Toddler saved by hero policeman

A POLICE officer told last night how he saved the life of a two-year-old girl who had been in a road accident and was already feared dead.Sgt Martin Chapman rushed to the aid of the toddler and cleared her airways - actions which medics say saved her from death.

By Annie Davidson

A POLICE officer told last night how he saved the life of a two-year-old girl who had been in a road accident and was already feared dead.

Sgt Martin Chapman rushed to the aid of the toddler and cleared her airways - actions which medics say saved her from death.

Emergency services were alerted at 4.55pm on Tuesday after the youngster chased a football into Mundon Road, Maldon, and was in collision with a Vauxhall Zafira people carrier.


You may also want to watch:


Sgt Chapman, 29, said: “I was at the police station doing some paperwork before I went home and then the call came over the radio.

“I was listening to the local units coming back when control said ambulance had had a call saying it was a deceased two-year-old at the scene.

Most Read

“When I heard that I called up and said did they want me to go to it as duty sergeant and they said yes.”

Sgt Chapman went to the scene with Pc Phil Morley and the pair were the first to arrive within three minutes.

Sgt Chapman said: “The child was lying in the road and her lips were slightly blue. I could tell she wasn't deceased as she was making a funny noise.

“She was struggling to breathe and I assumed from what I could see there was a blockage of the airway.

“I felt if I didn't do something she would die in any case so I moved her head back and put my finger in her mouth to clear out the blood and mucus.

“I pulled her tongue forward and she gasped for air and started squealing a little bit.”

On arrival the girl's pulse had been weak and slow but once she began to breathe again it went back to normal.

The child, from east London, was airlifted to Colchester General Hospital and later transferred to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London.

She was initially in intensive care but her condition improved enough that yesterday she was moved onto a normal ward.

Sgt Chapman, who has been a police officer for nine years, transferred to Essex police three years ago from the British Transport Police.

He said after his actions he left the child with paramedics while he directed the traffic.

“I was about to go when the chief inspector came up to me and said 'I hear you saved her life',” he said.

“Of course, I am pleased that she is okay, not necessarily that it was me who did it, just pleased that she is going to be fine.”

He was modest about his actions and added: “I have worked with people who have done far more and some of my British Transport Police friends were on duty for the July 7 bombings pulling people out of the trains.”

Sgt Chapman added: “There was nothing medically complicated about what I did and it wasn't the result of any specialist police training; it was just the confidence of knowing a few basic techniques that are easily learned by any member of the public.”

Reminding parents of the importance of road safety, he said: “It takes just a second for an accident like this to occur and the summer holidays are a poignant time to remind our children of the dangers of the roads and to ensure they choose suitable locations such as public parks and playgrounds in which to play.”

East of England Ambulance Service operations manager, Stuart Berlyn, said: “There seems little doubt that the officer has saved the girl from a more serious condition. He is to be commended for his actions.

“There was excellent co-operation between police and ambulance staff which ensured the little girl got the best possible care, as quickly as possible.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus