Uniformed Hero nominees – PC Reece Hingley, PC Ryan Steane, PC Ed Rushton and Sgt Miles Dolan
In the true spirit of bravery four Staffordshire Police officers battled to save lives during a horrific canal boat fire.
During the early hours of February 24, 2023 PCs Ryan Steane and Reece Hingley, from South Staffordshire local policing team, were first at the scene of a canal boat in flames.
They fought to put out the blaze using the fire extinguisher in their police car, but the fire was too fierce for their equipment to have an effect.
They were joined at Pendeford Mill Lane Canal, in South Staffordshire, by PC Ed Rushton and Sgt Miles Dolan.
With the risk of the fire engulfing neighbouring canal boats, PC Rushton put himself in danger by battling through the heat and the smoke to rouse the occupant of the nearest boat.
The officers focused their efforts on stopping the fire from spreading and were able to keep it at bay until firefighters arrived to put out the flames.
However, this was not the end of the drama for the small team of uniformed heroes. With firefighters entering the water in boats, officers located the bodies of a man and a dog from the bankside and directed firefighters to their location.
Sgt Dolan and PC Rushton were then responsible for removing the bodies from the water.
PC Reece Hingley, PC Ryan Steane, PC Ed Rushton and Sgt Miles Dolan have now been nominated as Uniformed Heroes in the Your Heroes Awards by senior officers at Staffordshire Police.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “This was a freezing night and a special mention must go to PC Rushton for his particular bravery in alerting other nearby boat users to the risk of the fire.
“The incident was horrific for all involved and there was very real and credible danger to the officers who first responded and then entered the water in an effort to save lives.”