Canterbury Cathedral Close Constables
Nicholas Collins: On the evening of Saturday 1 November 2014, Close Constable Nicholas (Nick) Collins was carrying out his duties manning Quenin entrance gate. At approximately 2040 hrs. both he and his colleague Matthew Seldon-Hollands were called to a first aid incident in which an elderly gentleman named who was attending a Cathedral Concert, was found unconscious in the South Precincts next to the Campanile Wall with a head injury. The casualty was being treated initially by a Red Cross first aider, who had started administering Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), as the casualty had stopped breathing and had no pulse and they had called for an ambulance.
There was a great deal of confusion and unnecessary onlookers, and whilst Matthew assisted in the treatment of the casualty, Nick moved people away from the site and ran for a defibrillator which was located in Christchurch Security office. On the way he met up with NHS paramedics who had been called to the scene and Nick briefed them to the situation.
When a second ambulance arrived, it could not enter the Precincts, as the first ambulance crew had left their vehicle blocking the Christchurch Gate, so Nick took the keys of the paramedics treating the casualty and attempted to move the obstructing vehicle.
On return to the scene of the accident It was evident that the casualty was suffering from cold and due to his age required to be kept warm to prevent further deterioration. Nick attempted to locate some blankets, but unable to find them in the ambulances which had turned up on the scene, he improvised using towels and sheets.
The medical teams were struggling to treat the casualty due to lack of light despite using hand torches, so Nick improvised and utilised a car to shine it’s headlights onto the scene to provide extra lighting for the paramedics.at the accident site and briefing the senior members of Chapter present, as well as keeping his colleagues informed of what was happening often running back and forth.
At the end of the Concert, Nick used his initiative and opened the Postern vehicle Gate to divert cars out through that exit to ensure the scene of the accident was kept safe and clear of vehicles and unwanted traffic and also to allow the ambulances to exit without getting embroiled with pedestrians leaving the Precincts at the end of the Concert.
Throughout the whole incident, Nick showed great professionalism, initiative, stamina and self-control. It is recommended that The Dean and Chapter recognise Nicks contribution to a harrowing and tragic incident.
Matthew Seldon-Hollands: At approximately 8.40pm On Saturday 1st November 2014. Close Constable Matthew Seldon-Hollands was carrying out his duties as night time patrolman. He was called to a first aid incident in which an elderly gentleman who was attending a Cathedral Concert, was found unconscious in the South Precincts next to the Campanile Wall with a head injury. The casualty was being treated initially by a Red Cross first aider, who had started administering Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), as the Casualty had stopped breathing and had no pulse and they had called for an ambulance.
As there was a lot of onlookers, Matthew took charge of the situation and ordered a colleague to move people away from the site and asked for a defibrillator to be brought from the Security office, but paramedics had already arrived on scene at this point and it was not required. Matthew took over giving CPR to the casualty. As the red Cross first aider was suffering from fatigue could no longer continue. Matthew stepped in immediately and along with an NHS paramedic took over the CPR and continued this for a further 120 minutes until further specialist ambulance crews arrived. Matthew continued to assist the ambulance crew working on the casualty helping move him and holding the adrenaline drips and loading him into an ambulance. At the same time Matthew continued to control the situation giving instructions to staff and ensuring that members of the public kept the area clear and ordered the use of Postern Gate as a temporary exit route for vehicles.
Matthew’s performance was exemplary, showing great dedication and professionalism in what was a very fraught and physically exhausting incident attempting to save a life. Despite the stress of dealing with the casualty, Matthew remain calm and still controlled the situation making sound decisions to ease the commotion and make the task of the paramedics easier.
His performance has resulted in praise from many of those attending the Concert. It is sad that such hard work did not eventually save the casualty.
Throughout the whole incident, Matthew showed great professional leadership, initiative, stamina and self-control.
Liverpool Cathedral Constables
Les McKenna and Steve Pasztak: On the evening of 23rd April 2003 at approximately 18:30, a report was received from a frightened student that a youth had broken into their campus house and was threatening them with a BBQ fork.
Les and his colleague Steve Pasztak upon arrival entered the house and found the youth. He was in a disturbed violent state and immediately threatened the constables with the BBQ fork, attempting to stab the officers. Les and Steve managed to subdue the youth and restrain him until the arrival of the police. Searching the youth he was found to have a large knife strapped to his leg.
It later transpired that the youth was wanted by the police for an attempted murder earlier the same day in the city. Les and Steve are commended for the courage and professionalism displayed during this incident.
Canterbury Cathedral Close Constables:
Victor Stevens : On Thursday 1 December 2011 at approximately 6pm, Warden Victor Stevens who was returning back to Christchurch security office when he was approached by two members of the public with a man who had deliberately cut his left wrist whilst in the Cloisters.
Victor immediately took charge of the situation administering first aid by raising his arm to reduce the flow of blood from the laceration to his wrist and then called for assistance and an ambulance. Victor noticed that the man had a knife, which he removed from him and whilst calming the man down and attempting to ascertain some more information about him, Victor discovered that he had a further to knives in his possession which again he removed to prevent further harm to either himself or others.
Both the Police and ambulance arrived and took the man to hospital, it was later confirmed that the man had a previous history of suicidal tendency and that his intensions were to take his life at Canterbury Cathedral.
Throughout the whole incident, Victor remained calm and in control of the situation. It is to his credit that he was able to disarm the man to prevent any further injury to either members of the public around him, or himself.
Victor displayed great initiative and acted in a thoroughly professional manner. He should be commended for his quick reactions in not only saving the man’s life, but also having to disarm him also.
Timothy Sharp: At approximately 21.40pm On Sunday 4 December 2011. Warden Timothy Sharp was carrying out his duties as night time patrolman and was checking the rear of the Workshop area, when he noticed a figure or shape of a person hanging from the top of the steps leading to the carpenter’s workshops at the rear of No8 the Precincts. He went to closer to investigate and discovered a man hanging by his neck who was still conscious. Timothy immediately took charge of the situation and supported the man’s legs to prevent the rope from constricting his airways. Whilst still supporting and holding the man’s legs, Timothy was able to request assistants from his colleagues and who radioed through to City Watch requesting Police and an ambulance.
Timothy remained at his post, supporting the man until the Police and ambulance crews arrived and the rope removed from the man’s neck and his life no longer in danger.
Throughout the whole incident, Timothy showed great professionalism, initiative and strength and it was due to his actions that a troubled man’s life was saved. In addition these actions also prevented a great deal of negative publicity for the Cathedral.