Staff accolades

UHDB porter receives special police award for saving lives of members of the public

A porter at UHDB has been presented with a special Derbyshire Constabulary award to commend him after his quick-thinking actions helped to save the lives of members of the public in Derby.

Keith Watson, who typically works in the A&E department at Royal Derby Hospital, was walking his two dogs on the way to care for a relative when he spotted some distressed individuals and acted quickly to ensure their safety.

Enlisting the help of other passing members of the public, Keith called 999 and spoke to the individuals to keep them calm and in a safe place until further help arrived.

By a stroke of fate, one of the individuals who Keith helped attended A&E with their family later that day during Keith's shift, where they thanked him for his life-saving actions.

The police officer who attended in response was so impressed by Keith's quick thinking, compassion, and selflessness that she nominated Keith - and another member of the public who helped get the individuals to safety - for a special Derbyshire Constabulary Celebrating Achievement Award, which they both subsequently have been awarded with.

The pair were presented with the award for their bravery at a special ceremony held in Derby with senior police figures.

Speaking of the experience, Keith said: "I may have been the 'first on the scene', but we all worked together to help these people and I am very happy that we did."

A police officer in attendance spoke with Keith and those who had helped him, and thanked them for their heroic, quick-thinking actions.

Keith's fiancée, Diana Atkinson, a Clinical Educator at Royal Derby Hospital, said that while Keith is 'humble' and he insists this was him just 'doing a job' - everything about the events of that morning highlight Keith's compassion, care, and desire to go above and beyond to help others.

At the time, Keith was walking toward Diana's mother, who was very unwell at the time, to care for her at her home. Diana explained further: "Sadly, she has since passed away - but if it wasn't for him already on the way to care for someone else, he wouldn't have been there to help these people and save their lives. For me, that just sums him up.

"He was so matter of fact when he told me what happened, and he is a very laid-back person so I had to be like, 'hang on, you've just saved a life'. When he received an email from the police, he wasn't sure if he was going to go - but I just tried to express to him how remarkable his actions were.

"I'm so glad he was recognised for his incredible bravery. Seeing him up there on the podium to accept his award in person, and hearing the praise he received, it made me so proud."

Chief Financial Officer, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at UHDB, Simon Crowther thanked Keith for his 'inspiring' actions on the day, saying:

"Keith is a testament to our organisation and its values. No matter what you do within #TeamUHDB, we all have the ability to save lives - and Keith's heroism has made the most fundamental difference to these individuals and their families.

"To be recognised by the Derbyshire Constabulary for his actions is an incredible achievement. I am sure I can speak on behalf of our entire organisation when I say we are incredibly proud of Keith for what he has done."

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