Commendation for PC who saved woman’s life

Date: Tuesday 16th May 2017
John Spriggs
John Spriggs

A POLICEMAN who saved the life of a missing elderly woman in Penrith was honoured with a top award.

PC John Spriggs received a Chief Constable’s commendation for his selfless actions on the afternoon of 8th September last year.

PC Spriggs, a member of the Eden neighbourhood policing team based in Penrith, was involved in the search for a woman in her 80s who had slipped her carers and gone missing in the area of Rheged.

There were serious concerns she had headed for the River Eamont. Despite an initial unsuccessful search of the river, the PC refused to give up and his determination paid off as he found the missing woman desperately clinging to a tree branch.

PC Spriggs waded in and was able to carry her back to the river bank, where he administered first aid as she slipped in and out of consciousness.

Paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service arrived and took her to hospital. Inspector Liz Salkeld said at the awards ceremony: “PC Spriggs’s determination and brave actions have undoubtedly saved the life of this vulnerable elderly lady. He is a credit to the police service and I am delighted his actions have been recognised by the Chief Constable.”

PC Spriggs, who has been a policeman for 22 years, said: “There was a great emergency response to this incident with the fire service and paramedics attending and helping at the scene. I’m very proud to have received the commendation but I’m sure that I acted in the same way any of my colleagues would have acted in the same circumstances.”

Jerry Graham, Cumbria Chief Constable said: “Hearing the stories behind these commendations is a humbling experience. “We have officers putting their own lives at risk to save vulnerable people in desperate need of help. We have detectives showing remarkable diligence and professionalism to secure convictions which make our county safer. I would like to extend my gratitude, once again, to each and every one of them.”

Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “I have huge admiration for the bravery and dedication shown by these people who have not only gone above and beyond the call of duty to help those in desperate circumstances, but have also put their own lives at risk.

“I am so proud to know that we have such inspirational people working for us.”