29 September 2020
Wiltshire Police Federation has been speaking to the media about one of their life-saving colleagues who has been nominated for a National Police Bravery Award.
Courageous PC Chris Miller dived into a dark canal in Devizes in January last year to rescue a woman who had been seen floating face down in the freezing cold water.
Arriving on the scene he could see the woman, who had thrown herself off a high bridge over the canal, was on the verge of drowning.
Deciding he couldn’t wait for fire crew support, PC Miller took off his body armour vest and radioed in that he was going to get into the canal to help the stricken woman.
He half waded, half swam out to her and managed to drag her to the far bank.
Incredibly, she was still conscious, although ice cold.
PC Miller stayed with her despite her protestations and managed to keep her warm until ambulance teams arrived.
His bravery has been recognised through the annual National Police Bravery Awards, which has been postponed from July this year to 2021 due to COVID-19.
It’s also not the first time he has been put forward for the prestigious awards - he was nominated in 2016 after rescuing a man from a lake.
Wiltshire Police Federation Chairman Mark Andrews told BBC Radio Wiltshire: “He won a bravery award in 2016 and he’s one of the only officers to have been nominated twice for the awards.
“We’re even looking at another case he was involved in for nominating him next year - he’s just one of those officers who keeps giving.
“There was no thought for his own safety or what might happen to him, his only thought was rescuing this woman from the canal and her safety.
“It was a freezing cold night, but he just got in there and saved her life.”
Mark said it was the Federation’s job to highlight incredible acts of bravery carried out by their members.
“Incidents like this show what our officers do and Chris is one of those officers who go the extra mile and just keep giving,” he said.
“When push comes to shove we are there, we are putting our lives at risk to save people, that’s why we join the police and do the job we do.
“Chris keeps putting his life on the line, he keeps getting the job done and he is a wonderful example to other officers. I’m glad we have him on the Wiltshire force and I’m glad I can highlight what he does on a national level.
“We have one of the country’s finest serving here in Wiltshire.”
The Police Federation of England and Wales is determined to highlight the fantastic work of all 94 National Police Bravery award nominees online despite the 2020 event - the 25th National Police Bravery Awards - having to be cancelled.
Instead, nominees will attend a prestigious daytime reception and evening awards ceremony in London in July 2021.
“Hopefully if things have calmed down next year we’ll be able to reward and celebrate Chris and other officers’ achievements,” Mark added.
“We’re not going to let them get away with not dressing up, and I’ll be there in my kilt!”