Off-duty cop wins award after saving man’s life


PUBLISHED 28 Jun 2024

IN News

An off-duty police officer has been presented with an award after saving the life of a man while she was on a training run for the London Marathon.

Cambridgeshire Police Federation member PC Hannah Wheatley had set off around Burghley House near Stamford when she came across a group of people standing around a man who had collapsed.

Hannah performed life-saving CPR on 76-year-old Brian Kinealy for around 20 minutes before paramedics arrived and were able to stabilise him.

Hannah said: “When I saw the group of people it just felt out of place.

“I turned my music off, went over to them, and it became apparent that a man had collapsed and was lying on his back on the floor.

“I could tell he wasn’t breathing properly and commenced CPR.

“The people were already on the phone to the ambulance, so I was hopeful they would be on their way.

“I kept going with the CPR until the ambulance got there and took over from me.

“Which at the time, I had no idea how long it was as you just lose all track of it.”

Hannah has been in the police for more than 17 years, 15 of them as a police officer, and she said her yearly CPR training kicked in.

“You do your training every year on Annie the doll,” she said.

“You hear of colleagues doing CPR and I worried whether I’d be able to do it when it came to it in real life.

“And when it happened in front of me, I had to crack on. The training you do every year instinctively comes back and thankfully it worked.

“I just got on with what was in front of me.

“It’s such a relief that he survived.”

Hannah has now been presented with a Royal Humane Society at a ceremony which Brian attended.
And, while the pair have stayed in touch since that fateful day in January last year, it was another emotional reunion.

Hannah said: “We’ve stayed in touch, and I’ve met him twice prior to the ceremony.

“The first time was last April for his birthday, which was emotional and surreal for us both, but it was lovely to learn more about Brian and his family.

“The ceremony was quite overwhelming.

“I hadn’t really told many people about the incident, so to be in front of a lot of people, and Brian being there was quite an emotional event.”

Brian said: “I cannot thank Hannah enough or speak highly enough of her courage to put herself forward to save my life

“I know it’s not quite the same experience as tackling a knife-wielding criminal, but having someone’s life in your hands is enormous, and it can be really traumatising for the person involved.

“She gave me the best care and apart from a couple of broken ribs – which is to be expected during CPR – I made a full recovery.

“I’d also like to thank her fellow colleagues, who showed great kindness and empathy when they collected my wife and daughter from my house and rushed them to Peterborough City Hospital to be with me.

“Since my ordeal it has been so lovely to get to know Hannah and her family and I was thrilled to be able to watch her receive her very well-deserved award. She is a wonderful person and I am forever grateful she was there that day.”

PC Hannah Wheatley and Brian Kinealy