Honour for hero Ilkeston cop who saved pal’s life three times

editorial image

An Ilkeston policeman who brought a friend back from the brink of death three times after he collapsed with a heart attack during a basketball game has spoken about the experience.

Insp Roberts, 49, was coaching Ilkeston Outlaws basketball team when old friend, Robert Pacey, 48, collapsed and began to convulse in April last year.

Darren worked with a doctor who was luckily at the game supporting the opposing team to keep Rob alive until paramedics arrived to take him to hospital.

He said: “Rob was playing and all of a sudden shouted ‘Darren’ and keeled over.

“He looked initially like he was having an epileptic fit so I went over and he had stopped breathing. So I turned him over and started CPR.

“Fortunately one of the parents from the other team was a doctor and he had the good sense to bring out a defibrillator.”

Father-of-two Darren and the doctor shocked Rob with the machine and managed to re-start his heart but he then suffered another heart attack.

So Darren continued to give CPR while they waited for the defibrillator to re-charge.

“We brought him back three times in all before the paramedics arrived,” said Darren.

“Rob is a really close friend of 30 years so I was shouting and bellowing at him.

“His son was also there and I had been coaching him for years so it was a horrible feeling - a horrible sensation which is hard to describe.

“But you have to carry on with it because if you don’t he is not going to be there - I just kept coming out with all this stuff, hoping he could hear me.”

Darren has been awarded a Royal Humane Society resuscitation certificate for his life and death battle to save his friend.

He has also won the personal praise of Royal Humane Society secretary, Dick Wilkinson.

He said: “You don’t get better friends than this. To all intents and purposes Mr Pacey was dead and Insp Roberts played a major role in saving his friend.”