AN OFF-duty policeman who helped save the life of a teenager is being given a national award.
Hastings-based David Gilmore spent three hours searching in vain for a 17-year-old who had gone missing in the snow near her home in Uckfield earlier this year.
However, as he walked home - then living in Uckfield - at around 11pm on January 18 he heard screams from a nearby house and, looking through a window, he saw a man leaning over an unconscious girl who had her arm in a sling.
PC Gilmore began knocking at the door and was about to break it down when it was finally opened by an upset woman. When inside he realised that the unconscious teenager was the missing person he had been searching for.
Just minutes before he had been passing by, the teenager had returned home and said she had banged her head while out.
She had collapsed at home and her family had been trying to rouse her on the sofa but she had begun choking.
PC Gilmore got her on the floor, put her in the recovery position, cleared her airway and called for an ambulance.
The teenager was then taken to hospital to be treated.
His colleagues passed the details of the incident to the Royal Humane Society which has decided to honour PC Gilmore with a certificate of commendation for his actions.
PC Gilmore, said: “I didn’t know where the missing girl lived so it was even more of a surprise when I realised the female in the house was her.
“I was only walking in the area because the weather was so bad it was safer on foot than to drive home.
“I’m just glad I was able to help the teenager when she needed it.”