2013-2014 Recipients & Citations

Click on the recipient case number to view the citation.

 Report Item
Number


Family Names


Award


Case Number


Date

1

ANDERSON, Mr. Craig

Bronze Medal

2013-01

12 Dec 2012

15

BARBER Ms. Leanne Gayle

Bronze Medal

2014-01

5 Aug 2013

15

BARROW Probationary Constable Ashleigh

Cert. of Merit

2014-01

5 Aug 2013

6

BROWN Mr Matthew

Cert. of Merit

2013-14

12 Jan 2010

5

CHAHROUK Mr Hassan

Bronze Medal

2013-17

2 Apr 2013

17

CHEEKE Qualified Firefighter George

Bronze Medal

2014-03

1 Oct 2013

17

COCHRANE Mr Andrew

Gold Medal

2014-03

1 Oct 2013

9

COLLINS Ms Gretta

Silver Medal

2013-20

24 Feb 2013

14

DEAN Ms Rachel

Bronze Medal

2013-23

16 Nov 2012

7

DEWS Mr Lewis

Bronze Medal

2013-16

1 Sept 2012

18

HAM Mr Troy

Bronze Medal

2014-04

27 Jan 2014

10

MINSHALL Mr Brenndan

Cert. of Merit

2013-21

15 Jun 2012

8

MORRISON Mr Glenn

Bronze Medal

2013-19

8 July 2013

17

MULDER Qualified Firefighter Lloyd

Bronze Medal

2014-03

1 Oct 2013

1

PARKER Ms. Rose

Bronze Medal

2013-01

12 Dec 2012

16

PURCELL Mr David Michael

Bronze Medal

2014-02

28 Dec 2013

14

RILEY Mr Jamie

Cert. of Merit

2013-23

16 Nov 2012

5

SAFEIN Ms. Jade

Bronze Medal

2013-17

2 Apr 2013

15

SHAILES Constable Brendan Michael

Cert. of Merit

2014-01

5 Aug 2013

4

SHAMDIN Ms. Diljin

Bronze Medal

2013-13

12 Dec 2012

3

SKEIN Mr. Scott

Bronze Medal

2013-04

21 Jan 2012

3

SMITH Mr Adam

Bronze Medal

2013-04

21 Jan 2012

17

TOSONE Ms Maria

Silver Medal

2014-03

1 Oct 2013

15

TREVILLIAN Leading Senior
Constable Shanelle Jane

Cert. of Merit

2014-01

5 Aug 2013

11

TRUDGETT Mr Matthew

Bronze Medal

2013-22

8 Aug 2012

15

TUCKER Senior Constable
Ashley William

Cert. of Merit

2014-01

5 Aug 2013

6

WALTERBACK Mr Steve

Cert. of Merit

2013-14

12 Jan 2010

 

1. Case: 2013-01

BRONZE MEDALS

Ms. Rose PARKER
Mr. Craig ANDERSON

LETTERS OF COMMENDATION

Mr. Ben COOMBS
Mr. Jarrod McDONALD

for their actions in the rescue of a young man in the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, on 12 December 2012.

On the evening of 12 December 2012 four teenagers went swimming at ‘the rocks’ in the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga. They set off to swim diagonally across the river heading for a sandy beach about 150m downstream.

Mr. Ben COOMBS and Mr. Jarrod McDONALD set out first, followed by Mr. Zack DUGGAN and Ms. Rose PARKER. Shortly after the second couple set out Mr. DUGGAN went under water. Ms. Rose PARKER immediately went to his aid. While fighting the current she struggled to keep him afloat and both of them on the surface. Although face up Mr. DUGGAN’s body was arched with his hands down by his sides unable to support himself.

Swimming with his dog at the time Mr. Craig ANDERSON witnessed the whole incident. He went to the assistance of Ms PARKER who had been supporting Mr. DUGGAN in the water for 3 or 4 minutes over a distance of about 250m.

Mr. ANDERSON and Ms. PARKER got Mr. DUGGAN, who was semi-conscious and had swallowed a great deal of water, to a point in the river where Mr. COOMBS and Mr. McDONALD assisted in getting him up onto the river bank.

