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Police Cadet gets award for saving woman from burning house

LIFE SAVER: Greenwich Police Cadet Joshua Robertson with the Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

A TEENAGED Greenwich police cadet has been presented with a Royal Humane Society award for rescuing an elderly woman from a burning house.

Joshua Robertson, 17, was presented with the award by the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

On the morning of Sunday, July 7 2013, Joshua, who was 15 at the time of the incident, was on his newspaper round when he saw thick black smoke coming from a house in Alderwood Road, Eltham.

Joshua, a Voluntary Police Cadet, ran to the premises and used a technique he had learnt whilst training at Police Cadets to test to see if the door was hot.

Joshua knocked on the door, and an elderly woman eventually answered. The kitchen was in flames and black smoke clouded the inside of the house. The woman was distressed and disorientated and wouldn't leave the house.

Joshua alerted the neighbours, who raised the alarm.

Joshua returned to the house, covered his face and entered the premises. Again he tried to persuade the woman to leave but she was extremely confused and Joshua had to take hold of her quite firmly to get her through the front door.

The emergency services arrived on scene and Joshua, and the woman, were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. They were treated for smoke inhalation and discharged the same day.

Police constable Andy Harris said: I'm pleased that Joshua was able to recall lessons learned as a Volunteer Police Cadet about placing the back of the hand on the door to test for heat, and the presence of mind apply them to this 'real world' critical situation.

"Joshua tells me that whenever he sees the lady's family, even two years later, they rush over, hug him and thank him for saving her life."

Speaking at the event Joshua said: "I feel very happy and proud that I was able to help save her life. I don't think she would have left her house without my help. I'm quite overwhelmed to receive this award and to have it presented by the commissioner is the icing on the cake."

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