Bravery in the face of tragedy
Reporter: Robbie MacDonald
Date online: 30 January 2014
BRAVE police officers have been praised for their skills and compassion following tragic local events.
The officers received certificates from Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, who said they were “super men and women whose humanity and service had earned them deep public gratitude.”.
PC Haroon Akram (38), a Limeside beat officer, gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to six-week-old Scarlett McDonald after she suffered a heart attack on Christmas Eve.
An emotional PC Akram said: “I still have visions, over and over again, about what happened. I’m based in Limeside but was at Failsworth police station when we received the emergency call.
“The baby’s uncle came running out, saying ‘help, help’. Inside the house, the baby’s dad was trying to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A very small baby was on the sofa. It was blue.
“I pressed my hands on the baby’s chest and also gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I could feel the baby’s tiny, cold lips. Everyone else was saying the baby’s dead. They were hysterical. ”
The baby vomited a few times and PC Akram kept repeating the procedure until paramedics arrived.
He said: “When they arrived, they tapped my shoulder and grabbed the baby. I think she started breathing again. I then tried to calm everyone down — the mum was hysterical. Then I broke down. I was on my knees and my eyes were full of tears.
“I was then told to go to the hospital with the family. We sped there with the vehicle’s blue lights flashing. The whole thing was so overwhelming. At one point, I was sick.
“At hospital, the baby was breathing with the aid of a machine. The mum then got down on her knees and told me ‘you’ve saved my baby — I’m going to tell her when she’s growing up how you saved her life’.”
Tragically Scarlett - a twin - died two days later: “At first the baby was fighting, then not fighting. I thought ‘please fight, fight, fight’. I found out on Boxing Day there was no fight left. That was very hard.”
Turning to Mr Lloyd, he said: “I still don’t forgive myself.”
Mr Lloyd said: “You tried to make a difference. You are not Superman but you are all super men and women.”
ANOTHER group of Oldham officers received certificates for their work surrounding the suicide of a 34-year-old man in Hathershaw.
After receiving a call over concerns for the man’s safety, officers had to break down a front door to enter the house and then control two large dogs.
PC Joanna Lang said: “We found the man hanging in the loft, managed to get his body down and attempted CPR therapy until an ambulance arrived. It was a harrowing and physically-demanding situation. Later we had to help his partner and friends cope with the news of his death.”
PC Howard Parker, an acting sergeant at the time, said: “It was really hard to break the news to the man’s partner and friend. However, what also effected us was the thank-you email they sent to us after the death.”
The email thanked all the officers for their hard work in attempting to revive him.
Oldham police chief Supt Catherine Hankinson said: “The man was really concerned that the police officers received his thanks. “His email shows the impact we have on people and how small comments can make a difference. Stemming from tragic circumstances, these stories show, first and foremost, that police officers are people — not simply uniforms.”
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