Award for police officer who rescued woman and dog from slurry pit

A police officer who helped rescue a woman and her dog after they got stuck in a slurry pit in Long Clawson has been awarded a top life-saving award.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 9:57 am
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 1:20 pm
Pc Jon Barlow, who has received a top life-saving honour for helping rescue a woman and her dog from a slurry pit at Long Clawson EMN-211025-131703001

Pc Jon Barlow responed to a desperate emergency call from 36-year-old Francesca Sketchley despite her not knowing where exactly she was trapped.

The Upper Broughton woman’s mobile signal gave a rough idea of where she was buried up to her neck in a four-metre deep slurry pit while clinging to her pet.

While the search continued an emergency operator kept the woman talking on the phone and at one stage the woman mentioned that she could see cows.

Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Humane Society EMN-211025-093953001

This helped Pc Barlow pinpoint her location as he could hear a woman’s voice but could not identify where it was coming from.

He tried to pull her and the dog free from the pit but was unable to do so and instead held on to both of them until the fire brigade arrived and were able to free them.

His efforts in the incident, which happened back in February, have now earned him a Royal Humane Society Certificate of Commendation.

As he announced the award at the society’s London headquarters, secretary Andrew Chapman said: “This was a horrific situation with the emergency services fully aware of the urgency in finding Ms Sketchley, but with no real clue as to where she was until her mobile phone signal was located.

“And even then it wasn’t specific enough to pinpoint her whereabouts.

“Thankfully with the clue about the cows, PC Barlow then managed to locate her but was still unable to drag her to safety.

“He did a wonderful job and if he had not arrived when he did to hold on to her there was the real danger that that she could have sunk deeper into the slurry and ended up drowning in it.

“He richly deserves the award.”

The Royal Humane Society, which was founded in 1774, is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.