A quick-thinking police chief and councillor have been officially commended for their bravery after saving the life of Warwick District Council’s chairman last April.
Cllr Bob Dhillon and police chief constable Andy Parker made the headlines last year after coming to the rescue of Cllr Richard Davies who collapsed while making a speech at the annual civic dinner.
A year on from the dramatic rescue in which Cllr Davies was not breathing, the heroes of the day have been given a Commendation Award from the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.
They have also been praised once again by Cllr Davies and his family, who said without the rescuers and all the others who helped on the day, he would not be able to tell the tale today.
The council chairman suffered a heart attack while making a speech at the mayoral dinner. Warwick councillor Bob Dhillon stepped in to administer CPR and help two nurses who were also on hand to do their bit.
Cllr Dhillon (Con, Warwick West) said he was honoured to be given the commendation, but described his actions as simply a reaction to a colleague in need.
“I certainly didn’t expect to be awarded with a commendation, so it was a shock but a very good one,” he said.
“I only did what was expected at the time. Richard is a very nice gentleman and it was my pleasure to be able to help.
“I simply was in the right place at the right time and it is an honour to be given this recognition.”
The commendations were presented at a Long Service and Excellence Awards ceremony in Solihull on Thursday, which Cllr Davies and his wife Erica attended to thank the pair once again.
I am simply relieved and thankful to be here to see them get their awardsCllr Richard Davies
The father-of-two, who also serves on Kenilworth Town Council, spent five weeks in hospital and underwent a heart bypass operation after the attack which stopped his heart - and says he owes his good health to the quick thinking actions of his lifesavers.
Looking back to the dramatic evening, he said: “It was rather an emotional few minutes for us, especially Erica who witnessed the whole thing and like everyone was convinced that I was dead.
“Luckily there were people in the room who had done CPR training and they pounced upon me and kept some oxygen pumped into me until the paramedics arrived.
“I am told that I died four times that evening and met a paramedic who had never heard of anyone survive such an incident, which indicates how much I owe to Bob Dhillon, Andy Parker and all the other people who fought to save me.
“I am simply relieved and thankful to be here to see them get their awards.”
He has also thanked all the hospital staff, first aiders and the “incredible” nurses on the night who helped get him the treatment he needed, and make sure he was back on his feet within months.
Cllr Davies was just two minutes into an after-dinner speech at the mayoral event in Warwick last April when he collapsed.
Cllr Dhillon and Mr Parker, who were sat at the same table, quickly leapt up and caught the councillor, putting him into the recovery position and administering life-saving CPR when it was clear he was no longer breathing.