Bravery and dedication celebrated at Chief Constable’s awards ceremony
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A brave cyclist who saved a man from drowning was among those recognised with an award from the Chief Constable of Kent Police.
Hicham Yasmine was riding close to the River Medway in Maidstone in April 2020 when he spotted someone falling headfirst into the water and unable to swim. He put down his bike and climbed in afterwards, pulling the man to safety before police and ambulance staff were called to assist.
The man was taken to hospital and was reported to have not suffered any long-term health effects.
Mr Yasmine was honoured for his actions at a virtual ceremony hosted by Chief Constable Alan Pughsley on Thursday 22 April 2021, along with a number of police officers and staff who were recognised for their exemplary work in serving and protecting the people of Kent.
EU transition period
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, who retired from the force last month, received a commendation for her outstanding leadership in planning for and managing potential traffic disruption on the county’s roads following the end of the EU transition period, whilst also being in charge of the force’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic at the same time. ACC Nix was ably assisted by a number of other officers in planning for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, including Superintendent Simon Thompson, Superintendent Andrew Reeves and Inspector Ian Warner, who also received commendations for their outstanding commitment to keeping Kent moving.
Trapped in lorry
Chief Constable Pughsley also presented awards to Alicia Turner, Rachel Parkes and Harriet Preston, who all work in the force control room and helped to rescue eight suspected migrants who were trapped in the back of a lorry in Dover in November 2020. One of those on board had dialled 999 as the air inside the trailer was running out and they did not know where they were, but Alicia, Rachel and Harriet worked calmly together to establish the location of the lorry and direct police officers to the correct vehicle. Their actions were described as ‘an outstanding example of professionalism, effective teamwork and strong communication skills’, which potentially saved the lives of those on board who received medical attention before being transferred into the care of the immigration authorities.
Police Community Support Officer Carl Brett was also honoured with a commendation for his attempts to save the life of a man who had collapsed in Dover in January 2021. PCSO Brett was off-duty at the time but stopped to perform CPR on the man along with a number of other people until an ambulance arrived. Whilst the man later sadly died in hospital, PCSO Brett was recognised for his swift actions in the finest traditions of the police service.
Chief Constable Pughsley said:
‘The impact of Covid-19 has made this year very difficult for everyone but it is clear that the bravery, work ethic and commitment to public service displayed by my officers and staff is as exemplary as it has ever been, not to mention the outstanding actions of a member of public who helped to save a man’s life.
‘It is an absolute pleasure to recognise those who have gone above and beyond to serve the people of Kent, even if we are not yet able to celebrate their achievements in person due to social distancing restrictions.
‘Kent Police has an abundance of amazing officers and staff who achieve great things on a daily basis, and I look forward to hosting more awards ceremonies in the future when others can receive the recognition they so richly deserve.’