When the ambulance arrived Mr. DUGGAN was conscious, vaguely responsive but in need of medical attention. He was then transported to hospital.

2. Case: 2013-02

LETTERS OF COMMENDATION

Mr. Russell GALVIN
Mr. Blair WEBB

for their actions in the attempted rescue of an elderly lady from a burning house at Illabo, NSW 2590, on 4 January 2013.

At approx 1:00 am on Friday 4 January 2013 Mr. Russell GALVIN was awoken by the smell of smoke from his neighbour’s house which was in fact on fire. Knowing his neighbour lived alone he immediately ran to the house that was well alight. Mr. GAVIN entered the front door of the house and attempted to make his way further inside but had to withdraw due to the intense heat and smoke.

As Mr. GAVIN exited the premises he noticed Mr Blair WEBB at the front of the house who was attempting to communicate with the elderly owner of the house. Mr. BLAIR was a passing truck driver who stopped to assist as he had seen the house well ablaze.

Mr. GAVIN’s wife Mrs. Roseanne GALVIN contacted the ambulance and fire brigade. She then contacted Mr. Trevor ALLEN a member of the Illabo RFS.  Mr ALLEN organised other local RFS members to attend and assist. 

Despite the attendance of six RFS members and the NSWFB they were unable to rescue the elderly lady from the house which eventually almost completely burnt to the ground.

At approx 3:00 am NSWFB officers conducted a search of the premises and located the body of the elderly lady.

3. Case: 2013-04

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr. Adam SMITH
Mr. Scott SKEIN

for their actions in the rescue of a 12 year old boy from an overturned kayak about 5 kilometres upstream from “Coolamondah”, Goobarrangandra NSW 2720, on 21 January 2012.

At approximately midday on 21 January 2012 Master Sam ROSEN became trapped in a capsized kayak in rapids at an isolated spot in the middle of a 25 metre wide river.  To prevent his son from drowning his father Dr David ROSEN braced himself against a rock in the current and elevated his son’s head to support it above the running water.

The rapids were about 75 metres away from the road and partially hidden by vegetation.  After about 30 minutes Mr. Adam SMITH and Mr. Scott SKEIN drove by and from their car observed the predicament.

Without hesitation they clambered down the steep riverbank and entered the water in their street clothes. Without life jackets and at risk of being knocked over and injured or drowned by the strong current and rocks, Mr. SMITH, who dislocated his knee during the rescue and Mr. SKEIN dislodged the kayak stuck between two large rocks and managed to free Master ROSEN.

4. Case: 2013-13

BRONZE MEDAL

Ms. Diljin SHAMDIN

LETTERS OF COMMENDATION

Mr Aiden SHIPTON
Mr Benjamin TRAVIS
Master Beau JEFFRIES
Master Declan TANCRED
Master Will HARDY

for their actions in the rescue of a female from drowning and the recovery of the body of a deceased female at Avoca Beach, NSW 2251, on 12 December 2012.

At about 3.30pm on 12 December 2012 two young women were washed off rocks in an isolated area of Winney Bay near Avoca Beach. At that time the swell was from the east at about 4ft (1.3m) hitting the rocks at about 8ft (2.4m) along with treacherous currents. Both women suffered injuries consistent with being dashed against the rocks prior to being swept into the bay.

Mr. Aiden SHIPTON, training on his ocean-racing ski going towards Winney Bay heard faint cries for help. On investigation he found Ms. Diljin SHAMDIN in the sea holding onto the lifeless body of a second female. While he held the head of the unconscious woman out of the water Ms. SHAMDIN then sat astride the front of the ocean ski. Unfortunately the ocean ski is unstable when stationary and cannot travel with two people aboard.

After some time had passed and Mr. SHIPTON had been unable to raise the alarm he made the difficult decision he had to go for help. Ms. SHAMDIN went back into the water supporting her unconscious friend while Mr. SHIPTON raced off to Avoca Beach. On the way he alerted rock fishermen to the situation and they called “triple 000”.

Mr. Shipton was able to alert surf rescue and Mr. Ben TRAVIS, a Gosford City lifeguard set out in a jet ski towards Winney Bay where he found the two women in the water about 100 metres off shore. He managed to hold onto Ms. SHAMDIN, who was drifting in and out of consciousness, and get her on the sled at the back of the ski. He also managed to get the unconscious woman onto the sled.

