenage’s Det Sgt Mike Hanson and PC Matthew Hollingsworth, who is based in Hitchin and lives in Stotfold, received awards for 20 years of service. Hitchin’s Jo Spencer, a member of the police staff, was also honoured with the same accolade.

Members of the public were also recognised with Monika Rella from Stevenage commended for her actions after coming to the aid of a man who collapsed in Bishop Stortford in March last year.

Monika helped put the man in the recovery position with another passer-by before police and ambulance crews took over. After nearly an hour a pulse was restored but the man died the following day.

Chief Con Andy Bliss, who handed out the awards, said: “It is important that we properly recognise the commitment and achievements of our staff and members of the public and events such as these allow us to do that. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of teamwork involving not only our colleagues here but the many other men and women who work alongside them.”

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