Hero Ipswich police officers nominated for national award after fire rescue
- Credit: Archant
Two police officers who risked their lives to drag a woman from a burning house have been nominated for the Police Federation National Bravery Awards.
Seconds after Sergeant Ali Livingstone and Pc Ali Maidment hauled Kerri Mills out of her home in La Salle Close, Ipswich, an explosion shattered a window, raining glass down on them.
The pair are Suffolk’s representatives at the bravery awards in London on Thursday.
They are among 69 officers from 40 forces who have also been invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street on the same evening.
After rescuing 37-year-old Miss Mills, Sgt Livingstone said it was “the most frightening incident in his 16 years of service.”
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In 2009, Sgt Livingstone was hailed as the country’s most effective police officer after racking up around 1,100 arrests in the previous 18 months the most in England and Wales.
The same year Sgt Livingstone and Pc Maidment also received a Stars of Suffolk award for another dramatic rescue. The pair clung on to a suicidal man as he dangled on a ledge of Willis’ car park in Ipswich before five colleagues arrived to help.
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When the two officers arrived at Miss Mills’ home on Christmas Day it was already filled with smoke, and flames could be seen in a bedroom. It took both of them to smash in the door of the property as it was locked.
Pc Maidment ran up the stairs while Sgt Livingstone checked downstairs.
The first floor was filled with heavy smoke and the bedroom was well alight. Pc Maidment was forced to retreat due to the heat and dense smoke. As he went down the stairs Sgt Livingstone ran up, but the fire was so intense he was unable to get further than the hallway.
Getting on his hands and knees he reached the bedroom and felt Miss Mills’ apparently lifeless body laying in the doorway.
Although he tried to create some space Sgt Livingstone had to retreat down the stairs. After taking some deep breaths, he went back up and managed to drag the unresponsive Miss Mills to the top of the stairs.
With the help of Pc Maidment, they carried her outside to safety.
At one stage they thought a child may be in the house and prepared themselves to go back in. However firefighters arrived and ensured there was no one else inside.
Earlier this year Miss Mills was jailed for 40 months at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
Matt Gould, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation said the officers will be honoured by their own force.
Mr Gould said: “Officers Livingstone and Maidment entered a burning building in order to save life and so maintained the best traditions of the police service.
“They have been recognised by Chief Constable Gareth Wilson by way of a chief constable’s commendation, Suffolk Constabulary’s highest award.
“Very unusually, both officers have previously been nominated for this national award in 2009. think this underlines the type of officers we have serving the people of Suffolk.”