Going back to Avoca Beach at very slow speed Mr. TRAVIS met three “nippers”, Master Beau JEFFRIES (aged 13), Master Declan TANCRED (aged 13) and Master Will HARDY (aged 13). Mr. Travis asked Master Beau JEFFRIES whom he knew, to “jump on the back of the ski and hold these girls on”. Master JEFFRIES did that and, after securing himself and the women, they continued until they met Mr. Daniel CRAIG (McMaster’s jetski) who transferred Ms. SHAMDIN to his jet ski. During this time Master Will HARDY was in the water assisting where he could.

Then Mr. CRAIG, with the help of Master Declan TANCRED took Ms. SHAMDIN to the beach where CPR assistance was available. She was later transferred to hospital where she recovered from her ordeal.

Finally Mr. TRAVIS and Master JEFFRIES then continued their journey with the unconscious woman to Avoca Beach. Regrettably extensive CPR was unsuccessful and the ambulance helicopter doctor pronounced life extinct at 5.36pm.

5. Case: 2013-17

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr Hassan CHAHROUK
Ms. Jade SAFEIN

for their actions in rescuing an elderly disabled resident from a smoke filled house at Merrylands West, NSW 2160, on 2 April 2013.

At about 1.00pm on 2 April 2013 a fire broke out in the lounge room of a house at Merrylands West containing an elderly disabled resident. The disabled person’s carer, Ms. Jade SAFEIN, who is vision impaired, was in another part of the house. After smelling smoke she immediately went to the aid of the elderly lady.

Ms. SAFEIN managed to get her out of the chair and onto the floor. Realising the elderly lady was too heavy for her to lift Ms. SAFEIN rang “triple 000” and ran outside seeking help. She succeeded in flagging down a passing taxi driver.

Without hesitation Mr. Hassan CHAHROUK entered the burning house with Ms. SAFEIN and between them they managed to assist the elderly disabled lady to exit the smoke filled building and reach safety prior to the arrival of Fire & Rescue NSW and other emergency services.

The elderly disabled lady was taken by ambulance to hospital for observation.

6. Case: 2013-14

CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Mr Matthew Ian BROWN
Mr Steve WALTERBACK

for their actions in rescuing a 53 year old female from drowning in dangerous surf conditions at Park Beach, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450, on 12 January 2010.

On Tuesday 12 January 2010 at 12:30 pm Ms Kay YOUMAN was swimming with two friends in the surf, outside the flags and got caught in a rip.  One of the females managed to get out of the water but the other two (Ms. YOUMAN and Ms. Monique DITTMAN) were dragged out in the strong rip.

Ms. YOUMAN went under a few times and Ms. DITTMAN managed to keep her friend’s head above water but she was also getting extremely tired.  Mr. Matthew BROWN swam out and threw his surfboard to Ms. DITTMAN advising her to hang on, but she was totally frightened and exhausted. Then Mr. Steve WALTERBACK swam out, rescued her and took her back to the beach. 

Mr. BROWN then swam Ms. YOUMAN back to shore where a registered nurse Ms. Belinda WALTERBACK successfully performed CPR. Mr. Greg HACKFAITH, Lifeguard Services / Training Coordinator from the Coffs Harbour City Council was called to the scene and observed that Ms YOUMAN was breathing and semi-conscious while Ms. DITTMAN’s breathing was weak but regular. They were both taken to hospital.

7. Case: 2013-16

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr. Lewis DEWS (Age 19)

for his actions in the rescue of a 35 old man and his 19 months old daughter in danger of drowning in waters off Shoal Bay, NSW 2315, on 1 September 2012.

On the afternoon of Saturday, 1 September 2012, Mr Naweed KHALIQ (aged 35) and his young daughter Miss Maliakn KHALIQ (19 months old) were in a small 2 metre inflatable boat in waters off Shoal Bay. Neither Mr KHALIQ nor his small daughter were wearing life jackets. Due to the water current and southwesterly winds, the inflatable boat and it occupants moved away from the shore approximately 500 to 600m from the beach.

