Two off-duty officers save boys life on holiday

When it comes to helping those in need, a police officer is never off-duty – as two of our dedicated officers proved when they saved a young boy from choking, while on holiday in Wales.

The couple, a detention escort officer at Oldbury and an emergency response officer based at Bournville, came to the rescue of four-year-old Dexter, who had become lifeless and floppy after getting food jammed in his throat.

John and Dexter
Dexter and his dad, John 

Using the first aid training they've received every year as part of their ongoing police training, they calmly took control, and thankfully managed to dislodge a chicken nugget from the four-year-old's airway.

And for Dexter’s dad John, their training and professionalism, proved truly vital in saving his son’s life.

"I admit I didn't know what to do”, said John. "I didn't know first aid - I was trying everything. But he was going blue and he was going limp. And then suddenly they were there.

"They were both so super calm and so professional about it all. It was just awful, watching what was happening to Dexter but being powerless to do anything.

"But we won the lottery with these two passing by. Even though they were off-duty they didn't hesitate to help and if they'd not been there I believe Dexter would have died.”

DEO Vincent and PC Vincent, who have both been with WMP for more than 10 years, were walking past a beachside restaurant in Barmouth earlier this summer when they spotted Dexter choking.

"His dad was quite understandably, in panic-mode," said detention escort officer Vincent. "He didn't know what to do. So I stepped in and took hold of Dexter, and slapped him on the back a couple of times, but I realise now it was not hard enough."

PC Vincent, then tried five times. "But Dexter was starting to lose consciousness and going limp in my arms," said DEO Vincent.

"So I did six chest thrusts and finally the chicken nugget came out on the sixth one.  The lad started to come back round quite quickly after that and my wife put him on her knee and comforted him.

"We'd learned what to do thanks to the training we've had, throughout my 13 years with WMP,  and for my wife it's 14 years.

"But it's the first time I've had to use my first aid skills for anything as serious as this. It just goes to show that it really does work and we’re so pleased we were there and able to help."

Thankfully little Dexter, who was checked over by paramedics and also by hospital staff, is none the worse for his traumatic ordeal.

Dad John has since written to Chief Constable Dave Thompson praising the pair for not only their life-saving actions, but their care and kindness, which he says he feels he'll never adequately be able to repay.

Superintendent Jack Hadley, from Response, said: "When I heard what these two officers had done I was truly humbled and see both of them as absolute heroes.

"It is wonderful to know that their first aid skills kicked in and they were both able to remain calm, remember their training, and do what was needed to save this young boy's life."

The couple's life-saving actions are currently being reviewed by their local Rewards and Recognition panel and they are set to be nominated for an appropriate award.

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