Cambridgeshire special constable awarded for saving grandfather’s life after he collapsed during running race

PUBLISHED: 12:43 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:30 10 November 2017

SC Selly Rowles receiving her Royal Human Society Resuscitation Certificate from Tom Sullivan, who she saved after he collapsed during a running race. They are pictured with chief constable Alec Wood.

SC Selly Rowles receiving her Royal Human Society Resuscitation Certificate from Tom Sullivan, who she saved after he collapsed during a running race. They are pictured with chief constable Alec Wood.

Archant

A Cambridgeshire special constable was awarded last night for her work to save the life of a grandfather who had collapsed during a running race.

PC Leigh Norman who received a Chief Constable's Commendation this evening for courage and bravery. PC Leigh Norman who received a Chief Constable's Commendation this evening for courage and bravery.

Selcan “Selly” Rowles was presented with the Royal Human Society Resuscitation Certificate at last night’s (November 9) chief constable’s long service and commendations ceremony.

Selly, 33, was running in a five-mile road race in Wellingborough last July when, after roughly one mile, she noticed a disturbance up ahead and some runners shouting for a marshal.

PCSO Sallie Lunness who received a Chief Constable's Commendation tonight for preventing a potentially serious collision, by stopping a man from driving the wrong way along a parkway. Sallie ran alongside the man, after he ignored her pleas to stop driving, eventually leaning in through an open window and grabbing the keys from the ignition PCSO Sallie Lunness who received a Chief Constable's Commendation tonight for preventing a potentially serious collision, by stopping a man from driving the wrong way along a parkway. Sallie ran alongside the man, after he ignored her pleas to stop driving, eventually leaning in through an open window and grabbing the keys from the ignition

She realised 67-year-old Tom Sullivan, of Northampton, was in a ditch collapsed. She stopped and checked his pulse but could not find one.

Selly, who has been a Special for five years, and three other competitors assessed him and started CPR and continued for about 30 minutes before ambulance and then air ambulance arrived.

Speaking last night Tom, who attended the ceremony with wife Mary, said: “It’s very, very emotional and obviously it’s lovely to be able to say thank-you for saving my life.

“Selly said to me, ‘you spoke a few times when we were doing to CPR’, but I’d got no memory of that and really the only way for me to recognise her today was the picture in the paper just after the incident.

“I said, ‘Selly I can’t thank you enough for saving my life. I’ve seen my second granddaughter but I wouldn’t have seen her if you hadn’t have stopped’.

“At the hospital they said it was the quality of the CPR that saved me and made sure my memory was virtually intact. She fully deserves this award but to me nothing is really enough for what she did for me.”

Selly said: “I didn’t know he was going to be here tonight so it was a big surprise and very emotional. It’s brought back a lot of memories. I said, ‘I’m not going to cry, I’m only receiving a certificate, I’m honoured’, but then they said Tom is here and I felt the tears coming.

“I’m very proud to have been able to put into practice what I learnt and it worked, most importantly. And as people have told me, many people would not have stopped in a race because it’s so competitive but I’m happy that I found the values in myself to stop and it’s made a difference. Tom tells me he’s just had a granddaughter that he wouldn’t have seen and I still get goose pimples just talking about it.”

Selly said she now plans to run the same race again in Wellingborough with Tom and Mary.

Selly’s story was just one of many heard by attendees at the ceremony. Others featured bravery, life-saving actions, safeguarding and dangerous people being brought before the courts.

PCSO Sallie Lunness received a chief constable’s commendation for preventing a potentially serious collision, by stopping a man from driving the wrong way along a parkway. Sallie ran alongside the man, after he ignored her pleas to stop driving, eventually leaning in through an open window and grabbing the keys from the ignitionThe bi-annual ceremony recognises and rewards the work, commitment and bravery of police officers, staff and members of the public.

PC Leigh Norman also received a chief constable’s commendation for courage and bravery. Earlier this year Leigh was part of a team of officers searching for a vulnerable young girl.

Leigh found the girl, in an extremely distressed and a risk to herself, and she was taken to hospital. That same day a second call came in about a vulnerable woman on walking along a train track.

PC Norman could hear a train coming so, with no thought for himself, went onto the tracks and grab the woman clear of the line as the train thundered by.

The bi-annual ceremony recognises and rewards the work, commitment and bravery of police officers, staff and members of the public.

Chief constable Alec Wood, who presented awards in front of an audience of friends and family, said: “Last night we presented long service awards to our officers, staff and volunteers for their loyal and dedicated commitment to the force, alongside commendations in recognition of remarkable and selfless acts and those who have worked in adverse conditions. They all deserve the recognition they received.

“My personal thanks and congratulations go to each and every one of them.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite added: “I am always humbled by the amazing stories that highlight the professionalism and commitment from officers, staff and volunteers involved in our policing family.

“On behalf of the people of Cambridgeshire I would like to thank all officers and police staff for the exceptional work they do in keeping our county safe.”

Those awarded were:

Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

PC Arnold Black

Supt Martin Brunning

DCI Adam Gallop

Sgt Liz Groom

DI Susie Hine

ACC Simon Megicks

Sgt Mags Roberts

DS Jacqueline Shersby

DC Anthony Thorpe

DC Clementina Yaxley

PC Adrian Anderson

PC Carolyn Chambers

DC Lisa Correll

DC Anthony Harlow

DI Geoff Knight

PC Vince Smith

PC Charlie McCabe

Police staff Long Service award

Alison Cassey

Tara Langwade

Debbie Jayne Ruddle

Kirstie Turpin

Lorraine Ballard

Kerry Edwards

Jessica Ives

Abi Shafi

Special Constabulary and volunteers Long Service award

SC Mark King

SC Huw Parry-Jones

SC Kevin Morris

PSV Stefan Gidlow

PSV Philip Sindall

PSV Emmy Skinner

Rev Dorothy Peyton-Jones

Commendations

PC Leigh Norman

Chief Insp Julia Hands

Chief Supt Chris Mead

PCSO Sallie Lunness

Sarah Newson (Criminal Justice Unit)

Jeanne Watson (Criminal Justice Unit)

DC George Neal

DC Nicky Boxall

PC Matthew Holt

PC Jack Henderson

PC Steve Surtees

Crime Scene Manager Amanda Lancaster

SOCO Claire Galpin

SOCO David Barron

SOCO Jonathan Dane

SOCO Tania Butler

DS Garry Webb

PS Chris Bockham

Caroline Clark (from the Ambulance Service)

Paramedic Andrew Lovelock

Royal Human Society Resuscitation Certificate

SC Selcan Rowles

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