A Police Community Support Officer who saved a choking woman’s life has received an award from the Royal Humane Society.

PCSO Sophie Lusher of the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit was on patrol and travelling along Pembury Road on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 June 2023 when she noticed the woman frantically waving her arms inside a parked car, in an attempt to attract attention.

PCSO Sophie Lusher with Chief Constable Tim Smith (left) and Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott (right)

After stopping her vehicle to investigate, PCSO Lusher realised the woman was choking on a sandwich. Using the first aid skills taught as part of her police training, PCSO Lusher performed a prolonged series of abdominal thrusts and back slaps in order to clear the woman’s airway and restore her breathing.

She then took her to the nearby Tunbridge Wells Hospital as a precaution, where she received further medical treatment. She has since made a full recovery.

PCSO Lusher was presented with a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate at the Chief Constable of Kent Police’s latest awards ceremony on Tuesday 27 February 2024, where 14 other officers and police staff were recognised for their long service. The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott was also in attendance.


Chief Constable Tim Smith said:

‘Kent Police officers and staff share a passion for public service and carry out acts of heroism on a daily basis.

‘PCSO Sophie Lusher is a credit to her profession and I am delighted she has been commended by the Royal Humane Society for her actions on that day. The doctor who treated the woman later said that PCSO Lusher’s quick thinking and decisive medical intervention had without doubt helped to save her life.

‘I am very thankful to her and every other officer and member of police staff who regularly go above and beyond to help keep the people of Kent safe.’

PCSO Sophie Lusher said: 

‘It was really lovely to win an award for what I did but the main achievement for me is that the lady I helped is OK. She came into the police station the next day to bring me some flowers, and I went to her house and we had coffee together.

‘I have been in the job for nearly 17 years and received lots of first aid training, so I knew what I had to do and just got on with it. I am really pleased I was able to help her and incredibly proud at receiving an award.’

By Ed

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