Patrol Officer James Litchfield was carrying out his regular rounds in the Parks in late afternoon in December last year, when he saw a teenaged girl who was clearly ill and in distress, being helped by a male friend of the same age.
He spoke to the pair and it quickly became clear that she was in serious trouble. It emerged that she had an unusual medical condition, and that she had been drinking in the Parks with friends before starting to feel ill.
James alerted the Security Services control room and asked them to call an ambulance and send backup; he was soon joined by Shift Supervisor Peter Swanson, and the two provided first aid and comfort to the victim. Meanwhile fellow officer Josef Szelpal went to the Parks gate to meet the ambulance and direct them to where the victim was, while colleagues Kevin Squires and Andy Brooks provided further support from the control room.
The team managed to contact the girl's mother, who soon came to the scene with an adrenaline injection for her daughter. The ambulance eventually arrived and took both to the John Radcliffe. A few days later the team received a letter of thanks from the mother, telling them that the victim was now making a good recovery but that without their intervention the situation could very easily have ended in tragedy.
The AUCSO has now issued everyone involved a Certificate of Excellence for their actions. ‘I am so proud to be able to send you my congratulations for the work you carried out that day,' wrote Executive Chairman Trevor Jones in a message to the team. ‘It is very clear to me that you saved a precious life and that is no mean feat. You exemplified the true spirit of what a University Security Officer should be and do in the situation you found yourselves in.’