A Bedfordshire Police officer who entered a burning building in an attempt to rescue someone has been recognised for his efforts at the national Police Bravery awards.
The National Police Bravery Awards on Thursday (13 July) honoured officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.
The Bedfordshire officer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, sustained life changing injuries after being deployed to Green Court, Luton in April last year.
Shortly after arrival, the officer and his team were faced with fire inside one of the apartments on the 14th floor that was causing smoke to slowly engulf the hallways.
Assisted by his team, the officer gained entry to the property and selflessly sought to rescue the occupant. During his efforts, the fire intensified, and the officer was severely burnt as he attempted to exit.
Despite his injuries, the officer raised the alarm and ensured other residents were evacuated from the tower block and did not come to harm.
Nominated by the force and selected from 90 impressive nominations received from 36 forces across England and Wales, the officer was one of eight regional winners presented with his award at the prestigious awards ceremony held in London.
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye added: “Faced with a clear and very real threat of harm, our officer put aside concerns for his own welfare to ensure the safety of others.
“He exemplifies the oath that every officer across the country has taken. To the best of his power, he sort to preserve the peace within our community while preventing further harm to hundreds of innocent residents.
“On behalf of our force, it is with great pride that we celebrate our officer and welcome the recognition of his bravery, courage and selfless actions.”
Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “He is the consummate professional who never asked others to do what he was not prepared to.
“Hence why he was there leading his team on that morning and was the first to rush into a burning flat in a brave attempt to save the life of another.
“Despite his life-threatening injuries, he has remained positive and an ambassador for Bedfordshire Police.”
Last month the same officer received the PC Jon Henry Shield at Bedfordshire Police’s annual force awards.
The PC Jon Henry Shield is awarded each year to an officer for an act of bravery in memory of PC 5584 Jon Henry, who was stabbed to death while on duty in Luton in 2007.
Bedfordshire Police Federation Chair Stephen Bozward said: “His actions that fateful day demonstrate, the tremendous courage, leadership and kindness he has shown throughout his career.
“Despite his serious and life-threatening injuries he continued to put the safety of the public and his colleagues before himself. There is no doubt his heroic selfless actions saved further injury and loss of life that day.
“The Police Bravery Awards is a platform for exceptional officers to be honoured and recognised for outstanding acts of heroism and dedication to duty.
“I would like to reiterate that all police officers are heroes, regardless of whether they win an award or not. They serve their communities everyday putting themselves in harm’s way, so we can live safely.”