Cleveland Police Wins at National Lifesaving Championship

Cleveland Police won the male National Police Lifesaving Championships on the weekend of June 9th and 10th.

The team beat the hosts, main rivals and the previous winner for the last 11 years to win the event, which was last won by Cleveland Police in 1993. The Force has finished in second place many times over the last 25 years, behind Devon and Cornwall Police.

Team member and manager, Clive Pengilley, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the championship as it shows that all of our training and team camaraderie has paid off. We have worked hard together and the result has been very positive.

“The key to our win was amazing communication, skills and policing experience and I am so proud of the team for their dedication and therefore being able to bring home the trophy.”

Cleveland’s Lifesaving Team consists of Clive Pengilley, Mick Watson, Stuart Willmott, Phil Taylor and Julian Harforth who all work within staff roles for the Force and Sopra Steria.

The National Police Lifesaving Championships is a national competition held annually in June and is hosted by a different police Force across the UK each year.

This year, eleven Forces took part in the event held in Exeter.

The competition is made up of four challenging elements, the first of which involves teams having to deal with a staged incident involving actors suffering a wide range of injuries or illnesses. The team is scored by judges on their communication, reassurance and the first aid they deliver.

Two other elements are based in a swimming pool and involve teams throwing a rope to a casualty up to 12 meters away in a pool and then pull the casualty safely to the poolside in less than one minute and ten seconds. Competitors are then expected to swim two lengths of a pool before rescuing a casualty and then towing them a further two lengths of the pool to safety. This event is timed and conducted as a race.

The final element is an open-water team rescue event that takes part in a lake, reservoir, river or the sea. Similarly to the first event it is a first aid rescue scenario involving multiple people acting as casualties and the team of four competitors has to rescue the casualties and treat them for their injuries.

Cleveland’s lifesaving team are planning on participating in next year’s event and are now looking for new team members from any part of the policing family to join them.

Photo caption from left to right - Clive Pengilley, Phil Taylor, Julian Harforth, Mick Watson (Captain with the trophy) and Stuart Willmott