SELFLESS heroes who saved the life of a stricken policeman have been rewarded for their quick-thinking.
Pensioner Sydney Bailey, 72, and performer Karl Kuschnirow, 54, were driving along Blackpool Promenade when they spotted Sgt David Cross on the ground.
The off-duty policeman was cycling to work before beginning his shift at Bonny Street Police Station when he had a heart attack.
Alone on the Promenade, the policeman drifted in and out of consciousness as car after car ignored the crumpled figure on the ground.
Mr Kuschnirow, of Elmwood Drive, Thornton, was returning from a show in March and was the first to stop in front of the fallen officer to protect him from other vehicles. Moments later, he was joined by Mr Bailey, a former paramedic, who began resuscitating him when he did not find a pulse.
Both men have been awarded the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society award, which recognises the actions of people instrumental in saving a life.
Mr Kuschnirow said: “Once I got out of my car I knew something was wrong, so I called an ambulance straight away, then within 40 seconds Sydney had turned up which I was so grateful for.”
Mr Bailey, of North Drive, Cleveleys, added: “We had to unstrap his feet from the pedals and get him on his back to do CPR because I couldn’t find a pulse and he wasn’t breathing.
“The paramedics worked on him for quite a while and nobody knew who it was until the police arrived and looked in the ambulance.”
Sgt Cross’ heart stopped as he was being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and again while he was receiving treatment in A and E.
But after a quadruple heart by-pass operation and months of rest, he was able to return to his family and work.
Mr Kuschnirow added: “When I was told he was alive I burst into tears because I was so happy he’d made it.
“The main reward for both of us is he is back with his family.”
Mr Bailey said: “It’s a proud moment to get this award, but he’s alive and that’s the main thing.”
Chief Supt Richard Debicki, of Blackpool Police, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Mr Bailey and Mr Kuschnirow are receiving this award and it’s very fitting given the amazing job they did in saving the police officer’s life.”
Mr Bailey, with his experiences as an ex-ambulance man, was able to administer immediate CPR at the scene and was supported in that role by Mr Kuschnirow.
Mr Bailey’s skill was an absolute godsend and without him the police officer may not have lived, for which we as colleagues are very grateful indeed.