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Civilian Gallantry List: May 2021

This lists the names of people who have received The Queen's Gallantry Medal and The Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Queen’s Gallantry Medal

Michael Hooper and Stephen Quartermain, Leicestershire Police, for attempting to rescue those who were involved in a helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium, Leciester, on 27 October 2018.

On 27 October 2018, Leicester City Football Club played West Ham United Football Club at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. After the game, a helicopter crashed and caught fire in a car park at Filbert Way, Leicester, adjacent to the stadium.

Police Sergeant Michael Hooper and Police Constable Stephen Quartermain were on uniformed duty in a police car assisting with the policing of the football match, when they observed the helicopter take off and then start to descend, quickly and out of control.

On arrival near the crash site, PC Quartermain ran straight to the helicopter, which was on wasteland adjacent to the car park. It was already dark and the ground surface was uneven and littered with debris. PS Hooper then parked the police car as close to the crash site as fencing would allow. The helicopter was lying on its left hand side with its engines still operating, the rear section was on fire, and a loud bang was heard. Both officers immediately perceived that there was a significant risk of a large explosion due to the intensity of the fire and the amount of fuel they could see leaking from the aircraft.

Members of the public were already in the vicinity and PS Hooper urgently directed them back to ensure their safety.

PC Quartermain looked for a way to get into the helicopter, but as the helicopter was lying on its left side against the ground with the right side raised at height, immediate access via the doors was not possible. PS Hooper joined PC Quartermain at the helicopter and began to repeatedly and forcefully strike the helicopter’s windscreen, in an attempt to shatter it and gain entry. PC Quartermain positioned himself next to PS Hooper, ready to assist. By now, the heat from the fire was searing hot and driving the officers back. The majority of the helicopter became engulfed in flames, but both officers kept going forward, to strike the windscreen and attempt a rescue.

When attempts to shatter the helicopter windscreen failed, PS Hooper ran back to the police car and retrieved the vehicle’s fire extinguisher. The flames had already completely engulfed the rear section of the helicopter, and PS Hooper discharged it towards the rear of the cockpit in an attempt to keep the flames back.

Members of the public were now moving towards the helicopter and PC Quartermain urgently directed them back to prevent further casualties.

The fire now consumed and totally engulfed the whole aircraft with repeated loud bangs, two other officers arrived with hand-held fire extinguishers. During the attempted rescue, both the officers made sustained efforts to save the lives of the helicopter occupants, comprehending but ignoring the very real possibility of their own deaths. As a result of their efforts both officers received treatment for first degree burns and smoke inhalation. Sadly, the occupants of the helicopter all died in the accident.

Daniel Nicholson and Joel Snarr, for rescuing the occupants of a light aircraft that had crashed in Abergavenny, Wales on 12 May 2019.

On 12 May 2019, a light aircraft containing three passengers took off from a runway in Abergavenny, Wales. Immediately after take off, the plane suffered engine failure, which resulted in the plane hitting a tree and inverting before crashing to the ground and catching fire.

Daniel Nicholson and Joel Snarr were independently driving along the A40 dual carriageway in separate vehicles. They observed the crash, stopped their vehicles, ran towards the burning wreckage, and forced entry to the plane by breaking a window to reach the three occupants who were trapped. They then safely removed the two passengers and pilot. After this the plane was totally consumed by fire. No injuries were caused to any party.

Queen’s Commendation for Bravery

Queens Commendation for Bravery

Shaun Randall, Leicestershire Police, for his actions following an explosion at Hinckley Road, Leicester on 25 February 2018.

On 25 February 2018 at 19:01 hours, Leicester Police received reports of an explosion at Hinckley Road, Leicester. The explosion, and ensuing fire, was so powerful that it demolished the entire building and killed 5 people who were inside at the time. Others nearby were injured.

PC Shaun Randall was on mobile duty with colleagues and passing the location when the massive blast occurred. The force was so strong they thought something had hit their patrol vehicle. Without hesitation or concern for their own safety, they immediately turned around and were faced with a significant scene of devastation and destruction.

The officers ran towards the scene without thought for their own safety. PC Randall first came to a male who was unconscious, severely injured and trapped under rubble and heavy metal. PC Randall quickly and decisively coordinated others to assist in freeing the male.

He then made his way to assist members of the public who were digging at the rubble saying that someone was trapped. PC Randall asked the public to move away from the front in order to protect them from danger as he recognised that the rubble was unsafe and that he wasn’t sure if there would be a secondary explosion.

