A West Midlands Police dog handler has been commended for his bravery in catching a fleeing suspect despite suffering a horror injury on a metal fence spike.
PC Dan Thomas and trusty canine sidekick ‘Gil’ were tracking the man through gardens in Sutton Coldfield on 30 December 2017 when he slipped scaling an eight-foot fence.
The three-pronged spike – on a school perimeter near Langley Hall Drive – tore through Dan’s bicep but despite suffering major blood loss he managed to pull himself free and chase down the suspect.
A 22-year-old man was arrested but moments later Dan lost consciousness and needed surgery on the wound to repair the damage; a 16-year-old male was also arrested nearby by police colleagues.
Despite the severity of the injury – which required 15 stitches – Dan was back on duty with PD ‘Gil’ just a few weeks later and back on the tail of crime suspects.
And at a West Midlands Police awards ceremony on 12 March, Dan was presented with a Chief Constable’s Commendation by Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe in recognition of his efforts.
PC Thomas said:
“Gil is a phenomenal partner and I’m very proud to work with him. I knew Gil was onto the suspect. I could see the blood pouring down my arm but was determined we had to keep on the scent and catch him.
“I was tracking alone with Gil but colleagues quickly found me and applied a tourniquet to prevent further blood loss.
“Obviously I’m eternally grateful to them and also to the paramedics and doctors at the hospital for all their brilliant work; they said I was lucky and that with such a serious wound I could have suffered a very serious arterial bleed.
“It’s always a proud moment to receive an award – and of course I’m sharing this Commendation with Gil!”
PC Thomas – who has served with West Midlands Police for 17 years – has two other Chief Constable’s Commendations to his name for courageous acts.
Got a story, video or one-off blog that you would like to share with us?
You can contact our team of former emergency services & armed forces personnel either through our Facebook page, via Twitter ( @ES_News_ ) or you can contact us via email: email@example.com or call us on: 0115 888 0592
If you run or manage a ‘job’ social media account and you would like us to share one of your stories then send us a tweet or a message!
If you would like to write an article that you would like us to share (it can be about anything to do with the emergency services / NHS) whether you serve in the emergency services / NHS or whether you are a member of the public who has had a good experience with the emergency services, then feel free to contact our team; anonymously if you prefer.
We are proud to act as a voice for the emergency services, armed forces & health service, with over 500,000 people visiting our website each month.
Join our WhatsApp community!
ESN is now on WhatsApp, and we want you to join our communities.
To join, you need to have WhatsApp on your device. All you need to do is click the link and press 'Join community'.
No one will be able to see who is signed up, and no one can send messages except the ESN team.
Joining our WhatsApp channel is a great way to help support our work and best of all, it is free!
If you don't like our community, you can check out any time you like. To leave our community, click on the name at the top of your screen and choose 'exit group'.