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Ceremony at Leeds Castle recognises acts of bravery
Police staff, officers and members of the public have been recognised and awarded for outstanding acts of bravery.
Chief Superintendent Matthew Nix comments: "The Area Commander's Awards are designed to recognise more than just those who perform well, but those individuals whose actions go way beyond the call of duty. All the recipients are examples of Mid Kent's finest policing and they should rightly be proud of their achievement in gaining this award. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge members of the public who have assisted the police in keeping Mid Kent safe. I'd like to thank Leeds Castle for their hospitality in allowing us to host the ceremony at their wonderful venue, which really adds to the atmosphere of the occasion."
Here are two of the examples of those recognised:
PCSO Barry Chase, PC Joel Cummings and PC Patrick Quinton (Swale)
On February 27th 2010 a young couple and their 17-month-old son who had taken a bike ride towards Leysdown became stranded on a Sheppey beach. Their trailer became stuck in the mud and they were unable to get back to safety as the rising tide cut off their escape. Realising they were in serious danger, with no idea of their location and with their ankles sinking in the mud, they called 999.
Police officers Patrick Quinton, Joel Cummings and PCSO Barry Chase were among the officers that answered the call and raced to the beach near the Lees. While colleagues stayed on the cliffs to assist the rescue helicopter, the three officers made their way down the cliffs onto the beach, wading through four miles of tortuous mud and rocks until they could reach the stranded couple and their toddler.
Flares released by the helicopter, the use of flashlights and whistles enabled the officers to pinpoint the exact location of those stranded. The officers then helped to calm the family down and after assessing that it was too risky to take them back across the beach, they assisted in getting each of the family members winched into the safety of the Helicopter. Both the couple and their child recovered fully from their ordeal and sustained no injuries.
The bravery shown by these officers in a tiring two hour search in difficult weather conditions, resulted in the safe recovery of this family and potentially saved their lives.
PCSO Sarah Bodiam (Swale)
On 29 March 2010 PCSO Bodiam was on patrol when she was informed about a road traffic collision in Kemsley, Sittingbourne, in which a four-year-old girl had been hit by a car.
When PCSO Bodiam, who was the first officer on the scene, arrived, the girl was still lying in the middle of the road while traffic drove past her. After closing the road in both directions and making the scene safe the officer turned her attention to the girl, who had a head injury and neck pain.
PCSO Bodiam reassured both the girl and her mother. She remained calm and in control of the incident, showing both tenacity and consummate professionalism.
In the days following the crash PCSO Bodiam maintained contact with the girl's family and, with their blessing, updated many local people who had been at the scene. In doing so she showed a great awareness of the community and its needs in the aftermath of what had been a very traumatic and distressing incident.
For the outstanding professionalism and compassion she showed throughout her dealings with this incident, PCSO Bodiam is to be commended.