PC Randall began to communicate with a young male trapped within the rubble. When it became apparent that the fire was spreading, PC Randall made the decision to crawl into the rubble and managed to pull the male free before the fire took hold. He went into the incident not giving a second thought for his own safety. He remained calm and his communications were clear and rational. PC Randall rescued the man with only seconds to spare.

The quick thinking and selfless action of PC Randall demonstrated an act of true bravery worthy of recognition at national level.

Colin Burgess and Nigel Quarmby, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, for rescuing a woman from the River Mersey on 22 September 2018.

On the evening of Saturday 22 September 2018, firefighters from Warrington, Cheshire, were called to a report of a woman threatening to jump from a bridge into the River Mersey. When the firefighters arrived at the scene, she was on the bridge outside of the public barriers, a fall of approximately 60 feet into cold, fast-flowing water with strong currents. Police colleagues were negotiating with the woman in an attempt to talk her down from the bridge. Meanwhile, firefighters prepared specialist equipment in preparation for a rescue in the event it was required.

Despite the best efforts of the police negotiators, the woman jumped into the River Mersey and immediately disappeared below the surface of the water. After a few seconds she resurfaced and was quickly caught up in fast moving water. Firefighters Quarmby and Burgess were already at the waterside and witnessed her become trapped in the water. They chose to carry out a tethered swim to the woman, using a tethered line secured to the waterside.

As she had already been swept along some distance, Firefighter Burgess’ rescue line was not long enough to reach the casualty, despite entering the water himself. At this point, using himself as a tether for his colleague, Firefighter Quarmby waded into the river to provide Firefighter Burgess with enough length of line to reach the casualty.

On reaching the casualty, she resisted the firefighters’ attempts to assist her. The firefighters were able to recover her to the bank. They then traversed a long hazardous stretch of deep mud in poor visibility, after which fellow colleagues and police officers were able to offer assistance.

Stephen Wharton, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, for rescuing a child from the River Eden on 26 February 2019.

On Tuesday 26 February 2019, Cumbria Fire and Rescue from Appleby were called to a water rescue incident in the River Eden. A 13-year-old boy was swimming in the river and got into difficulty. He went under the water and did not resurface. Once it was realised he was in difficulty, a number of people in the vicinity tried to help; however, after several minutes of trying in vain to rescue the young boy, the emergency services were called.

It was estimated that the child had been underwater for approximately 20 minutes prior to the crew arriving. Due to the close proximity to the fire station and the urgency of the call, the crew responded on foot to the river as they knew this would provide a quicker response.

Under extremely challenging circumstances, the decision was made to commit two crew members into the River to carry out a rescue. With the crew briefed, Crew Manager Wharton and another firefighter entered the water, supported by the rest of the crew from the river bank.

The two crew members who entered the river finally located the casualty under the water. Crew Manager Wharton’s personal flotation device (PFD) and kit was preventing him from going under water. In order to rescue the boy, Crew Manager Wharton quickly decided he would need to remove his PFD, helmet and all the air from his dry suit to enable him to dive under the water, risking his own life in extreme circumstances. He then successfully dived down to a depth of 2 to 3 metres, located the child and brought him to the surface.

With assistance from the rest of the crew, the casualty was brought to the river bank where he was resuscitated and flown to hospital where he made practically a full recovery. The quick thinking, courage and professionalism of Crew Manager Wharton saved the boy’s life and reduced the risk of injury to members of the public.

Maurice Wrightson (posthumous) for saving the lives of others when the brakes on the coach he was driving failed on 16 April 2013.

On 16 April 2013, Maurice Wrightson was driving a coach bringing 51 British passengers home to the UK from France. The coach was on a very steep mountainous road in the French Alps. Approaching a hairpin bend, he realised the brakes were no longer responding.

Mr Wrightson had to make an immediate decision. To avoid the risk of the coach failing to take the bend and tipping into the ravine alongside the road, Mr Wrightson chose instead to crash the coach into the rocks on the other side of the bend. When it hit the boulders, the coach burst into flames. Some passengers received serious injuries and Mr Wrightson lost his life. However, his actions prevented the coach from falling into the ravine, which would have presented an even more serious risk to the lives of his passengers.

Robert (Glenn) Carr, National Crime Agency, for assisting in a firearms arrest on 18 August 2018.

On Saturday 18 August 2018, Glenn Carr was deployed as an armed surveillance motorcyclist attached to a mobile armed support team (MAST).