Mr KHALIQ then attempted to use the paddle to return the boat to shore. This resulted in the boat capsizing and both persons falling into the water that was 16°. Mr KHALIQ stayed afloat keeping his daughter in his arms preventing her from drowning. Several minutes passed before Mr KHALIQ was able to yell for help.

Mr Lewis DEWS saw the two persons in difficulty, and using his boogie board paddled out to Mr. KHALIQ and his daughter.  Mr DEWS then assisted both persons to stay afloat until water police arrived on the scene, finding all three persons still in the water.

Miss Maliakn KHALIQ, only wearing an infant jump suit and by now suffering from hypothermia, was quickly taken from the water by police. Then Mr KHALIQ and Mr DEWS were also taken onboard the police vessel. Later Miss Maliakn KHALIQ was treated for hypothermia by Ambulance and taken to the Nelson Bay Poly Clinic for treatment.

8. Case: 2013-19

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr Glenn MORRISON

for his actions in assisting a person who suffered a seizure in a moving motor vehicle at the corner of Wairoa Avenue and Brighton Boulevard, North Bondi NSW 2026, on 8 July 2013.

The female driver of a vehicle had a seizure whilst driving. Her vehicle hit a number of cars before travelling very slowly north on Wairoa Ave and picking up speed heading down the hill. At 7:40 am Mr. Glenn MORRISON, a registered nurse, had been driving west on Brighton Boulevard and came to a stop at the intersection with Wairoa Avenue. The moving vehicle started to cross the centre lines and Mr. MORRISON noticed the female driver was in a typical seizure position.

Mr. MORRISON jumped out of his vehicle and commenced running along the driver’s side window and he looked for the handbrake but could not see it.  He tried to knock the transmission into “Park” but he had not time to do so.  Realising that he was in danger of being squashed either under the car or into the cafe wall, Mr. MORRISON steered the steering wheel towards the wall of a café where there were no people in danger of being injured. 

When Mr. MORRISON let go of the vehicle it crashed into the wall of the café taking out chairs and tables.  Unfortunately the vehicle still continued to roll down the hill, this time on the footpath whilst veering back onto the road heading in the direction of the Blueberry Café at the corner of Wairoa and Brighton Boulevard.  Mr. MORRISON then managed to enter the driver’s side window and turn the steering wheel to divert the vehicle from proceeding through the café.  Once more the vehicle ground along the wall, before gaining speed and re-entering the roadway in a northerly direction.

Finally Mr. MORRISON was able to catch up with the vehicle once more. Able to enter the driver’s side window he opened the door and then managed to steer it towards nearby driveways, while putting it into the “Park” gear.

After stopping the vehicle and turning off the engine, a male passerby approached him and Mr MORRISON asked him to call triple 000.  Paramedics arrived on the scene and tried unsuccessfully to perform CPR.

9. Case: 2013-20

SILVER MEDAL

Ms Gretta COLLINS (Age 23)

for her actions in the rescue of four people from drowning in dangerous conditions at the Hawkesbury River, Windsor NSW 2756, on 24 February 2013.

Ms. Gretta COLLINS and her boyfriend were holidaying at Windsor Beach, Hawkesbury River, Macquarie Park, Wilberforce, on 24 February 2013.  In the days preceding there had been significant rainfall and storms that caused the Hawkesbury River to swell between two and three times its usual volume.  There were also large amounts of debris in the river as a result of the storm.

Oblivious to the extreme conditions while swimming in the river at about 3pm Ms. Rebecca HARRISON-MELHON, Miss Phoebe and Mr. Jayden POLLARD lost their footing due to the current and were being swept towards the Windsor Bridge.  Ms. Tammy Lee RUDDER then entered the river in an attempt to rescue the three swimmers. However she too lost her footing and was also in trouble in the water.

Ms. Gretta COLLINS saw what was happening and entered the swollen river and pulled Miss Phoebe POLLARD (10 years old) from the water.  At the same time the other three people continued to be swept down the river.

Ms COLLINS then re-entered the river, at great risk to herself, and pulled Ms HARRISON-MELHON, Ms. Lee RUDDER and Mr. POLLARD from the strong current in the river to the riverbank.  Paramedics were called but there were no injuries.

