The kind and public-spirited actions of a West Nottinghamshire College catering student have earnt him a Chief Constable’s commendation in the forthcoming Nottinghamshire Police Force Awards event.
In spring this year, food and beverage diploma student, Harvey Clipston, had been making his way home after helping out a local elderly neighbour, when he was faced with a lady in her 70s sitting on a wall and seemed to be unwell.
Harvey, 17, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, said: “The lady looked like she was struggling to breathe so I decided to stop and spoke to her. Then she fell backwards into the garden and went into cardiac arrest.”
This is when Harvey’s put his first aid skills into action, which he’d learnt at school some years before.
He immediately put her onto her side and cleared her airways, then Harvey ran and knocked on the door of the house adjacent to where the lady had fallen.
Harvey said: “I learnt CPR at school and I’ve always remembered it. Turning her onto her side was the first thing I thought to do, taking care to cushion her head. I then performed CPR on her until the ambulance came.”
Once the paramedics arrived Harvey continued with chest compressions while one paramedic concentrated on the lady’s airways. The other paramedic was getting the equipment out of the ambulance.
Sadly, the lady passed away, but Harvey was determined to attempt CPR and remain by her side. He said: “I wanted to stay with her as I didn’t want to think of her being alone. To know I’d tried to help was very important.
“It was a distressing thing to be involved in, so I wanted to walk home to clear my head, but the police who attended insisted they drove me home. I learnt that she was only two minutes away from her home where she would have been alone, so I am glad I was able to be with her.
“My fiancé Rebeca Thompson supported me that night and stayed with me until the early hours. She’s been a tower of strength for me.”
A few weeks after the incident, Harvey was contacted by the lady’s family. They had managed to reach him through the residents of the house which Harvey had alerted when the lady had collapsed.
Harvey said: “The lady’s cousins wanted to thank me for my efforts in staying with her and they took me for a meal. I met her cousins, nephew and his partner. I was also asked to attend the funeral back in May which I went to, to pay my respects.”
Then in October, out of the blue, Harvey received a letter from the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police.
Chief constable Kate Meynell’s letter praised the way Harvey “came to a complete stranger’s aid and to act in such a manner is commendable”. The letter went on to say how Chief Constable Meynell “would like to place on record my thanks for your public-spirited actions. Having considered this incident at a Force Recognition Panel, the decision was made that you should be awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation.”
Harvey said: “I discovered I had been nominated for this Force Award by the people whose door I knocked on. I was so surprised and I am really quite proud to be recognised for something.”
Harvey will attend the Force Awards at the Nottinghamshire Police Headquarters on Sherwood Lodge Drive on Tuesday 21 November.
Helen Wilcockson, head of the college’s health, care and service industries curriculum, said: “When I found out what Harvey had gone through it didn't surprise me that he’d been nominated for this award.
“He always presents himself as a caring and kind person and as a team we were all so proud of what he had tried to do and we’re so proud of his own personal strength to deal with the emotions afterwards.”