FOUR police officers who fought a life-and-death battle to revive a suicidal man in a Stourport field have been awarded national life-saving honours.

Police were alerted shortly before midnight on July 16 last year that a man had disappeared from his home in Sandy Lane after taking an overdose.

Following a torchlight search, a helicopter finally found the man at 3am lying face down and unresponsive in a nearby field.

Police dog handler PC Simeon Darrall-Jones told The Shuttle: "We received a call to say the man had left his caravan after potentially taking an overdose.

"He had messaged his family and they arrived to find the evidence of the tablets he had taken.

"It was the middle of the night and the area around there is very rural so we joined the search with the dogs and a helicopter in nearby fields.

"The helicopter was about to leave the search when someone spotted him.

"From looking at CCTV, it was clear it had been quite a long time since he went missing so we didn't know what condition he would be in.

"The helicopter guided us towards him and it was clear he was pretty much dead. He was motionless and very cold."

PCs Darrall-Jones, Paul Modley, Ross Tipper and another officer who cannot be identified began administering CPR and kept it up until paramedics arrived and took the man to hospital.

PC Tipper said: "We took it in turns doing chest compressions for at least 15 or 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

"He was still unconscious when he left and I don't think any of us thought it would be good news.

"We asked for an update the next day and were told he was still in intensive care - but he was still alive and that was a surprise to us in itself.

"Two or three days later, the family sent us a card and told us he was still alive and said how appreciative they were."

PC Modley, from the Local Policing Priority Team, added: "We deal with a lot of suicidal and missing people - now more than ever before - but it's not often that we manage to revive them.

"You probably have a five per cent chance of bringing them round after that period of time and it wouldn't have been possible without teamwork. CPR is hard work."

The officers will all be awarded Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificates and have also won the personal praise of the society's secretary Andrew Chapman.

Announcing the awards at the society's London headquarters, he said: "The fact the officers managed to find the man was an incredible achievement. They were searching in the pitch dark with only the light from their torches to help them.

“Despite this, they managed to trace him and then went on to administer life-saving CPR. They did a superb job, there was some excellent teamwork, and, above all they saved a life. They richly deserve the awards they are to receive.

“At the same time, this is yet another incident which emphasises the value of as many people as possible – members of the public as well as those such as the police – learning CPR techniques.

"I’m sure people who learn how to administer CPR hope they will never be called on to use the skill.

“However, as this incident vividly illustrates, CPR can, as it did here, make the difference between life and death.”

PC Tipper added: "To save someone's life is amazing and to get an award for it is great, but no one does this job for the praise.

"We're just glad we could help him and to see how grateful the family were was amazing."