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Posted on Friday 24 March 2023
Paul Aldsworth

Mr Paul Aldsworth

A group of officers and members of the public have been recognised for their actions in saving the lives of nine County Durham people.

The recipients gathered at a special ceremony held at police headquarters on Wednesday afternoon, March 22 where they received certificates of commendation from Chief Superintendent Richard Allen.

In the first part of the ceremony, a team of officers from Bishop Auckland response alongside Mr Paul Aldsworth, his son Oscar Eckley-Aldsworth, Lee Gustard, Stuart Taylor and Dave Mills were recognised for their efforts in coming to the aid of a man, last February.

PC Murtagh was first to arrive on scene where he witnessed Paul, Oscar, Lee and Stuart desperately holding on to the man. PC Murtagh could see that the group were starting to struggle so rushed over to help cling onto the man until further officers arrived.

PC’s Cowley and Arneil then joined and took over holding on as others tired. Soon after, Street warden Dave Mills along with PC’s Sneath, Reed, Cave, Fox and Robinson arrived and all played a part in clutching onto the man at various stages.

Eventually, the man brought his leg up, firefighters joined and were able to secure him into a harness and pull him over.

PC’s Baker and Thompson were all the while dealing with the crowd that had gathered close-by.

Later in the ceremony, PC’s Bowes and McTaggart received their Resuscitation Certificates after they forced entry into a property in Chester-le-Street, last June.

As they arrived at the address, the officers carried out a search and discovered that the loft hatch was wide open, they managed to get into the loft where they found the woman.

The pair took it in turns to give the woman CPR and eventually she began to regain consciousness.

She was taken to hospital for further treatment whilst the officers arranged care for her children, who were also in the house.

PC Bowes said: “This was a particularly traumatic incident for everyone involved. “Both myself and PC McTaggart managed to quickly take control of the situation we were faced with, we located the woman, gave her medical attention, and alerted medical professionals.

“Thankfully, the woman is now receiving the help she needs.”

Sergeant Mackintosh and PC’s Jones, Wolstencroft, Rispin, Graham and Irvin also received certificates of commendation during the ceremony and were highlighted by Ch Supt Allen for their courage and selflessness in saving a further seven lives.

He said: “Without the prompt actions of the public and the officers, these nine individuals might not have been with us today.

“I am delighted that they have been commended and I would like to say a huge thank you to every single one of them – they are a credit to themselves and what they have done is truly remarkable.”

If you need to talk to someone at any time, Samaritans is available round the clock on 116 123.

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