Devon and Cornwall - rescued man trapped in car

DC Alison Brooks DC Andrew Whittle

DC Alison Brooks and DC Andrew Whittle

Two officers who risked their lives rescuing a man from a wrecked car as fire threatened to engulf his vehicle, have been recognised with a national Police Bravery Award nomination.

DCs Alison Brooks and Andy Whittle were investigating a murder when two vehicles collided head on, killing one of the drivers and trapping the other in his car. DCs Brooks and Whittle quickly assessed the scene, called the ambulance and fire services and made sure the road was safe to other motorists.

The dead driver’s vehicle was on fire, posing a serious risk to the surviving driver. The officers tried to put out the fire using a fire extinguisher, but it wasn’t strong enough to stop the blaze. DC Whittle used his jacket to shield the trapped driver from the worst of the flames while they considered how to get him out of his car.

As soon as the driver showed that he could partially free his legs, the officers pulled him from the wreckage. Unable to walk due to his injuries, they carried him to a safe distance with the help of the ambulance crew. With the driver safe, the fire service put out the burning car.

The officers’ actions were professional and courageous – especially as they continued on to their prior appointment and gathered an important statement. Their actions ensured that the driver was not seriously harmed or killed and their scene management meant that no other people were put at risk.