2000-2001 Recipients & Citations

Click on the recipient to view the citation.

1. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Senior Constable Vanessa Kelson, Inverell Police Station

for the attempted rescue of a man from a submerged vehicle at Elsmore near Inverell.

On the morning of 15 December 1996, a vehicle crashed through a bridge over the McIntyre River at Elsmore and finished upside down in the river trapping the driver in his cabin.

Senior Constable Kelson arrived at the scene with another policeman, and entered the water to check the vehicle. She identified the driver was deceased and there were no other occupants of the vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered from the river with the driver still secured in his seat belt. The air bag had inflated and filled with water.

2 & 3 & 4. SIlVER MEDALS & GALLEGHAN AWARDS

Dr Richard Morris, 35 Ilka Street, Lilyfield;

Ambulance Paramedic Paul John Feathersone, 6 Como Road, Oyster Bay;

Ambulance Paramedic Christopher Valan Wilkinson, 60 Cooriengah Heights Rd, Engadine,

for their actions during rescue operations following the Thredbo land slip.

In August 1997, Dr Morris was asked to form a disaster medical team to respond to a landslide at Thredbo village in the Snowy Mountains. They reported for duty that afternoon and provided medical support to the rescue teams over the following four days. On the morning of the third day the sole survivor of the accident was detected below the rubble of the excavations.

Paramedics Paul Featherstone and Christopher Wilkinson were among the first to make contact with the survivor. They stayed with him throughout the following eleven hours that it took to bring him to the surface. The cavity in the rubble that held the man trapped was about two metres below the surface, and could be reached only by crawling through gaps in the rubble. They each took turns lying in a cavity just above him, and talking to him to assess his condition and help him stay calm while excavations continued to help get access to him.

For the last couple of hours Dr Morris joined them in the excavation to help assess and treat him. Although they had been able to warm the patient and give him small amounts to drink, he was still in a very weak condition - too dangerous to move. By this time both paramedics were showing evidence of the strain, but were so effective in the support of the patient that Dr Morris was reluctant to replace them with others. As well, they were so concerned for their patient that even when the site had to be evacuated each time the rubble shifted, one of them would stay below ground to keep him talking and distract him from his predicament. They did this in spite of the risk to themselves, because it clearly helped the man stay calm and avoided making his condition worse.

Once access was gained to the patient's feet, Dr Morris was able to crawl in next to him and perform a small operation on his foot. This enabled the team to give him intravenous fluids to stabilise him before lifting him up out of the hole. This procedure was successful due to the paramedic's skilled help and support in very difficult circumstances. They were also able to connect a portable cardiac monitor and assess him to make the move in the safest possible way. At all times Dr Morris was aware of the trade off between dragging the patient out quickly to minimise the risk of one of the rescuers being trapped or killed, against the benefit of a slow and controlled extrication to increase the chance of recovering the patient without causing further injury.

The rescuers had little rest or sleep during the three day ordeal. Dr Morris believes Mr Featherstone and Mr Wilkinson went beyond what any one could expect in giving the sole survivor the best possible care and support during the extrication. The danger was real and imminent. If the concrete slabs had slipped to any significant degree, both men would certainly have perished.

5. BROZNZE MEDAL

Mark Ewin, 58 Bourne Street, Tamworth,

for his actions in the rescue of a woman and her two daughters from a flooded creek near Tamworth.

On the evening of 7 August 1998, a woman and her two daughters were trapped on the top of their vehicle in a flooded creek near Tamworth. Hearing their cries for help, a nearby property owner went to their assistance and immediately rang emergency services. Police, SES and Ambulance responded from both Tamworth and Manilla. A winch cable from the Manilla Police vehicle was secured to the vehicle to prevent it being washed further downstream. Mark Ewin, from the Tamworth SES vehicle, entered the water and made his way to the flooded vehicle by way of the winch cable. He fitted buoyancy vests to the three women, and they were then pulled back to shore with the help of attached ropes. During the rescue, Mark Ewin cut his hand on a broken window in the vehicle, and this resulted in hospitalisation for three days with serious blood poisoning.