10. Case: 2013-21

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Mr Brenndan MINSHALL

for his actions in the rescue of four persons from a residence on fire in March Street, Richmond NSW 2480, on 15 June 2012.

At about 7am on 15 June 2012 the occupant of a semi-detached granny flat to the rear of the residential property at 29 March Street Richmond was smoking in bed. He dropped his cigarette onto his mattress which subsequently caught his sheets alight.  Also at this time the three occupants of the main residence were asleep inside the lounge room in the house.

In a dazed state, after waking up, the occupant exited the only entry to the granny flat and lay on the ground. By this time the granny flat had caught well alight causing a large amount of grey smoke.

A passing motorist Mr. Brenndan MINSHALL, noticed the large amount of smoke coming from the residence.  He stopped his vehicle and approached the front door but he received no response.  Mr MINSHALL then forced entry to the premises by kicking down the front door.  He noticed three people still asleep amongst the smoke in the lounge room. He woke them up and got them to safety outside and contacted emergency services.

Returning to the rear of the property Mr MINSHALL saw the unconscious occupant of the granny flat on the ground. He lifted him up and carried him to the front of the property. After obtaining a hose from the neighbouring property Mr MINSHALL then returned to the granny flat and extinguished the fire. 

When the Police, Fire Brigades and Ambulance staff attended, the fire was confirmed to be extinguished.  There were no injuries.

11. Case: 2013-22

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr Matthew TRUDGETT

for his actions in assisting and applying first aid to an injured person underneath a train on the Hazelbrook Railway Station NSW 2779, on 8 August 2013.

At about 6.45pm Mr Timothy WHITTAKER was on the Hazelbrook Railway Station platform where he suffered a seizure and fell between the concrete platform edge and the moving train.  Mr WHITTAKER was struck by three carriages of the train prior to falling into a confined space underneath the train. He suffered a variety of injuries.

Mr Matthew TRUDGETT was on the platform waiting to catch a train to his workplace in western Sydney where he is employed as a registered nurse. Seeing the mishap Mr TRUDGETT immediately commenced communication with Mr WHITTAKER and readily volunteered to assist.

To gain access to the patient, Mr TRUDGETT moved a distance of approximately 30 metres on his hands and knees between two train carriages in the dark.  He was the primary medical responder until the arrival of NSW Ambulance officers and he continued to assist them for the next 30 to 40 minutes.

Ambulance officers advised that without the initial and ongoing medical treatment by Mr TRUDGETT further complications and/or more serious injuries may have occurred to Mr WHITTAKER.

12. Case: 2013-24

LETTERS OF COMMENDATION

Mr James MALIN
Mr Bill KING

for the rescue of a spear fisherman in difficulty while snorkelling in Storm Bay, Kiama NSW 2533, on 1 November 2013.

At approx 11:15 am on 1 November 2013 Mr Greg BAKER was snorkelling at the Kiama blowhole while his wife was fishing close by. He got into difficulty and accordingly was observed to go under the water three times.

Carrying out electrical work nearby Mr James MALIN and Mr Bill KING heard the screams for help and jumped into the water and lifted the man out.

Although Mr BAKER had shortness of breath he appeared to be otherwise uninjured. A lifeguard on the scene before Police arrived applied first aid. The ambulance arrived and provided further first aid before conveying him to Shellharbour Hospital.

13. Case: 2013-25

LETTERS OF COMMENDATION

Mr Tom WALMSLEY
Mr Luke HYDE
Mr Cooper JUDD
Mr Blake HAWKE

for their actions in rescuing a female driver from a submerged vehicle within a pond situated at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush NSW 2140, on 19 March 2013.

At about 11:30 am on 19 March 2013 Ms Genaya MILKOVIC drove her motor vehicle northwest along Olympic Boulevard, Sydney Olympic Park.  At the intersection of Edwin Flack Avenue, commencing to make a left hand turn the driver lost consciousness, causing her vehicle to travel across the roadway, over a footpath and down a set of large stairs.  The vehicle continued across a grassed area before entering a large pond, approximately 3 metres deep.

One of the four males travelling in a nearby vehicle noticed Ms MILKOVIC slumped over the wheel of her vehicle as it travelled through the intersection.

