Police Federation


Boote & Taylor

A pair of officers whose rapid response helped save the life of a vulnerable women who was unconscious in her home have been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024. 

A distressed woman sent a video of a lit BBQ in her own home to her estranged partner, who quickly called 999. 

Staffordshire response officers PCs Emily Gabbott and Josh Taylor were the first on the scene. They found the house secure with smoke emanating from open upstairs windows. 

While fire and ambulance services were en route, along with enforcer patrols still nine miles away, the officers conducted a dynamic risk assessment.  

Recognising the immediate danger to the woman, they decided waiting for additional support was not an option.  

They knew time was of the essence, so PC Taylor began trying to force the door open using a battering ram, while PC Gabbott asked the concerned onlooking neighbour if she could access the back of the house from their garden. 

PC Gabbott went through the neighbours’ house who helpfully provided her with a step ladder to climb over into the women’s garden. 

Spotting an open window at the back of the house, PC Gabbott managed to climb in and quickly run up the stairs into the smoke-filled bedroom to find her laying face down on the floor and unconscious. 

At this stage PC Taylor had gained access through the front door to join her. They tried desperately to wake the women to get her down the stairs and out of the house as she had been breathing in carbon monoxide for quite some time. 

The woman remained unresponsive, so PC Taylor took action and moved her down the stairs safely before putting her in the recovery position on the lawn. 

Meanwhile, PC Gabbott searched the house twice to check if there were any other occupants inside who could be suffering from smoke inhalation. 

The woman was breathing, but unresponsive as they continued to speak to her while they were joined by fire and rescue service personnel who provided first aid until ambulance staff arrived.

Despite the risk, the officers re-entered the property to ensure no one else was inside and to ascertain the whereabouts of the woman's children, ensuring everyone's safety. 

The woman has since fully recovered. 

The decisive action of the officers in swiftly entering the property and evacuating the woman contributed significantly to the positive outcome of the incident.  

Staffordshire Police Federation Chair Lee Robinson said: “Every day police officers across the country put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. I am tremendously proud to be able to nominate two outstandingly brave officers who did just that.

“PC Emily Gabbott and PC Josh Taylor knew they had to act quickly as there was a female inside a smoke-filled property. Time was of the essence, and they did not hesitate to act in the bravest possible way and forced entry to rescue the casualty from inside.

“I have no doubt the situation would have ended much more tragically if the two officers waited for other resources to arrive, and I am sure they saved the life of a fellow human being.

“I, and I’m sure all of my colleagues in Staffordshire Police, are extremely proud of what Emily and Josh did that day, and they absolutely deserve to be recognised as heroes.”

Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Chris Noble said: “Emily and Josh represent the best of policing. Their swift and decisive action on that day undoubtedly saved the life of this woman. They were unhesitating in putting her safety ahead of their own when they entered that burning building.

“Even after they had rescued her, Emily went into the building, again, to search for other potential occupants. Their care and compassion embody the values of Staffordshire Police, and I wholeheartedly commend them for their bravery.”

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