6 & 7& 8. SILVER MEDALS

Murray Anthony Traynor, Paramedic, 29 Taylor Road, Woodford;

Graeme Noel Fromberg, Aircrewman, 188 Kemp Street, Hamilton;

Captain Daniel Elwain Tyler, Pilot, 83 Columbia Road, Seven Hills,

for the rescue of seven survivors from a yacht crippled by severe storms at sea during the December 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

On the 28 December 1998, during the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the NRMA CareFlight Helicopter was involved in the rescue of crewmen from a capsized yacht, "Business Post Naiad". Captain Tyler, Mr Fromberg and Mr Traynor were crew members of the CareFlight Helicopter that was tasked to go to the aid of the stricken yacht, some 47 nautical miles off Merimbula. The weather conditions at the time were atrocious, with winds gusting between 50 and 60 knots, waves up to 8 metres in height and drizzling rain.

On arriving at the location, the crew observed the yacht to be totally disabled, with yachtsmen standing on the deck waving their arms. The crew decided it was too dangerous to winch a person onto the heaving yacht deck, and directed the yachtsmen to jump into the water one by one, where they would be winched up to the helicopter. Mr Traynor entered the water seven times on the winch to rescue the stranded yachtsmen. On each occasion, he was continually being submerged by the mountainous seas, but carried out his tasks most professionally.

Throughout the operation, Mr Fromberg operated the winch to ensure the minimum danger to Mr Traynor while he was in the water, while also communicating with Captain Tyler to assist in maintaining the helicopter's hovering position.

Captain Tyler's professional flying skills enabled the helicopter to be hovered over the yacht for 35 minutes in the prevailing dangerous weather conditions while the rescue mission was completed. The rescued yachtsmen were returned to Merimbula for medical assessment and treatment. Regrettably, two yachtsmen perished on board the yacht before the rescue helicopter arrived.

Mr Fromberg was previously awarded a Silver Medal in 1999 for a Rescue at Camden. This present award is a clasp to that Silver Medal.

9. BRONZE MEDAL

Daniel Robert Trovato, 28 Partana Avenue, Matraville,

for the rescue of a youth from surf at Little Bay.

On the afternoon of 24 January 1999, Daniel Trovato was at Little Bay beach when he heard screams for help, and observed a youth struggling in the water some 300 metres off the rocks. He immediately ran to the scene and entered the turbulent waters fully clothed. On reaching the youth, he became engaged in a struggle with the frightened man, but after considerable effort, he was able to push him back to the rocks where friends helped the man to safety.

10. BRONZE MEDAL

Allan Simpkins, Kempsey SES;

11 & 12. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Donald Moy, Kempsey SES;

Mick Steele, Kempsey SES

for their actions during the rescue of a man from a flooded creek at Kempsey.

On the afternoon of the 14 July 1999, police were informed that a man had been washed from the flooded Toorumbee Creek, near Kempsey, and was clinging to tree branches in the creek. By the time police reached the scene, darkness had closed in and it was windy and raining steadily.

Initial attempts that evening to reach the trapped man failed due to heavy undergrowth on the creek bank, and also the fact that the creek had swollen to 3-4 times its normal width. Early the following morning, Allan Simpkins, Donald Moy and Mick Steele in an SES flood rescue boat reached the man, after battling against fast running flood waters.

Mr Simpkins entered the water, swam to the stranded man and rendered first aid for hypothermia. Subsequently, a line was secured between the boat and the tree branches, and both Mr Simpkins and the rescued man were able to climb safely back to the rescue boat.

13 & 14 & 15. BRONZE MEDALS

Craig Andrew Wright, 84 Nile Street, Orange;

Graham Allen Rapley, 128 Spring Street, Orange;

Peter John Rapley, Holmes Lane, Spring Terrace,

for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Orange.

At about 7.30am on 8 March 2000, the driver of a utility lost control of his vehicle on Cadia Road, Orange. The vehicle left the road, rolled over and crashed into a tree. As a result of the accident the vehicle caught on fire in the passenger side cabin.

Craig Wright and Graham and Peter Rapley were working nearby when they heard the collision and went to investigate. With windy conditions fanning the fire, the three men attempted to pull the driver from the vehicle. They used a fire extinguisher, but it did little to extinguish the flames.

With the flames increasing and beginning to engulf the cabin, the men continued their attempts to release the unconscious driver. After cutting his seat belt they tried to pull him free, however the man's legs were trapped in the damaged vehicle. The three men continued their attempts to free the driver until finally they were forced back by the heat and flames.

The vehicle cabin was engulfed in flames with the driver unable to be freed.

16. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Benjamin Cain Francis, 172 The Kingsway, Woolooware,

for the rescue of two men from surf at North Cronulla.

On the afternoon of 27 April 2000, Benjamin Francis was performing work experience duties with North Cronulla Surf Club. He was alone in the office when he heard screams coming from the water and noticed four people in trouble. The swimmers were about 20 metres offshore with two caught in a strong rip.

