Three brave Hatfield police officers have been honoured by the force after saving the life of a man who was trapped inside a burning car.

Special Sergeant Alex Whittle, and Special Constables Tony Wilcock and Carl Powell have all received a Royal Humane Society Award, which recognises acts of bravery in the saving of a human life.

All three officers were among the first to respond to an incident in Hatfield, where a car had crashed into a tree and caught fire.

They found that a man was unconscious and trapped in the driver’s seat of the car.

While Special Sergeant Whittle took command of the incident, Special Constables Powell and Wilcock attempted to gain access to the car, and another officer used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.

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Working with others, they removed the man’s shirt, tie and seatbelt which were obstructing his airway, before Special Constable Powell climbed into the back of the car so that he could lift the man’s head to maintain his airway.

The fire service and a critical care paramedic arrived soon after, and a decision was made to immediately extract the man as his condition was critical.

The man was removed from the vehicle and given emergency care at the roadside before being transported to hospital.

"A fire officer who specialises in trauma care and an attending paramedic both said the actions of the officers were critical to saving the man’s life," said Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson.