Every time the radio jumps to life and our officers and staff are tasked to a new job they have no idea what kind of incident they are about to attend.

Very often the police are the first people on the scene, whether it be a road traffic collision, a mass brawl or someone calling to say their house is being broken into.

Sometimes they are faced with the momentous task of trying to keep someone alive.

PC Sarah Pickles and PC Rachel Jackson, who are from Wiltshire West Community Policing Team, were in this very position recently when they were out on a routine patrol in Trowbridge.

A motorist had suffered a heart attack and collapsed while driving, going straight over a roundabout in Paxcroft Mead before crashing into a lamppost and a tree.

The two police officers performed life-saving CPR while they waited for an ambulance and, following a stay in the Bristol Royal Infirmary, he is now recovering at home in Bath.

PC Jackson said: "As a police officer you know your job is to help people and protect the public, and sometimes that does include performing first aid.

"We aren't paramedics, but we do have first aid training so we know what to do if and when we are first on the scene and need to save a life.

"This was an unusual incident because luckily we just happened to be driving behind him when it happened and could spring into action."

PC Pickles added: "We all undergo first aid training every year and in those situations your training just kicks in and we were glad to have helped.

"We're just glad this story has had such a happy ending and he is recovering so well."

All police cars have first aid kits in them and officers are trained in emergency first aid, however here in Wiltshire we are currently upgrading these kits.

Head of Health and Safety at Wiltshire Police Sarah Somers said: "This investment in our updated vehicle first aid kits will allow us better equip our officers and staff to manage any medical emergencies they may face, as they are often first to arrive at a scene.

"This is not about us replacing or providing the same level of specialist care as paramedics and hospital staff, but us working closely together as emergency services to provide a better service to the public, and perhaps save more lives."

- the photograph of PC Sarah Pickles was taken by The Wiltshire Times.

Published at 4pm on 9 August 2018

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