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Frome police hero bravery award

Special Constable Steven Cook

Special Constable Steven Cook

A FROME Special Constable has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Bravery Award after saving a drowning man in Frome. 

At an Avon and Somerset Police ceremony in Taunton, Special Constable Steven Cook received the award after he waded into the river near the Cheese and Grain in the town to save a man from drowning in January of this year. Despite the freezing conditions and steep banks, he managed to drag the unconscious man out of the river and saved his life.

Following the award Steven Cook spoke to the Frome Times. He said, “I am truly humbled by it as I feel I have done nothing differently than any other officer or person would have done had they been there on that river bank.  I didn’t give what I did a second thought and knew I needed to help this person. I find just performing my role is reward enough and to be honoured in this way is the icing on the cake.

“That night after hearing cries for help from a passer-by I jumped straight in the water. It was very cold but I didn’t notice this at the time. I constantly called to him making sure he could hear me and quickly got to him. He was face down in the water and he had difficulty holding his head up to prevent this. . “He was totally limp as a rag doll and unable to help himself or me. I knew I had to get him out of the water as I wasn’t sure exactly how long he had been there and that hypothermia would set in if not already.

“It took two attempts to get him onto the edge of the bank before I managed to turn him over from off his back and get him into the recovery position, removing a large amount of mud from around his mouth. He then started to drain water from his mouth and cough more up.

“ If he hadn’t had been discovered, I am sure he would have eventually drowned there or possibly swept away due to his weakness to the weir just a little further down river which would have killed him. I feel very fortunate to have been there straight away but I know that any other Frome officer would have done exactly the same thing.

“Due to the man being almost unconscious he didn’t really recollect much of the incident. I met him a couple of months ago, as he wished to thank me for the rescue and discuss what happened. It was quite an emotional occasion and he was extremely grateful for my actions. It was nice to meet him once again, in person fully recovered, as the events happened so quickly and he was whisked away to hospital immediately.

“I have to make a special mention of the total support I have had from my partner Virginia and the understanding she gives to the role which I live and breathe.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony Chief Constable Nick Gargan said, “All of the officers and members of staff here today represent everything our communities should expect and deserve from their police service – bravery, tenacity, strength and absolute dedication to problem solving, good service and improving the communities in which we live.

“I am extremely proud of everyone here today but I would like to extend particular thanks to the Special Constables and volunteers, who give their time to both the Constabulary and their communities for free.”