2016-2017 Recipients & Citations

Click on the recipient case number to view the citation.

Item No.

CASE

NAME

AWARD

DATE

20

2017-26

BANNERMAN, Mr. Clinton

BRONZE MEDAL

27 Aug 2015

16

2017-21

BERWICK, Mr. Greg

BRONZE MEDAL

1 Mar 2014.

3

2017-01

BOFINGER Station Officer
Darren

BRONZE MEDAL

29 Jan 2015.

8

2017-11

BRABANT Mr Marcus

BRONZE MEDAL

25 Jul 2016

19

2017-25

CLAYDON, Mr. Sean

BRONZE MEDAL

9 Apr 2015

15

2017-20

Mr. Ian CLARKE

SILVER MEDAL

11 Sept 2014

14

2017-19

CLARKE, Sergeant Melissa NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

27 Dec 2014

22

2017-29

DARMANIN, Mr. Edward

BRONZE MEDAL

5 Mar 2015

4

2017-04

DOYLE Mr. Jeffrey

BRONZE MEDAL

17 Jul 2016

14

2017-19

FOSTER, Constable Sarah NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

27 Dec 2014

1

2016-01A

GILES, Mr. Hugh

GOLD MEDAL

9 Feb 2015

A

2014-03B

GRIFFITHS, Mr. Hayden

SILVER MEDAL

1 Oct 2013

18

2017-23

IVANOFF, Mr. Edward

SILVER MEDAL

21 May 2013

7

2017-10

LAWSON Retained Firefighter Samuel

BRONZE MEDAL

17 Mar 2016

16

2017-21

LIEBREGTS, Mr. Tony

BREONZE MEDAL

1 Mar 2014.

19

2017-25

LOVELY, Mr. Guy

BRONZE MEDAL

9 Apr 2015

8

2017-11

MARTIN Mr Thomas

BRONZE MEDAL

25 Jul 2016

10

2017-13

McAlpine, Inspector Andrew NSW Ambulance

BRONZE MEDAL

2 Oct 2015

21

2017-27

McDONALD, Senior Constable Brendan NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

12 Jul 2015

4

2017-04

McCARTHY Mr William

BRONZE MEDAL

17 Jul 2016

12

2017-17

McCULKIN, Sergeant Mark NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

7 Augt 2014

12

2017-17

McMILLAN, Senior Constable James NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

7 Aug 2014

17

2017-22

McPHERSON, Mr. Robert James

BRONZE MEDAL

21 Apr 2105

10

2017-13

McSweeney, Inspector Kevin NSW Ambulance

BRONZE MEDAL

2 Oct 2015

1

2016-01A

MEADOWS, Mr. Matthew

GOLD MEDAL

9 Feb 2015

A

2014-03B

O’ROURKE, Mr. Michael

SILVER MEDAL

1 Oct 2013

9

2017-12

OLARU, Mr. Petru Security Guard

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

26 Nov 2014

14

2017-19

 PEET, Sergeant Matthew NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

27 Dec 2014

A

2014-03B

POLLARD, Mr. Paul

SILVER MEDAL

1 Oct 2013

A

2014-03B

RAYMEN, Mr. Thomas

SILVER MEDAL

1 Oct 2013.

15

2017-20

SAUNDERS, Mr. Paul

BRONZE MEDAL

11 Sept 2014

2

2016-04

SEARLE Ms. Ashleigh

SILVER MEDAL

8 Jan 2016

21

2017-27

SMITH, Senior Constable Craig NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

12 Jul 2015

13

2017-18

STEELE, Constable Matthew NSW Police

SILVER MEDAL

19 Apr 2014

9

2017-12

SHOAIB, Mr. Syed Security Guard

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

26 Nov2014

B

2017-28

Ms Amy Jane THOMPSON

Royal Humane Society of Australia Inc.
BRONZE MEDAL

5 Apr 2013

5

2017-05

TRIST Mr. Joel

SILVER MEDAL

30 Mar 2016

6

2017-07

PARKINSON Mr. Adam

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

26 Mar 1999

17

2017-22

WILLIAMS, Mr. Danny Lindsay

BRONZE MEDAL

21 Apr 2015

14

2017-19

WRIGHT, Constable Jarrod NSW Police

BRONZE MEDAL

27 Dec 2014

 

A. Case 2014-03B

SILVER MEDALS

Mr. Paul POLLARD
Mr. Michael O’ROURKE
Mr. Hayden GRIFFITHS
Mr. Thomas RAYMEN

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

At about 3.35p.m on Tuesday 1 October 2013 a multi vehicle collision occurred at Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale between a fully laden petrol tanker and vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. After going through the roundabout, at a high speed, the petrol tanker struck a power pole causing its trailer to swerve and sideswipe two vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. The petrol tanker then jack-knifed and slid up the roadway colliding with a further 2 vehicles. Fuel commenced to leak from the petrol tanker and it burst into flames. The whole scene was covered in thick black smoke and a fierce fire erupted with the flames reaching as high as the surrounding trees. The fire then moved along the fuel line and eventually encompassed all the vehicles that had been hit by the petrol tanker.

