Courage and strength rewarded at police awards ceremony
ACTS of courage, dedication and kindness have been recognised at a special police awards ceremony.
In one of his last acts before retiring from the force, chief superintendent Mark Mathias handed out commendations to dozens of officers and members of the public who go that extra mile to help others.
Among those honoured was 24-year-old Lucy Sullivan, a paramedic sciences student at Swansea University, who was riding her bike home from a lecture when she found a woman in a distressed state in Swansea Marina.
When the woman jumped into the chilly waters, the plucky student dived in after her.
She said: "She was face down in the water and wasn't breathing — I managed to turn her over onto her back, and tow her to the side. Some passers-by got her up the ladder and out of the water."
Once the woman was safe and being treated by paramedics the Miss Sullivan pushed her bike home — still dripping wet.
Also among those being honoured were members of the Loughor inshore lifeboat crew. The ship-shape heroes were recognised for their "continued dedication, commitment, skills and courage" in saving lives.
Among the PCSOs and police officers being recognised was Dominic Edgell, who in July this year went to aid of a young child involved in a late-night car crash on the M4 near Pyle — as cars sped by on the unlit carriageway, he held the seriously injured boy and gave emergency first aid until an ambulance arrived, while colleagues PC Andy Smith and PC Steve Goodridge attended to other people trapped in the wreckage.
More life-saving bravery was recognised with commendations for constables Tony Daniel and Gary Bodenham, who jumped into the River Tawe and pulled a drowning man to safety, for PC Damian Williams and inspector Gareth Hawkins who performed CPR and re-started the heart of a man found hanging from his boot laces from a give way sign in Townhill, Swansea, in the early hours of the morning, and for sergeant Stephen Pritchard and PC Martin Fox who stopped a woman from jumping from a viaduct in Cymmer. Also among those being recognised were detectives and staff from the western division's child abuse investigation unit, along with Swansea's organised crime team, while the officers who went to London to help police the Olympic Torch Relay were also presented with certificates — the awards ceremony heard that one Londoner had contacted South Wales Police to ask if the force could "bottle" what its officers have, and send it up to capital.