He obtained a board and immediately entered the surf. He instructed the two men who were closest to shore to continue making their way to shore whilst he proceeded to swim out to two others who were in obvious and severe difficulty. Mr Francis reached one man and assisted him to the board, and then he dived into the water and swam to the other man, grabbed him and towed him back to the board.

With both men hanging onto the board, Mr Francis proceeded to paddle back to shore. Once they reached shallow water one man indicated that he was alright. The second man was very weak and Mr Francis placed him in a recovery position once they reached the beach.

Fire Brigade officers who happened to be in a nearby street and witnessed the incident, quickly attended the scene and administered oxygen and first aid to the victim.

17 &18 &19. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Shane Edward Gillespie, 36 Berkeley Street, Stroud;

Bradley Robert Van Der Linden, 552 Comboyne Road, Wingham;

Penny Britton, Lot 3 Glenroa Road, Nabiac,

for their actions in assisting a young child whose clothing was alight at Bulahdelah.

Around 11.30am on 22 June 2000, a mother was working in the canteen at Bulahdelah Central School. Her four year old daughter had returned to the family vehicle and commenced playing with the cigarette lighter. As a result, the child set her clothing alight and ran screaming from the vehicle towards the front of the school building.

She was seen and chased by two students, Shane Gillespie and Bradley Van Der Linden. Two teachers also gave chase. The two students and one of the teachers, Penny Britton, caught the child in the entry to the building, and rolled her on the ground to extinguish the flames and remove some of the clothing. The child's mother was also in attendance at this time, and suffered burns herself as she removed some of the clothing.

The child was wrapped in wet towels and an ambulance was called. She received second and third degree burns to 40% of her body, but reports indicated the prognosis for her recovery was very good. Kerry Tisdell, the mother, and Pino Ieroianni, the other teacher who assisted with medical treatment, received Letters of Commendation for their actions in this case.

20. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Cliff Elford, 6 Straight Street, Hat Head,

for the rescue of three overseas tourists from heavy surf at Gap Beach, Hat Head.

During the afternoon of 13 August 2000, three surfers at Gap Beach got into difficulties in the treacherous conditions. One of the surfers was swept against the rocks, but was unable to get out of the water. Onlookers raised the alarm, contacting police and ambulance.

Local resident, Cliff Elford was also contacted. He launched his own aluminium runabout and motored around to Gap Beach. He manoeuvred his vessel in close to the rocks, at great personal risk, to rescue the surfer. He then took one of the other men on board, and assisted the third surfer to safety, before conveying the other two persons to the Hat Head boat ramp where they were treated by ambulance officers.

21 &22 &23. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Liam Stokes, 22 Azalea Avenue, Coffs Harbour;

Luke Redman, 1/45 West High Street, Coffs Harbour;

Dirk Miller, 99 Brodie Drive, Coffs Harbour,

for their actions in the rescue of a man from surf at Sapphire Beach.

On 19 August 2000, a young man was injured while surfing at Sapphire Beach. The man was discovered by fellow surfers floating face down and not breathing.

Rory Miller immediately paddled ashore to raise the alarm, while Liam Stokes, Luke Redman and Dirk Miller placed the injured surfer on a surfboard, and administered CPR while paddling him back to shore. It was approximately 1500 metres back to shore, and the three paddlers had to contend with rough surf as well as continuing to administer CPR.

Once back to shore, they placed the injured surfer in the recovery position until the arrival of ambulance personnel. The injured surfer spent 36 hours on a life support system, but subsequently made a full recovery.

Rory Miller received a Letter of Commendation for his actions during this rescue.

24. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Michael McCristal, 80 Akuna Avenue, Bangor,

for the rescue of two women from a home unit fire at Ramsgate.

On the evening of 22 June 1997, Michael McCristal was alerted to a fire in the block where he resided, and on checking, discovered the fire in a laundry room.

He closed the door to prevent the fire spreading, but realised the stairwell to the upper floors was now filling with choking smoke. He went up the stairwell and found two women in a distressed state in one of the units. Although very frightened, the women were guided down the stairs by Mr McCristal and outside to safety.

Subsequently Mr McCristal fought the fire with a garden hose until the arrival of the fire brigade.

He was later treated for smoke inhalation.

25 &26. BRONZE MEDALS

Scott Stevens, 35 Libya Crescent, Allambie Heights;

Alexander Law, Collaroy Surf Club, P O Box 18, Collaroy,

for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Mona Vale.

