The cops who gave CPR after woman's heart stopped at Christmas lights event

PC Ben Smith and PC James Nicholson.

PC Ben Smith and PC James Nicholson. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Two Romford police officers saved a mother's life after she had a medical emergency at the Christmas Light Switch On in Romford’s Market Place. 

PCs James Nicholson and Ben Smith were on foot patrol in Brewery Walk when they were approached by a woman complaining of chest pains. 

PC Smith – a new officer still in his probationary period – ran to fetch an ambulance while PC Nicholson walked the woman, who was with a young child and her sister, to Market Place. 

But before paramedics arrived, she became faint and started to fit.  

The officers put her in the recovery position and after a short period of time, she came round. 

PC Nicholson recalled: “She turned around to us and said ‘I don’t want to die’ and then all of a sudden, she stopped breathing and we lost her pulse."

At this point, PC Nicholson initiated chest compressions while PC Smith began rescue breaths. 

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“The pressure I was feeling most is you have got her loved ones watching this unfold,” said PC Nicholson. 

“You are nervous because somebody could lose their life in front of you, but at the same time, you sort of go into pilot mode – you know what you are doing.” 

Fortunately, the officers' attempt at cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was successful and the woman regained consciousness.  

According to the police, the woman received further treatment by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) before being taken to Queen’s Hospital and subsequently released. 

An LAS spokesperson confirmed its crews were called to reports of a person who had collapsed in Market Place at around 3.50pm on November 18. 

They said: "We sent an ambulance crew and a medic in a car. A woman was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital." 

The officers, both members of Romford’s town centre team, said they had since spoken to the patient and her family, who they said had expressed gratitude. 

PC Smith said he was glad to be working with a more experienced officer: “I just knew if there was anything I was unsure of, he would be able to do it.” 

PC Nicholson added: “You only realise what you’ve been involved in when you go home to your loved ones; that’s when it kicks in, that it could have gone one way or another."