A POLICE community support officer has been given a bravery award for saving the life of a two-year-old boy who had fallen into a canal.
PCSO Beccy Walker was awarded the Roland Gee McGowan Trophy after she jumped into the water to save little Ayaan Shah, who had become separated from his mother in Burnley.
A search was immediately launched and PCSO Walker and her colleague PCSO Kirsty Shepherd made their way to Pit Top Park, bordering onto Pheasant Ford Green.
When PCSO Walker found the boy in the Leeds Liverpool Canal, face down, she climbed in without hesitation, despite the water being deep and silt making it difficult for her to get a foothold.
When she managed to get through the water, she pulled Ayaan to the side where her colleagues, PC Vicky Malley, PCSO Shepherd and PC Duncan Hall got him out.
PCs Malley, Rubina Akoo and Alan Brown carried out CPR until the ambulance arrived. The child was taken by air ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital in a critical condition, but was later transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital, where he made a full recovery.
PCSO Walker said: “I am really pleased and thankful to have been given this award, but I must also say that it was a team effort between myself and my colleagues that meant the little boy was saved.
“I am just glad that I managed to get him out of the water, and that he survived such a dangerous incident.”
East divisional commander Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell, who presented the award at a special ceremony at Burnley Police Station, said: “It was a privilege to hand this trophy to Beccy, who, without any concern for her own safety, entered the canal to save the young boy’s life.
“This award is very special given that it hasn’t been given out since 1997, but more so because it is named after one of our officers who tragically lost his life whilst attending an incident.
“Beccy is a deserving recipient of the trophy.
“And I thoroughly commend her courage.
“I think it is very reassuring to the community of Burnley that we have an officer like Beccy, and her other colleagues who helped in this awful situation, patrolling the streets and protecting residents.”