On the afternoon of 14 September 1998, a collision occurred at Mona Vale between two motor vehicles, which burst into flames trapping the occupants of both vehicles.

Mr Stevens stopped his truck and went to the assistance of two people trapped in one of the vehicles. While Stevens was attempting to extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher, Mr Law also arrived at the scene.

The two men smashed the vehicle's windscreen, and dragged the female passenger clear of the vehicle. Further attempts to douse the fire, including the use of a fire blanket, were unsuccessful in allowing Stevens and Law to rescue the trapped driver.

On the arrival of the fire brigade, the vehicle was hosed down, and the trapped driver was eventually removed to safety. Mr Law also assisted with the extrication of the driver of the other crashed vehicle. Both Mr Stevens and Mr Law, while not injured during the incident, had their arms singed from the intense heat.

27. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Scott Van Houten, 6 / 91 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi,

for the rescue of a woman from the sea at North Bondi.

On the morning of 14 January 2000, a group of people were engaged in a community project along the foreshore at Bondi Beach. Mr Van Houten and Mr John Tan were both working on this project when they observed a young woman being washed out to sea. She had been swimming in a rock pool when a large wave washed over the pool and pulled her out to open sea.

The two men quickly ran down the track to the beach but lost sight of her. As Mr Van Houten visually searched the sea, she suddenly appeared about 20 metres away. He dived into the water and on reaching the girl took hold of her and swam to the rocks where Mr Tan was waiting to pull her out.

Mr Tan received a Letter of Commendation for his actions in this rescue.

28. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Justin Byrne, 131 Bulli Road, Wentworthville,

for his actions during a scuba diving rescue at Bondi Beach.

On the morning of 5 February 2000 at Ben Buckler Point, Bondi, Mr Byrne was instructing personnel in snorkelling techniques when he heard a cry for help from a nearby diving group. He noticed a diver attempting to tow another diver back to shore. Mr Byrne immediately swam over to assist, and noticed the towed diver was vomiting and holding his head.

Mr Byrne took hold of the distressed diver, and while swimming him back to shore was told that there was another diver missing below water.

After being hampered by the ocean swell, Mr Byrne was eventually able to lift the distressed diver onto a rock ledge and began first aid on the man. Once other persons arrived to assist, Mr Byrne re entered the water to search for the missing diver.

Mr Byrne continued to assist in the water search, as well as briefing the paramedics on the distressed diver's condition.

The other diver's body was recovered several days later.

29 & 30 &31 & 32. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Sean Dixon, Walgett;

Michael Kennedy, Walgett;

Douglas Dixon, Walgett;

Wayne Walford, Walgett,

for their actions at the scene of a house fire at Walgett.

At about 12.30am on 22 July 2000 Sean Dixon was walking home in Walgett when he noticed smoke coming from a nearby dwelling. He approached the building and saw smoke coming from the roof and heard windows smashing at the rear. Flames could be seen inside the house and Mr Dixon attempted to alert any occupants by shouting. The front door was securely locked and he was unable to gain access. He then ran to a nearby friend's house and gained the assistance of Michael Kennedy, Douglas Dixon and Wayne Walford before contacting the Fire Brigades.

The four men ran back to the burning dwelling which was by this time well ablaze. They forced entry to the locked front door and found all the rooms full of smoke. A man was discovered asleep in the lounge room, and Sean Dixon, Michael Kennedy and Douglas Dixon dragged him outside to safety. Wayne Walford checked the rear of the property. Michael Kennedy re entered the lounge room and ensured no other persons were inside before the arrival of the Fire Brigades.

33. BRONZE MEDAL

Jeffrey Kelly, 27 Claxton Street, Tinonee,

for the rescue of a woman and her children from a submerged vehicle at Taree.

At about 8.00pm on 27 September 2000 a woman lost control of her vehicle and drove directly into the Manning River, Taree. Her three children were in the rear of the vehicle.

Jeffrey Kelly was parked nearby when he witnessed the incident. He quickly ran to the river bank and swam out to the vehicle which was about 20 metres from the embankment. With the assistance of an unknown male he was able to pull the woman from the vehicle and release the children from their restraints in the back seat. All persons were safely carried to the shore.

The rescue was made in darkness and the water was approximately 4 metres deep.

34. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT & SIR NEVILLE PIXLEY BOOK AWARD

Jessica Warren (age:6), 160 Grandview Drive, Bilgola Plateau,

for her actions in the rescue of her 5 year old cousin from a backyard swimming pool at Newport.

