Hertfordshire PCSO's Commended for saving Pregnant Woman

Two Hertfordshire police have been awarded a Commendation after using Pocketcomms to save a pregnant woman

TWO Police Community Support Officers were given a commendation today, for their quick intervention when a pregnant woman fell critically ill in a supermarket.

The Stevenage-based officers, one of whom had only been on the job for three months, rushed to help when the woman collapsed in a Tesco’s store in the town on August 12.

The situation was complicated because the woman didn’t appear pregnant at first glance and didn’t speak any English.

The officers, PCSO Chris Watson and newly-appointed Jason Hart quickly made her as comfortable as possible and then used a special piece of equipment to communicate with her.

Chris said: "We were in the store when we saw a crowd of people gathering. When we walked over, we saw the woman on the floor apparently having a fit. We immediately called for an ambulance and started giving first aid.

"The lady couldn't speak any English and it wasn't immediately apparent she was pregnant. We carry a book of picture cards for use in exactly this situation. It's called a 'Pocket Comms' and is a series of images that depict different pictures on many subjects such as sickness symptoms or flags to show nationality.

"She was able to point at a picture of a pregnant woman and that information proved invaluable in this critical situation as we were able to pass that onto the ambulance crew.

"Thankfully, she recovered after being taken to hospital and actually had the baby the following day and both are doing fine. Both Jason and I are both delighted to get this commendation but at the end of the day, we were just doing our job. We are really pleased that this situation had a happy ending."

Paramedic Karen Nixon, who was first at the scene, praised the officers, saying: “Chris and Jason did a terrific job assisting me to treat and stabilise the patient. They also looked after her relatives until the arrival of my colleagues. They both went above and beyond and were both extremely kind and helpful throughout.”

Stevenage Chief Inspector Richard Liversidge said: “I am very proud of our PCSOsefforts during this incident, which must have been  particularly traumatic for the lady. 

“This incident demonstrates the close working relationship between the Stevenage Neighbourhood Policing Team, the East of England Ambulance Service and other Town Centre partners such as Shopwatch. I am pleased their hard work and skills have been recognised in this way.”

One of the Trust's Communications Managers Gary Sanderson, who arranged the presentation said: “It is always pleasing to receive such a nice story.

“Karen was very grateful indeed for the police officers' contribution. Both the police and paramedics were able to use their multi-lingual phrase books to communicate with the woman and her relatives as they were from Hungary.”

Gary added: “They both thoroughly deserve their commendations and on behalf of our trust, well done.”


For further information, please contact Nikki Hall, Senior Press & PR officer, in Corporate Communication on 01438 757110.

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PocketComms in action

A godsend when you can't speak a word!!! Worth it's weight in gold. Many thanks
R Southgate, Fire Service Engineer, Midlands
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