Choking boy’s life saved by off-duty police couple on holiday

·3-min read
John and his four-year-old son Dexter. (Police)
John and his four-year-old son Dexter. (Police)

Two off-duty police officers saved a choking boy’s life while on holiday in Wales.

The couple, whose last name is Vincent, sprang into action after four-year-old Dexter became “lifeless and floppy” when a chicken nugget got stuck in his throat.

The child got into difficulty while eating at a beachside restaurant in Barmouth earlier this summer.

Detention escort officer Vincent and his wife PC Vincent, who have both been with West Midlands Police for more than ten years, were walking past and saw the boy’s dad John trying to help him.

DEO Vincent said: "His dad was quite understandably, in panic mode.

"He didn't know what to do. So I stepped in and took hold of Dexter, and slapped him on the back a couple of times, but I realise now it was not hard enough."

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Barmouth, Wales, UK. August 05, 2017.  The town taken from the beach with families of holidaymakers enjoying a August day at Barmouth in Wales.
The incident happened Barmouth, Wales. (Getty)

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PC Vincent then tried slapping his back five times, but this did not work.

DEO Vincent added: "But Dexter was starting to lose consciousness and going limp in my arms.

"So I did six chest thrusts and finally the chicken nugget came out on the sixth one.

“The lad started to come back round quite quickly after that and my wife put him on her knee and comforted him.”

Dexter was then taken to hospital where he was given the all-clear.

Dexter’s dad John said: "I didn't know first aid - I was trying everything. But he was going blue and he was going limp. And then suddenly they were there.

"They were both so super calm and so professional about it all. It was just awful, watching what was happening to Dexter but being powerless to do anything.

"But we won the lottery with these two passing by. Even though they were off-duty they didn't hesitate to help and if they'd not been there I believe Dexter would have died.”

John has since written to Chief Constable Dave Thompson praising the pair for saving his son’s life.

Superintendent Jack Hadley, from Response, added: "When I heard what these two officers had done I was truly humbled and see both of them as absolute heroes.

"It is wonderful to know that their first aid skills kicked in and they were both able to remain calm, remember their training, and do what was needed to save this young boy's life."

A local Rewards and Recognition panel are currently reviewing the couple’s life-saving actions and they are set to be nominated for an appropriate award.

DEO Vincent said: "We'd learned what to do thanks to the training we've had, throughout my 13 years with WMP, and for my wife it's 14 years.

"But it's the first time I've had to use my first aid skills for anything as serious as this. It just goes to show that it really does work and we’re so pleased we were there and able to help."

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