The MAST team were briefed that the two main subjects of the operation were intending to obtain a firearm or firearms. The officers were aware that the subjects had a history of violence and access to firearms.

The MAST team deployed in support of an unarmed surveillance team, which followed the subjects to an industrial unit. Whilst at this location, an unarmed surveillance officer heard two loud bangs coming from the vicinity of the unit where the subjects were seen to enter. A tactical decision was then made to arrest both, as it was assessed that both were likely to be in the possession of firearms.

As the MAST team moved to effect the arrests, they activated public warning equipment and immediately both subjects started to run away from officers. One of the subjects ran towards Officer Carr, and appeared to be getting away from the pursuing armed operations officers chasing on foot. Officer Carr took the decision to mount the kerb to close off the subject’s escape route. Due to the speed of the unfolding incident, Officer Carr did not have the opportunity to access his weapon or TASER. He made the decision to slow down the subject by putting out his right leg in order to strike the subject’s upper thigh. This caused the subject to stumble and fall to the ground, where the armed officers pursuing on foot were able to detain him. The subject was subsequently found to have a gun.

Officer Carr’s actions came at a personal cost to him, as the tripping action caused him to fall from his motorcycle and he sustained a broken leg. He was aware of the potential danger to NCA colleagues and potentially members of the public. He helped to avoid a situation whereby the subject was able to draw a gun, which could have resulted in potentially fatal violence.

His judgement and actions likely prevented more serious injuries. Had a firearm been used it could have resulted in possibly one or more of the suspects or officers being shot dead.

Following the safe arrest of the subjects, the NCA discovered a firearms factory in the industrial unit which they exited. From this factory, 15 viable firearms were seized. A further 122 firearms that were in the process of being manufactured were also recovered.

Joel Andrews, National Crime Agency, for assisting in a firearms arrest on 18 August 2018.

On Saturday 18 August 2018, Joel Andrews was deployed as an authorised firearms officer attached to a mobile armed support team (MAST).

The MAST team were briefed that the two main subjects of the operation were intending to obtain a firearm or firearms. The officers were aware that the subjects had a history of violence and access to firearms.

The MAST team deployed in support of an unarmed surveillance team, which followed the subjects to an industrial unit. Whilst at this location, an unarmed surveillance officer heard two loud bangs coming from the vicinity of the unit where the subjects were seen to enter. A tactical decision was then made to arrest both, as it was assessed that both were likely to be in the possession of firearms.

As the MAST team moved to effect the arrests, they activated public warning equipment and immediately both subjects started to run away from officers. Officer Andrews set off in pursuit of one of the subjects who ran into what was effectively a cul-de-sac containing business units and as such was a dead end. As the subject ran, Officer Andrews formed the opinion that he presented a threat to both NCA officers and the public. The subject ran around a corner and temporarily out of sight, Officer Andrews continued the pursuit and deployed his TASER as he followed around the corner. The TASER had the effect of causing the subject to fall to the ground, where he was detained by other armed officers who were also in pursuit. The subject was subsequently found to have a gun and ammunition.

CCTV from the unit that the subject was running towards shows him taking the gun in a plastic bag from the waistband of his shorts as he was running from the NCA officers.

This was officer Andrews’ first deployment as an authorised firearms officer. His judgement and actions likely prevented more serious injuries. Had the firearm been used it could have resulted in possibly one or more of the suspects or officers being shot dead.

Following the safe arrest of the subjects, the NCA discovered a firearms factory in the industrial unit which they exited. From this factory, 15 viable firearms were seized. A further 122 firearms that were in the process of being manufactured were also recovered.

Lillian Hood (posthumous), for intervening in a knife fight on 12 August 2016.

In the early evening of 12 August 2016, a knife fight broke out between two men in the flat above Lillian Hood’s. One man stabbed the flat’s owner repeatedly. Ms Hood heard the commotion above and, going onto her balcony to investigate, saw what was happening.

She immediately went to the flat and entered. As she entered, the victim was lying on the living room floor and the assailant was standing over him, repeatedly stabbing him. She intervened and shouted at the assailant, asking him to stop. He then approached her and grabbed her by the neck, threatening to stab her, but then fled the flat.

Ms Hood contacted the emergency services and administered first aid to the victim, who was seriously injured, until help arrived. Without Ms Hood’s intervention, it is likely that the victim would have lost his life in the attack.

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/cabinet-office

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/civilian-gallantry-list-may-2021

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