Cops curbed Christmas choking catastrophe

Constable McNeillie receives his award
Constable McNeillie receives his award

Saving the life of a member of the public in the middle of a Christmas dinner were among the remarkable feats of our police officers in Galloway in the recent past.

These achievments were highlighted at last week’s Police Scotland Recognition Awards Ceremony at which Dumfries and Galloway Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Linda Jones, said: “These awards are important to not only those who receive them, but also to those in the wider community. They serve to highlight the bravery, professionalism, commitment and dedication of our officers.”

It was for their actions while off-duty that Constables Robin Adair, James McQuillan and Robert McNeillie received an award.

The citation reads: “In December 2018, Constables Adair and McQuillan were off duty within a restaurant in Stranraer for their Christmas lunch. Robert McNeillie was also within the premises having lunch with his work colleagues. During the lunch, Constables Adair and McQuillan became aware of an elderly woman at a nearby table who appeared to be choking.

“Without hesitation Constables Adair and McQuillan immediately went to the woman and started to administer first aid, where they were quickly joined by Robert McNeillie. As they tried to dislodge the blockage, the woman collapsed and stopped breathing. All three men continued to try and clear the blockage while commencing CPR.

“The blockage was eventually removed and the woman responded to the CPR. She was subsequently taken to hospital by paramedics and there is little doubt the prompt actions of all three saved the woman’s life.”

There was also an award to Constable Graeme Stewart for his sustained commitment and enthusiasm for his role as Police Youth Volunteer Coordinator for Stranraer.

His citation read: “Over 12 months, Constable Stewart led the group to retain the National PSYV Championship trophy and also win UK Cadet Championship.

“This was the first time that any team had won both the Scottish and National competitions in the same year.

“He has also supported the team as they took part in various challenges and events, including the Blue Flash Challenge, Young Creatives Festival, Parkfest, the Stranraer half marathon and Portpatrick Lifeboat Week.

The group has also raised over £4000 for charity and they put together 140 Christmas boxes which were hand delivered to vulnerable people in and around Stranraer.”