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22 March 2019

Recognising successful interventions by Police Officers.


Paul DeWilde was a serving police constable of the Lancashire Constabulary, serving with the Public Order Training Unit at Police Headquarters and is now an ATACC Group, Quality Assurance manager.

An incident involving a horse and a serving Officer at Preston on a public order training.

Paul was Co-instructing the mounted Branch Tactics, which had been training with the mounted officers and foot officers utilising foot escorts tactics and dispersal tactics. They had just completed a foot escort tactic and a sweep tactic using officers at a normal walking speed, Utilising three mounted officers. Once they were happy with the progress and checking the officers completely understood the tactics they then advanced onto the raid dispersal of the tactics. A question and answer session was done prior to the practice of the tactic to again check officer understanding. The training began with a slow pace with a view to building up to full pace with officers adding shields and using horses at full canter. The officers were progressing well and the pace was beginning to build up to a point where they were happy to introduce shields and full pace (simple to complex).

It was on the second practice session of this tactical exercise that Paul heard screaming from officers

“Paul Over here, Over Here”.

Paul turned and noticed an officer lying on the ground he ran towards the officer, noticing he was face down on his right side he could see that his helmet had been removed. As he got closer to him he noticed he was haemorrhaging badly from a facial injury to the right side of the face. kneeling down in front of him looking into his face; he was unconscious and not breathing. From Pauls training as a medic he could see blood coming from his mouth and from both nostrils.

He tilted his head back slightly and heard a snoring sound, this noise told him his airway was blocked and he was trying to breathe. I began clearing the blood from his nostrils and mouth he was assisted in this procedure by another PC who was also a trained Medic. The PC began handing various breathing and suction devices to clear the airway. After a short time clearing the airway the Injured PC took a gasp and began breathing again, his respiratory rate began to return to normal rising to a more manageable level.

Next focus was to examine the bleeding from the head wound, although the injured PC was bleeding badly I was happy he was in a reasonably stable condition and his airway was clear and he was breathing unassisted. We are now in a better position to stem the bleeding from the wound. I applied field dressing lightly to his head as I could see deformities in his right forehead and cheek.

At this point I was aware of a Paramedic from the Northwest Ambulance kneeling down in front of me and began as per training a handover to the mechanism of injury and what treatment was done prior to there arrival (ATMIST).

Pauls training and confidence in this situation saved a colleague’s life.