Mr Tom WALMSLEY, Mr Luke HYDE, Mr Cooper JUDD and Mr Blake HAWKE ran to the aid of the woman and collectively swam some 5 to 7 metres out to the partially submerged vehicle before pulling her from the vehicle via the driver’s side window. The vehicle subsequently became completely submerged.

Emergency Services attended the scene and treated the woman for shock with no other apparent injuries.

14. Case: 2013-23

BRONZE MEDAL

Ms Rachel DEAN

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Mr Jamie RILEY

for the rescue of two persons from a burning residence Cranebrook, NSW 2749, on 16 November 2012.

At approx 5pm on 16 November 2012 a fire broke out in a carport attached to 22 Challenger Way, Cranbrook, NSW.  Inside the house 2 males were sleeping. Awoken by the noise of the fire a neighbour Ms Rachel DEAN went to the house calling out to the occupants. Receiving no reply she broke a window and entered the house through a burning bedroom, located and woke Mr Roy MILLER and assisted him from the house.

Mr. MILLER then advised Ms DEAN there was another person still sleeping in the house. With the assistance of another neighbour Mr Jamie RILEY, Ms DEAN again entered the burning house.  After they located the still sleeping second occupant, Mr Brian McGUIRE, they assisted him from the building to safety.

15. Case: 2014-01

BRONZE MEDAL

Ms. Leanne Gayle BARBER

CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Senior Constable Ashley William TUCKER
Constable Brendan Michael SHAILES
Probationary Constable Ashleigh BARROW
Leading Senior Constable Shanelle Jane TREVILLIAN

for their actions in the assistance of a man and a woman during an attack by three savage dogs in Broken Hill, NSW 2880, on 5 August 2012.

At about 7am on 5 August 2012 Mr. Damien NOVELLO was attacked by three savage dogs in Thomas Lane, Broken Hill. The dogs had continuously attacked Mr. NOVELLO until he had collapsed due to loss of blood. Witnessing the attack, Ms Leanne BARBER immediately went to his assistance only to be attacked and seriously injured herself.

Arriving on the scene Senior Constable Ashley TUCKER and Constable Brendan SHAILES discharged cans of OC spray which had little effect. Shortly after, Constable SHAILES was forced to discharge one round from his glock service revolver, which missed, at the dogs. Following the discharge of the firearm the dogs retreated into their own yard allowing the Police Officers to place themselves between the dogs and the victims.

The dogs were kept at bay while Mr. NOVELLO and Ms. BARBER received emergency treatment. After being removed from the scene both victims underwent emergency surgery, in Mr. NOVELLO’s case some 8 hours.

When police first arrived on the scene, Leading Senior Constable Shanelle Jane TREVILLIAN, Shift Supervisor at Broken Hill Police Station had taken charge. She closed the station organised police assistance from Dareton police (300km away) and contacted residents of Thomas Lane warning them to stay indoors.

Police remained in the area for several hours assisting the Council Dog Catcher and the local Vet to contain and capture the dogs, which were later the subject of a destruction order.

16. Case: 2014-02

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr David Michael PURCELL (Age 23)

for his actions in the rescue of an unconscious male at Newcastle Beach, NSW 2300 on 28 December 2013.

At about 7:00 pm on Saturday 28 December 2013 Mr David PURCELL was swimming with his uncle Mr John PAGE close to shore at Newcastle Beach.

They noticed a girl and a male person enter the water and swim 80 metres from the shore to where the waves were breaking.  After 15 minutes the female started screaming and the male put his hand up to be rescued because they had been caught in a rip.

Mr. PURCELL and Mr PAGE noticed the male went below the surface, resurfaced in a panic, then he went down again and did not resurface. They then swam towards him.  Mr PAGE was tiring and had to retire back to shore.

Mr. PURCELL continued swimming. When he reached the female she said the male person had not resurfaced. He dived down and found the man sitting on the ocean floor about 2 metres down.  Holding him under his arms he dragged him to the surface and swam him to the shore.  About five metres from the shore the man gasped for air and began to cough up a lot of water and then regained consciousness.  Another swimmer helped take the man to the shore and put him in the recovery position.

The Ambulance was called and the paramedics transported him to hospital.