On 4 November 2000 Jessica Warren was visiting her uncle's home with her family. Whilst the adults were in the house, Jessica, her 10 year old brother and her 5 year old cousin were outside playing near the pool.

The adults could see the children from where they were sitting inside the house, however the 5 year old suddenly fell into the deep end of the pool. He was fully clothed and wearing shoes. Knowing her cousin could not swim, Jessica immediately jumped into the pool and supported him.

She was able to reach the side of the pool and hang onto the boy until the adults ran out of the house and lifted him from the water. The boy suffered shock but recovered well. Jessica says she felt out of breath after her efforts.

35. BRONZE MEDAL

William Joshua Jessop, 43 Thomas Street, Moruya,

36 &37. CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Kenneth William Jessop, 4 Jeffrey Place, Moruya;

Robert Jessop-Cleveland, 8 Rose Street, Moruya,

for their actions in the rescue of a fisherman from the sea at Mullumburra Point.

On the morning of 27 December 2000, Kenneth and William Jessop and Robert Jessop-Cleveland were observing the sea from Mullumburra Point at Bingi. The sea conditions were quite rough, and they observed a rock fisherman below them.

Some thirty minutes later, William Jessop noticed the fisherman floating face down off the rocks.

William immediately descended the cliff face and entered the water to assist the fisherman. As William was supporting the fisherman, Kenneth Jessop threw a rope out to him, and the two men were then pulled back to the rocks. The rough conditions made this quite dangerous, and William suffered numerous lacerations and bruising from being washed against the rocks.

Robert Jessop-Cleveland contacted Emergency Services, then assisted in dragging the fisherman from the water. During this difficult operation, all men were in danger of being washed into the rough seas. The fisherman was carried to safe ground, but failed to respond to resuscitation.

38. SIR NEVILLE PIXLEY BOOK AWARD

Teyah Johnston (age:7), Lot 8, Worthington Street, Bundarra,

for her actions following a serious car accident at Bundarra.

On 11 December 1996, a woman and her two children were driving towards Bundarra when the vehicle went out of control and struck a tree. The woman and one of her children were seriously injured in the crash, and both were rendered unconscious.

Although suffering a severe cut to her knee in the accident, Teyah Johnston realised her mother and brother were badly injured or dead, and immediately ran along the lonely road seeking help. Eventually, a vehicle came upon Teyah on the road, and the two occupants of the vehicle were able to render assistance to the injured until the arrival of ambulance personnel.

For her brave actions in this case, Teyah also received a Letter of Commendation.

39 & 40. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Mark Anthony Plummer, 26 Buckingham Road, Baulkham Hills;

Stephen Small, 5 The Freshwater, Mount Annan,

for the rescue of a girl from the surf at Gerroa.

On the afternoon of 6 January 2000, Mark Plummer and Stephen Small were observing the king tides at Seven Mile Beach, Gerroa, when they saw two women waving and yelling at a number of young swimmers who were apparently caught in a rip, and noticed one girl was signalling for help.

Although not strong swimmers, both men entered the water and went to the girl's assistance. The swimmer collapsed as the men reached her, and they eventually battled against the rip and returned the girl to shore.

All the swimmers were treated on shore, but the rescued girl was taken to hospital suffering shock, mild hypothermia and salt water ingestion

41. BRONZE MEDAL

Frances Robinson, 17 Yarranbee Road, Port Macquarie;

42 &43. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Tony Van Der Stelt, 23 Pappinbarra Pde, Port Macquarie;

Mark Brown, 3 Reisling Street, Muswellbrook,

for their actions in the rescue of a woman from the Hastings River, Port Macquarie.

On the afternoon of 8 January 2000, Frances Robinson was walking along the break wall at Port Macquarie when she noticed a woman jump into the river and immediately get into difficulties in the tidal swell.

Ms Robinson immediately jumped into the river and swam to the woman. Realising it was too difficult to swim the woman back to the break wall against the tide, Ms Robinson supported the woman until a boat arrived at the scene.

Mark Brown dived in from the boat, while Mark Wells, the driver, kept the craft steady alongside the people in the water. Tony Van Der Stelt dived in from the break wall, and assisted Mark Brown in supporting the two women in the water.

Darren Taylor, a passenger in the boat, passed a long gaff pole to Mr Brown, and this enabled the people in the water to be assisted up into the boat. The craft then returned to the boat ramp where ambulance assistance was provided.

Mr Taylor and Mr Wells received Letters of Commendation for their actions in this case.

