Eastbourne police officers honoured for blaze bravery

Sgt Daniel  Pitcher and PC David Upjohn receive their award from Rachel Riley and TV presenter Dominic Littlewood
Sgt Daniel Pitcher and PC David Upjohn receive their award from Rachel Riley and TV presenter Dominic Littlewood

TWO police officers from Eastbourne who delivered first aid to injured casualties at the scene of a blast at a fireworks depot have been recognised for their bravery.

Sgt Daniel Pitcher and PC David Upjohn received the South Eastern award at the Police Bravery Awards in London last Thursday and were presented with it by consumer champion and broadcaster Dominic Littlewood and Countdown presenter Rachel Riley.

Sussex Police said both officers showed fearlessness and resolve in the face of extreme danger.

The two were sent to the scene of a fire at Marlie Farm, near Lewes, in December 2006.

Two firefighters died in the blast and the depot owners were later jailed.

Sgt Pitcher and PC Upjohn were initially sent to the scene of the fire to assist with road closures and evacuating the area.

The depot was hit by a massive explosion, which sent fireworks and debris flying across site.

The force said the officers began administering first aid to injured colleagues and firefighters and went to the rear of the depot to rescue a man with a serious head wound.

PC Upjohn gave him first aid and Sgt Pitcher commandeered a nearby vehicle to drive the man to safety.

Both later remained at the scene to search for casualties and help with evacuation of the surrounding area.

The awards ceremony at the Savoy followed a special reception at 10 Downing Street where nearly 60 nominees met the Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May.