Driving home from work Mr. Paul POLLARD with Mr. Michael O’ROURKE as his passenger witnessed the petrol tanker jack-knife and explode into fire.

Also travelling home from work Mr Hayden GRIFFITHS witnessed the collision. Each man went to the aid of four people who were trapped in a Subaru Outback Station Wagon sideswiped by the petrol tanker.

Mr. POLLARD, Mr. O’ROURKE and Mr. GRIFFITHS tried on several occasions to open the doors on the driver’s side of the vehicle. However neither door could be opened due to the extensive damage to the vehicle. The driver was unable to move, his legs were pinned to his seat by the steering wheel. The three men then concentrated on the offside of the vehicle and after some difficulty they forced open both those doors. They freed the lady next to the driver who was bleeding from lacerations to her head and had suffered fractured ribs. After removing her seat belt Mr. POLLARD and Mr. O’ROURKE lifted her out of the car and carried her to safety some 20 metres away.

Mr. GRIFFITHS went to the assistance of the rear passenger lady who had suffered a fractured sternum. She was in shock and unable to remove her seat belt. He talked her through the process of undoing her seat belt and then dragged her from the car and took her to safety.

After the women occupants of the car had been taken to safety Mr. POLLARD, Mr. O’ROURKE and Mr. GRIFFITHS returned to the Subaru Station Wagon attempting to rescue the male occupants who remained trapped in the vehicle. Mr. POLLARD helped another person trying to tow the car away from the approaching fire. Mr. GRIFFITHS climbed across the back seat of the car to try to aid the back seat male passenger. Eventually the rescuers themselves were pulled away from the vehicle by other witnesses as the car became engulfed in flames. Both the male occupants of the vehicle were incinerated at the scene.

Mr. Thomas RAYMEN was the driver of a vehicle about 10 metres away from the exploding tanker. He felt the intensity of the heat from the fire and could see the fireball and the dense black smoke covering the scene. He exited his car and went to assist the lady driver of a BMW vehicle that had been sideswiped by the tanker. He could hear her screaming but could not see her due to the density of the black smoke. Close to the vehicle he saw that the driver had opened her door but was struggling to get out. He grabbed her, and dragged her from the car towards an embankment and as he did so her vehicle exploded into flames. He then looked back and saw that the petrol tanker had popped its window and the driver was climbing out of the cabin.

The tanker driver, who was bleeding and burnt all over his right side, then stumbled around on the road in a dazed manner. Mr. RAYMEN went back to the burning petrol tanker and took hold of the driver by his shirt and led him to safety.

Arising from these events, awards including the Gold Medal to Mr. Andrew COCHRANE (Case 2014/03) were presented as recorded in the 2014 Annual Report.

1. 2016-01A

GOLD MEDALS

Dr. Hugh GILES
Mr. Matthew MEADOWS

For their actions in the rescue of a male surfer following a shark attack at Shelly Beach, Ballina NSW 2478 on 9 February 2015.

At approximately 10.00a.m on 9 February 2015 Hugh Giles and Matthew Meadows were in a group of about six surfers including Mr Tadashi Nakahara (age 41) at Ballina when Mr Nakahara was attacked by a 4 metre Great White Shark.

The shark swam under some of the surfers and attacked Mr Nakahara who was paddling out to catch another wave. The shark took both of Mr Nakahara’s legs and the back part of his board. The victim’s blood loss was immediate and substantial.

Most of the surfers quickly made their way to shore. The two surfers closest to Mr Nakahara were Hugh GILES and Matthew MEADOWS who immediately paddled over to rescue Mr Nakahara and each placed himself either side of Mr Nakahara and commenced to tow the victim, on his board, towards the rocks whilst, at the same time, trying to keep Mr Nakahara’s head out of the water.

Darren ROGERS who had left the water when the attack occurred noticed that Hugh GILES and Matthew MEADOWS were having difficulty in trying to keep Mr Nakahara’s head out of the water, dived from where he was watching on the rocks, into the water and swam to the rescuers to assist them in bringing the victim to the rocks and then across to the beach. An eyewitness on the shore observed the three men bringing Mr Nakahara back to the rocks.

Throughout the rescue operations of Hugh GILES and Matthew MEADOWS the shark was still in the area and the victim was suffering substantial loss of blood into the surrounding waters.

Once on the beach, all three men, with others, continued to perform first aid till the paramedics arrived at the beach but Mr Nakahara was not able to be saved and he died on the beach.

Arising out of the same event Mr. Darren ROGERS (Case 2016-01) received a silver medal at the 2016 Investiture.

2. 2016-04

SILVER MEDAL

Ms. Ashleigh SEARLE

For her actions on the rescue of two men from “punishing surf” at Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens NSW 2324 8 January 2016.

At about 4pm on 8 January 2016 four men went swimming at an unpatrolled beach and became caught in a large rip in an unpredictable swell. One of the men got out, ran about 500 metres to Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Surf Lifesaving Club.

