Hull PCs who pulled thief from burning car get bravery nod
TWO police officers who saved a thief from a burning car have been nominated for a national bravery award.
PC Dan Hermann and PC Steve Caulfield battled through flames to save Luke Little, who was trapped unconscious in the vehicle.
PC Hermann suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his hand in rescue.
Both officers have now been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards later this week. Before the awards ceremony in London, the nominees will attend a reception at 10 Downing Street.
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PC Hermann, an incident response officer at Gordon Street police station in west Hull, said: "I never thought when I joined the police in Hull, it would lead to me going to Downing Street. I can't wait just to have a nosey around.
"I am really proud of being nominated and I am pleased to represent Humberside Police at a national ceremony."
The incident response officers were on duty in the city centre when they were called to a report of a stolen car in Northfield Road, west Hull.
When they arrived, they could see a burning car parked in a ten foot.
"I walked over to take the registration and, as I did, there was a loud bang and all the doors blew open," said PC Hermann.
"I could then see there was a young lad trapped unconscious in the car."
It is believed Little, 22, had used an accelerant to set light to the vehicle but was overcome by the fumes and collapsed.
The car was parked down a narrow ten foot and, with the driver's door open and wedged against a fence, PC Hermann struggled to pull Little out.
"I tried to pull him over the top of the door but his foot was trapped. I was trying to pull him out but I was getting burned.
"Steve ran over and we kept trying to pull him over but his foot was just stuck. I remember saying to Steve that I was getting burnt and we might have to leave him but Steve said, 'No, let's try one more time'."
The officers managed to pull Little underneath the door and then free his foot.
PC Caulfield said: "I knew we didn't have long before the car was going to burst into flames. All I could think about was getting the kid out.
"As soon as we moved away, the car went up. The tyres started popping and all the windows blew out."
PC Hermann said: "It seems daft now but we didn't have time to think. I just thought if we didn't get him out, he would burn to death.
"In the cold light of day, I would probably say I wouldn't do it again, but you just react how you do at the time. He might be a criminal, but we are here to save lives, not to judge anyone. That is our primary role and that is what we did."
Little was later jailed for three years for stealing and setting fire to the car. After he was convicted, he instructed his solicitors to write a letter to PC Hermann, thanking him for saving his life.
The awards take place on Thursday.