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Heroes! DMU students hailed by police chief for helping save a man's life

Students who volunteer as police specials are among three people formally recognised by Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole for saving a man’s life.

INSET Police Specials
AWARD: Chief constable Simon Cole with, from left, SC Ben Barr, SSgt Jack Challinor, SC Sam Taylor and Gerard Lowe

On Friday 24 February, Special Sergeant Jack Challinor and Special Constables Sam Taylor and Ben Barr responded to a 999 call from a man in a car with severe breathing difficulties.

The man was 47-year-old Gerard Lowe from Leicester, who made it his mission to find out exactly who the officers were, so he could thank them face-to-face. 

Gerard said: “If it wasn’t for the quick actions of these three officers, I am certain that I wouldn’t be here today. They went above and beyond their call of duty to save my life, and I will never forget them.”

At the time, Gerard was making his way to Leicester Royal Infirmary because he was unable to breathe properly and has a history of heart attacks. On Aylestone Road, his condition quickly deteriorated and he feared that with the rush hour traffic, he wouldn’t make it to hospital in time. 

Special Sergeant Jack Challinor said: “Sam, Ben and I were on patrol when we noticed the job come in on the system. We acted fast to locate Gerard, and we got him in the back of the police car within a matter of minutes.”

Jack took the wheel, while Ben and Sam did their best to retain Gerard’s consciousness, although he blacked out for the majority of the journey.

Special Constable Sam Taylor, who studies  said: “We didn’t truly feel the weight of the situation until he became unconscious, that’s when the adrenaline really kicked in and we knew we were dealing with a life or death situation.” 

Upon arrival to the hospital, Gerard was rushed through to resuscitation before being transferred to Leicester General hospital for a weeklong stay. 

The day he was discharged, he walked into his local police station to try and find out who the three officers were that saved his life. 

Upon discovering that the three officers were in fact specials, Gerard said: “I’m absolutely amazed that they do the job voluntarily, I can’t put into words how proud I am of them. I’ll always remember Jack, Sam and Ben; I owe them my life.

“I emailed Chief Constable Simon Cole and asked him if there was anything I could do to formally thank the men. He arranged for me to come and meet them all again, and for them to be presented with a Quality of Service certificate for saving my life.”

Jack, 21, works in the control room for West Midlands Police and joined Leicestershire’s Special Constabulary over three years ago. Sam, 20, and Ben, 22, are both students at DMU. Ben is training to be an accountant and Sam hopes to join the regulars when he finishes his degree.

Reflecting on the day, Sam who is also secretary of DMU Men's Basketball, said: “It’s really nice to have some recognition for a situation which we see as a part of the job. It was our absolute pleasure to be able to help Gerard that day, and even nicer to meet him again now.”

Ben added: “It’s seeing positive results that really drives home the work we do, I love being a special and I am thrilled to see that Gerard is on the road to recovery.”

If you’d like to know more about the specials, or are interested in joining the Special Constabulary, please visit our webpage.

Posted on Wednesday 29th March 2017

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