Wellingborough PC ‘brought victim back from brink of death’

PC Jessica Bradbrooke
PC Jessica Bradbrooke

A Wellingborough police officer was one of three people to receive a national life-saving honour after a motorist suffered a heart attack at the wheel.

The incident happened at midday on April 20 in Northampton Road, Earls Barton.

The car driver, from Ecton, was crossing a junction when he suffered the heart attack and his vehicle accelerated into two other cars that were waiting to turn.

Darren Butcher, 47, of Cherry Lodge, Northampton, and Sally Harris, 59, of Blackthorn, Northampton, were at the scene and rushed to help.

They managed to pull the driver from his car and found he was unconscious and not breathing.

Thankfully, Mr Butcher makes a living as a first aid trainer and immediately began administering cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with Sally’s help.

The two were then joined by PC Jessica Bradbrook who is based at Wellingborough.

She took over CPR and eventually managed to revive the heart attack victim before paramedics arrived to take over.

Now PC Bradbrook, Mr Butcher and Ms Harris have all been awarded Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificates for reviving the victim.

In addition to the awards, they also won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society.

Speaking at the society’s London headquarters as he announced the awards he said: “Time is of the essence in situations like this and the sooner CPR can be started the better the chances are of the heart attack victim surviving.

“Swift CPR means that when the paramedics arrive the person is in the best possible conditions for survival.

“These three award winners did a wonderful job and they all richly deserve the awards they are to receive. Their swift action brought the victim back from the brink of death.”

Mr Butcher, a former manager at Danes Camp Leisure Centre, who is now a full-time first aid coach, said it was lucky he was walking by. He was just returning from a run to the Ecton tip.

Furthermore Ms Harris, who assisted him, actually recognised him because she had been on one of his courses previously.

“Obviously I have a lot of experience in that field,” said Darren.

“I have been doing first aid for 30 years and I have been a trainer for 20. It’s one of those things, sometimes it comes down to luck, how many ambulances are available and who is walking by.

“The message I try to get over is that if you do nothing, people will die. If you try and help they have a chance.”

Mr Butcher has recommended anyone take a first aid course, claiming to have administered CPR more than 30 times during his life.