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Off duty Dorchester officer helps injured walker

An injured walker who was stricken in a Dorchester forest has thanked the off duty police officer who came to her aid.

On the morning of Saturday 4 June 2011, PC Jacqui Allen – who is a patrol officer based in Dorchester – was enjoying a ride on her horse through Puddletown Forest when a man came running towards her and asked her to help his injured wife.

The man, Alan Sherriffs, said that his 63-year-old wife Ann had slipped on a high ridge while they were out walking their two dogs and she had badly hurt her ankle.

Mr Sherriffs used PC Allen’s mobile phone to call an ambulance, but as PC Allen had a better knowledge of the forest, she spoke to the ambulance controller to explain exactly where they were located.

PC Allen stopped four cyclists that were cycling through the forest and asked them to go to the road to meet the paramedics and direct them back.

Two other women riding horses appeared and were eager to help. They rode their horses up the very steep hill that the injured Mrs Sherriffs was at the top of so they could wait with her until the paramedics arrived.

The barriers into the forest were padlocked shut so the four cyclists assisted the ambulance crew by carrying their medical equipment for approximately one mile to where Mrs Sherriffs was located.

The paramedics decided that the safest way to get Mrs Sherriffs to hospital was by air ambulance due to the difficult terrain within the forest and the distance between Mrs Sherriffs and the ambulance.

Mrs Sherriffs was taken to Dorset County Hospital by the air ambulance where it was confirmed that she had fractured her left ankle.

Mrs Sherriffs said: "I was so impressed by the care and concern shown by everybody and it was very humbling to see that people went out of their way to stop and help.

“The ambulance crews were extremely professional and I cannot speak too highly of the care I received at A&E in Dorchester.

“I'd like also to thank the ladies on horseback and the mountain bikers for helping.

“Unfortunately I don't have their names but when my husband shook their hands, the mountain bikers said they had to be on their way to see if they could find somebody else to save!

“Jacqui Allen was superb and a credit to the police force. I am so grateful to everybody."

Dorchester Neighbourhood Inspector, Les Fry, said: “PC Allen delivered a really good level of service to the injured Mrs Sherriffs while she was off duty.

“PC Allen’s efforts, and the efforts of everyone else that helped, were very commendable and they should all be proud of the support that they provided.

“I am glad that Mrs Sherriffs is on the mend and I wish her a swift recovery.”

PC Allen with the Sheriffs