44. BRONZE MEDAL

Eamad Eid, 92 Buist Street, Bass Hill,

for his actions in the rescue of a man from a house fire at Ryde.

On the afternoon of 16 January 2000, Mr Eid, together with two work colleagues Mohamed Zreika and Jason Hogben, went to investigate a fire at a property near their work.

They found a house well alight, and on investigation, could see a person behind one of the windows.

With the use of a ladder and the assistance of his work colleagues, Mr Eid broke a window and was able to drag a male occupant, who was distressed and disorientated, through the window. Two other men, Luke Scicluna and Nicholas Vincent, also assisted in the rescue. On learning that another man was still inside, Mr Eid entered the smoke- filled building through the back door, but was forced back after several minutes.

The Fire Brigade personnel subsequently recovered a deceased person from the building. Mr Zreika, Mr Hogben, Mr Scicluna and Mr Vincent received Letters of Commendation for their actions in this case.

45. BRONZE MEDAL

Phillip Clayton Thompson, 13/3 Mowatt Street, Queanbeyan

for the rescue of a young woman from a burning home unit at Queanbeyan.

During the evening of 21 January 2000, a young girl was woken by the smell of smoke in her home unit. She discovered the lounge room on fire, and immediately screamed for help from her bedroom window.

Mr Thompson responded to her calls, went to her front door but was unable to gain access. He then climbed up onto a balcony and gained access through a sliding door. Although the lounge room was well alight and the floor extremely hot, he dashed across to the girl's bed room and led her back to the balcony where they were helped to safety.

46 &47. BRONZE MEDALS

Peter Jay Prince, 30 Wortumertie Street, Bourke;

Tony Wallace Prince, 30 Wortumertie Street, Bourke,

for the rescue of a child from a house fire at Bourke.

In the late afternoon of 30 August 2000, a fire occurred in a dwelling in Bourke.

Peter and Tony Prince were visiting friends at the time on the front verandah of the house, when they noticed smoke coming from the front door and hallway area. They entered the house and saw a two year old boy standing near a bedroom door about seven metres away. Tony Prince tried to grab the child but flames on the roof of the hallway singed his hair and the child ran away from him.

The bedroom was well alight by this stage, with the walls and ceiling in flames. The child had run to the rear of the house and Peter Prince ran after him. Suddenly, there was an explosion, and both Peter Prince and the child fell over. Peter quickly picked up the child and ran outside the front door.

Tony Prince attempted to extinguish the flames with a garden hose, but this was unsuccessful due to poor water pressure. He then smashed the front window of the lounge room and removed the television and video equipment.

The men continued to try to extinguish the fire with a neighbour's hose until the arrival of the Fire Brigade.

48. BRONZE MEDALD

Denise Elsbeth Latham, 505 North Teven Road, Teven;

49 &50 CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

John Kevin Bashforth, Brunswick Road, Mullumbimby;

Senior Constable David Sales, NSW Police Service,

for the attempted rescue of a child from a submerged motor vehicle at Teven Creek.

On the morning of 16 March 2001, a vehicle left the road at Teven and rolled onto its roof into Teven Creek.

The female driver managed to free herself, but her young son was trapped in the submerged vehicle.

Mrs Latham, who was living nearby, went to assist, and swam out to the driver and the vehicle.

Mrs Latham sent the woman back to shore to go for help, while she attempted to dive to see if she could assist the trapped child. She was unsuccessful after several attempts.

Mr Bashforth came upon the scene in his vehicle, and immediately entered the water to assist. With the depth of the water, and strength of the current after recent flood rains, he realised there was little he could do to rescue the child, and he and Mrs Latham returned to shore. Senior Constable Sales arrived at the scene, and together with Mr Bashforth, entered the water. Senior Constable Sales dived in an attempt to extricate the child, but was unsuccessful.

Subsequently, Senior Constable Sales and Mr Bashforth connected a tow cable to the vehicle, and it was winched to the bank.

Letters of Commendation

During the year, the following awards were also made:

Pino Ieroianni, Bulahdelah Central School, Mead Street, Bulahdelah

Kerrie Tisdell, Karuah

Rory Angus Miller, Coffs Harbour

John Tan, Sanctuary Cove

Edward Bakic, Fairfield West

Tehay Johnston, Bundarra

Mark Wells, Elderslie

Darren Taylor, Singleton

Mohamed Zreika, Marrickville

Jason Hogben, Bligh Park

Luke Scicluna, Ryde

Nicholas Vincent, Mount Pritchard