17. Case: 2014-03

GOLD MEDAL & GALLEGHAN AWARD

Mr Andrew COCHRANE

SILVER MEDAL

Ms Maria TOSONE

BRONZE MEDALS

FRNSW Qualified Firefighter Lloyd MULDER
FRNSW Qualified Firefighter George CHEEKE

LETTER OF COMMENDATION

NSWRFS Senior Deputy Captain Joshua SHEEDY

for their actions at a petrol tanker fire at Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale NSW 2103 on Tuesday 1 October 2013.

At 3:39 pm on Tuesday 1 October 2013 a fully laden petrol tanker collided with a number of vehicles at Mona Vale, NSW. It then rolled onto its side spilling petrol that ignited, causing explosions and a running fuel fire.

In the path of the running fire was a vehicle containing four people (1 male driver and male passenger and 2 female passengers).

Local residents Mr Andrew COCHRANE and Ms Maria TOSONE heard the crash, jumped the back fence and ran towards the car. Petrol was flowing downhill under the car but had not yet ignited. They successfully released the two females whom Ms TOSONE led to a safer area.

Mr COCHRANE returned to the vehicle and attempted to rescue the two males, but whilst inside the car there was a loud explosion as the fuel tanker about 150 metres uphill exploded into flames. In that area flames were more than 30 metres high, and 3 metre high flames started to run along the flowing fuel towards the car. Mr COCHRANE had to jump away to safety as flames reached the car and engulfed it with the 2 men still inside. Ms Maria TOSONE was watching the events unfold from nearby where she was comforting the women, and feared Mr COCHRANE would also be engulfed by the flames. They were both severely traumatised.

When the Mosman fire crew arrived Firefighters Lloyd MULDER and George CHEEKE were directed by Rural Fire Service Senior Deputy Capt Joshua SHEEDY to a severely burnt male victim who was crawling back towards the burning car. The other victim, next to the car was engulfed in flames and obviously deceased. Firefighters MULDER and CHEEKE stopped the man and commenced first aid in a very dangerous position about 4 metres from the burning car and fuel, with roadside bush burning beside them. They removed some of his smouldering clothing that was attached to the back of his body, established an airway and applied oxygen and an automatic external defibulator.  Concurrently there were 4 loud explosions close by, but they continued until the Ambulance Service Paramedic advised the victim was deceased and could not be revived.

Senior Deputy Captain Joshua SHEEDY provided assistance to Firefighters MULDER and CHEEKE performing life support to a badly burnt victim while attempting to cool the second body.  He also volunteered to go back to the pumper and get the automated external defibrillator (AED) to try and resuscitate the victim.  These life support actions were performed in a very dangerous environment.

18. Case: 2014-04

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr TROY HAM (Age 23)

LETTER OF COMMENDATION

Mr. John RIPPON

for their actions in successfully rescuing four swimmers, in severe conditions at Snapper Point, Lake Munmorah State Reserve NSW 2259 on 27 January 2014.

At about 2:00 pm on Monday 27 January 2014 four males walked around the rock platform at the northern end of Frazer Park to the rock ledge of the blowhole below Snapper Point. 

Jumping from the rocks the four males entered the water of the blowhole, then they swam to the beach/cave and became stranded.  Due to the steep slope of the beach they became trapped with the rising tide. The only escape was a 400m swim back to Frazer Beach through rough rock-edged water.

At that time a 1.5 to 2m swell coupled with entry into the bay was limited by a 15m wide mouth where the water levels were rising and falling quickly.

Police were called. They in turn alerted the Australian Life Guard Service at Catherine Hill Bay who coordinated a jet ski from Catherine Hill Bay. Lifeguard Troy HAM and a jet ski from Frazer Beach driven by Lifeguard John RIPPON met at the mouth of the bay to assess the possibility of entering the bay from the sea.

The males had taken refuge at the far end of the cave, with one of the males suffering exhaustion. With a beach landing of the jet ski impossible due to pounding surf Mr. HAM negotiated the narrow entry to the bay. He then waited in the bay just off the beach for two of the males to swim to the jet ski. After transferring these two males to the other jet ski, Mr. HAM then again entered the bay where the remaining two males swam to the jet ski and were taken to Frazer Beach.