Top national honour for life-saving PC

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A POLICE officer who burst her way into a bathroom and then fought a life-and-death battle to bring a woman who was lying apparently lifeless in the bath back from the brink of death, is to receive a top national life-saving honour.

PC Donna Powell, who lives in St Leonards, has been awarded a Resuscitation Certificate by the Royal Humane Society for saving the life of the woman on February 13.

And on Monday, in addition to the awards she is to receive she also won the personal praise of Royal Humane Society secretary, Dick Wilkinson, as he announced the award at the Society’s London headquarters.

He said that police were called by a mother who was concerned for the safety of her daughter who was locked in a bathroom at her Battle home.

Mr Wilkinson said: “PC Powell looked under the door but could only see a pair of slippers.

“She repeatedly knocked on the door and shouted but there was no response from inside.

“In the end she had no alternative but to force the door.

“The woman was submerged in the bath with her head out of the water. Her eyes were open but she looked dead.

“PC Powell, helped by the mother, got the woman out of the bath and radioed for help.

“She showed no vital signs, so PC Powell began giving her the kiss of life while the mother, a former nurse, administered chest compressions.

“Eventually the woman’s pulse returned.

“However, but for PC Powell’s response to the situation she would almost certainly have died. She richly deserves this award.”

PC Powell said she was ‘over the moon’ after being told she will receive the honour.

“I have worked for the force for seven years and that was the proudest day of my life.

“I joined up to help people and the feeling of saving someone’s life is incredible.

“I hope it will happen again in the next 23 years of my career.”

No date has been fixed for the presentation of the awards, made on the recommendation of Sussex Police, but it is likely to be in the near future.

Earlier this year the Force presented PC Powell with an Outstanding Frontline Award.

In addition, the International Police Association, a worldwide friendship organisation for serving and retired police officers, of which PC Powell is a member, selected her for an award given to officers who go beyond the call of duty.

PC Powell, along with three guests, enjoyed a stay at the Leicester Hilton Hotel, courtesy of the association.