Tony Davis receives an award from St. John Ambulance for his action during Westminster attack, writes John Dennen
ST. John Ambulance honoured Tony Davis with their ‘Everyday Hero’ award at a ceremony at the Hilton London Bankside last week. Tony rushed to tend PC Keith Palmer after he was fatally wounded in the attack on Westminster in March.
“I didn’t realise I was going to get an award. I thought I was just there as a guest. After what happened at Westminster apparently a lot of people took up first aid afterwards,” he said. “I’m proud… It was a pleasant surprise, I was chuffed, really surprised.
“A couple of weeks after the attack they got in touch with me and said can we use you, would you be willing to work with us so we can try to get others involved in taking up first aid? So I said of course.”
Davis, one of the GB Boxing coaches, was with the British Lionhearts team at a publicity event for the Lionhearts in the Community at the Houses of Parliament. After the event he and Lee Pullen followed a passing cake tray. “We saw a tray of cakes. I said Lee there’s a cake there and someone came out speaking to us, so we got held up a little bit. If we hadn’t had that cake we would have probably been out,” Davis said. “I’d heard a bit of a commotion outside the perimeter, outside the fence. Now I know it’s when he crashed the car. I didn’t at the time. The noise sort of travelled… I looked through those gates and people were running and I’m thinking it was an activists’ march or something like that. So I got my phone out and moments later, [the attacker, Khalid] Masood came through the gates and I’ve seen the shining of a blade. He started attacking the policeman. At that point they’d just asked people to move because lots of people were where I was, making their way to and from the Grand Hall, so I’ve got a bit of space and jumped over the fence. As I’ve done that I’ve landed on both feet, I’ve got my rain jacket, I must have subconsciously put my phone away but it was still recording so you can hear everything on it. The police were shouting, ‘Run, run, they’ve got knives.’ I thought, ‘S**t.’ I was on the other side in the courtyard, he was still advancing and a marksman run up the side of me, I thought he was a marksman I now know he was a bodyguard and he put three bullets into the attacker. I knew then he was out of the equation. So I quickly ran over, got down on my knee to Keith and started giving him first aid.”
Davis was previously in the Army. “My Army training did play a part, it’s what you do to try and save a life,” he said. “It’s just what you do, you try and help one another.”
“I used my GB rain jacket to stem the blood flow,” he continued. “I’m shouting out the wounds that he had, checked his airway, checked his pulse and I used my rain jacket. I stemmed the blood initially with my hand because he had a massive head wound and then an arm wound and then probably the most fatal one was underneath his stab vest.” MP Tobias Ellwood also tried to save the police officer’s life but Keith Palmer sadly passed away.
“As far as I’m concerned I’m not going to let it affect me. It’s not about me, it’s about the families. I never knew Keith beforehand but he felt like a friend afterwards,” Tony reflected. “Since then I’ve been to his funeral… I think the funeral boxed it off for me.”
Davis also added of the boxing team that witnessed the incident, “They’re young boxers and they went and boxed the next day, and the Italians, you’ve got to take your hat off to them.”
‘THE YOUNG BOXERS, YOU’VE GOT TO TAKE YOUR HAT OFF TO THEM’
ON THE PADS: Davis works with a World Series boxer
HONOURED: Davis with his Everyday Hero award