Fire rescue officers in line for Police Bravery Award
Two Leicestershire Police officers who risked their lives to save people from a flat blaze have been nominated for this year's national Police Bravery Award.
PC Matthew Eld and Special Constable Neil Deveney went into a burning first floor Leicester flat after being told there were people trapped inside. They discovered flames up to the ceiling in a front room and thick black smoke which made it impossible to breathe.
A woman was lying half on and half off a sofa and a man was leant over the top of her - both refused to leave, despite the unbearable heat.
The officers grappled with the woman and eventually, with further help, were able to carry her outside where she resisted SPC Deveney's attempts to administer first aid.
The man tried to prevent PC Eld getting out but the brave officer activated his body worn video and forced him down the stairs and out of the building.
Leicestershire Police Federation nominated the two officers for the bravery awards which will be held in London next month.
Federation chairman Tiff Lynch said: "It was brave for these two officers to even go into this flat but to then be confronted by people reluctant and resistant to leaving the building made their rescue even more difficult.
"PC Eld and SPC Deveney acted in the finest traditions of British policing, running towards danger and protecting the public. They are worthy nominations for this year's bravery awards."
They have also been praised by Chief Constable Simon Cole QPM. He explained: "The selfless bravery of PC Eld and SPC Deveney shows policing at its best. Without thinking of the risks to themselves, they went forward and tried to help, even though some of the people that they were helping didn't want to be helped! As a Chief I can ask no more; as a local resident I look on in awe."
Lord Willy Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, added: "These two officers acted in a breathtakingly brave and courageous way. This was brilliant police work and demonstrates to the British public how lucky we are to have police officers who are prepared to risk their lives in order to save the lives of complete strangers. What an example to others."