Police Federation


PC Dave Bridge and his wife Samantha Bridge

PC Dave Bridge and his wife Samantha Bridge

An off-duty policing couple who rescued their elderly neighbours from their burning home in the middle of the night have been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024.

On 18 June 2023, PC Dave Bridge and his wife Samantha, who is a criminal justice support officer with Essex Police, were both at their home address with their family, asleep.

At 3.30am they were woken by an explosion. Their neighbour’s house had been struck by lightning and had caught fire.

They were aware the elderly residents of the house have mobility issues and would be unable to get out by themselves and have a number of pets.

Flames were now starting to spread as PC Bridge and Samantha sprinted over and started banging on the windows.

They managed to raise the male occupant who was able to open the door and both PC Bridge and Samantha rushed into the house through the thick smoke to rescue their neighbours, prioritising their lives over their own.

The female occupant hadn’t heard the explosion and was still at the back of the house. They navigated their way through falling debris from the ceiling to reach her.

Samantha woke her up and assisted her from the premises while PC Bridge collected the six dogs and a cat up one by one under his arm.

All the neighbours rallied around to look after the elderly couple, and nobody was hurt, or worse, thanks to the bravery and quick thinking of PC Bridge and Samantha.

Essex Police Federation Chair Laura Heggie said: “What heroes! If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking and bravery of both Dave and Samantha, this incident could have had fatal consequences.

“They acted swiftly to help neighbours in dire need. We are very proud of them and their courage. Running towards the danger in the middle of the night and off duty. What incredible work.”

Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said everyone at Essex Police is immensely proud of the actions of David and Samantha.

He stated: “This nomination for a national policing award is richly deserved. Their actions were exemplary and are the best example of the commitment and dedication of everyone here at Essex Police to serving and protecting communities.

“In the true tradition of British policing, Dave and Samantha entered a burning house to rescue their elderly neighbours without thought for their own safety.

“The whole force is proud of their immense bravery, and they should be too.”

We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES