​HEROIC police officers and members of the public who have saved people’s lives have been awarded top lifesaving honours.

Royal Humane Society awards were presented to the recipients at a special presentation in front of proud friends and family at Durham Constabulary headquarters.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Orford, who presented the awards together with Superintendent Catherine Clarke, said: “There are times in your policing career when you can remember literally every single second of an incident. They are the times when you are operating at the far end of what a human is expected to do. They are the times when you have the potential to make the ultimate contribution and save somebody’s life.

“I would like to say a big thank you to every single one of these recipients – what they have done is truly remarkable and these awards are thoroughly well deserved.”

Response officers PC Nicholas Minto and PC Elizabeth Jermey were awarded Certificates of Commendation for saving the life of a young man who was threatening to jump off a motorway bridge near Chester-le-Street in the early hours of the morning in April last year.

Member of the public, Lorraine Eltringham was also honoured for saving the life of a man who was on the wrong side of the railings on a bridge over the A688 late one night in July last year.

Despite being scared of the dark, she got out of her car and spoke to the man for 45 minutes, building up a rapport with him. Officers who also attended the scene said she was instrumental in helping him to come back over the railings, ultimately saving his life.

Resuscitation Certificates were awarded to PCs Harrison Gott and Philip Gardner for saving the life of a young boy who was having a seizure. The pair were on their way to a burglary when they were flagged down by a member of the public after the youngster had fallen ill in the back seat of a car. The boy had stopped breathing, so the officers took the boy out of the car and carried out a number of rounds of CPR until paramedics arrived. Medical staff said that had it not been for the prompt actions of the officers, the boy would have died.

PCs Ross Burnham, Steven Hawman and Kirsty Salmon, and member of the public Jake Brennen were given Certificates of Commendation for their roles in saving a suicidal woman who was found unconscious in a river in Bishop Auckland.

PCs Carl Symes and Ryan Brown were awarded Resuscitation Certificates for performing CPR on a woman who had become unresponsive outside a pub in Stanley in June last year, helping to keep her alive until paramedics arrived.

PCSO James Robson was also awarded a Resuscitation Certificate for his efforts during a distressing incident in which a woman had called police in hysterics after finding her partner unresponsive in bed. As the first officer on scene, he began CPR until the paramedics arrived and took the man to hospital. Sadly he died a few days later.

Member of the public David Johnson received a Certificate of Commendation for helping to save the life of a man who was threatening to jump off the A689 viaduct in Bishop Auckland, as did PCs Jessica Geoghegan, Erica Kilburn, Hanna Liddle, Victoria Ord and Sergeant Tony Miley, as well as members of the public Carole Morrison and Joanne Tufnell. They worked together to save the life of a man who was threatening to jump from the Hownsgill Viaduct, in Consett.

PSCO Bethany Thomas was honoured for rescuing a woman from the sea in South Shields while off duty. Despite not being able to swim and with a fear of water, PCSO Thomas rushed to the woman’s aid, dragging her out of the sea and to some nearby rocks where she called an ambulance.