Ms SEARLE a professional lifeguard, obtained a dune buggy and drove to the site. There using a rescue board, made it out to where two men were located. She paddled them to the safety of the shore through the severe sea state. Ms SEARLE then continued searching in the hazardous conditions for the missing man until the light faded.

 The missing man’s body was recovered some days later.

3. 2017-01

BRONZE MEDAL

Station Officer Darren BOFINGER, Fire & Rescue NSW

For his actions in the rescue of two persons at Merry Beach, Kioloa, NSW 2539 on 29 January 2015.

While camping at Merry Beach at about 12.30pm on 29 January 2015 Station Officer Darren BOFINGER (an off duty FRNSW Officer) noticed two people, one clearly in distress in the surf amidst a ten metre swell.

Using his board he entered the water and made his way out to them. He assisted a female safely to the shore. A second person in the surf was assisted by an unknown man on a long board. After the woman was safe, Station Officer BOFINGER returned to the water to assist the safe return of the two men.

4. 2017-04

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr. Jeffrey DOYLE
Mr William McCARTHY

For their actions in the rescue of a woman from a sinking car in Erina Creek, Erina, NSW 2250 on 17 July 2016.

At about 9.45am on Sunday 17 July 2016 Mr. William (Bill) McCARTHY was fishing with his 2 sons off the wharf when a car stopped at the boat ramp. Suddenly the car drove straight into the water, where within a very short time, it sank becoming submerged.

Mr. McCarthy immediately stripped to his underwear, grabbed a spanner from his car, entered the water swimming to where the car had submerged.

Mr. Jeffrey DOYLE and his wife were walking their dogs when he became aware of a car floating in Erina Creek. Mr. Doyle also stripped to his underwear and went into the creek swimming towards the sunken car. Both Mr. Doyle and Mr. McCarthy reached the submerged car where Mr. Doyle used the spanner to smash the back window. Both men then pulled the woman driver from the car, and escorted her to the shore, by which time the car had become totally sunk.

Police, Ambulance and NSW Fire & Rescue attended the scene. Police were unsure whether the car had other occupants and this was checked by NSW Fire & Rescue officers. The woman was conveyed by ambulance to Gosford Hospital.

5. 2017-05

SILVER MEDAL

Mr. Joel TRIST

For his actions in the rescue of a male surfer attacked by a shark at Bombo Beach, Kiama NSW 2533 on 30 March 2016.

On Wednesday 30 March 2016, shortly before 7 pm Joel Trist and Brett Connellan were surfing at Bombo Beach, Kiama. They were about 100 – 150 metres from the shore and about 50 metres apart when Mr. Trist heard Connellan screaming. He looked in that direction and saw splashing around his friend. Then a surfboard popped up from beneath the water about 15 metres away from him.

Mr. Connellan had been attacked by a shark. He had serious injuries. From loss of 3 of the 4 quadriceps muscles on the left thigh to the bone, as well as deep lacerations to his left hand and arm. Mr. Connellan was bleeding profusely.

Mr. Trist paddled as fast as he could towards Mr. Connellan. He assisted him onto his board and paddled into shore with some difficulty. Mr. Connellan was going in and out of consciousness. There was a trail of blood in the water, Mr. Trist knew this would attract the shark which he suspected was still in the vicinity.

Once he got Mr. Connellan to the shore Mr. Trist used his leg rope as a tourniquet round his upper thigh and dragged him onto the sand. He and a bystander, Mr. John Neville, worked to stabilise him, applying a more effective tourniquet and continuing to reassure him that help was coming. Mr. Trist’s girlfriend, Ms. Agnieszka Krowka, ran to the car to call 000 then returned to assist on the beach. Mr. Trist’s brave actions were paramount in saving Mr. Connellan’s life.

6. 2017-07

CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Mr. Adam PARKINSON

For his actions involving the rescue of an unconscious Japanese woman tourist from a cruise boat in Sydney Harbour NSW 200 on 26 March 1999.

At about 9.00 pm on 26 March 1999 a female Japanese guest on a dinner cruise was video taping other guests. Getting into position she moved backwards falling over the combing doorway into the water. Descending into the water it is presumed she hit her head rendering her unconscious. Witnesses brought the accident to the attention of the Master of the Vessel.

A deckhand at that time Mr. Alan PARKINSON, on the instructions from his skipper, in full uniform jumped into Sydney harbour swimming about 35 metres to reach the unconscious body.

Mr. Parkinson indicated that he swam the woman to a nearby boat. After dragging her into the cabin of the boat he began CPR. The Police Report states, “Crew recovered the victim from the water where she was in an unconscious state”. Mr. PARKINSON stated, “A short time later the woman was violently sick after regaining consciousness”. It was reported “Police administered first aid and oxygen until paramedics arrived”.

The crew of the vessel “Intrepid” conveyed the victim to Walsh Bay, then she was transported by Ambulance to St. Vincent’s Hospital

7. 2017-10

BRONZE MEDAL

Retained Firefighter Samuel LAWSON

LETTER OF COMMENDATION

Senior Constable Kelly Spencer

For their actions in the rescue of a visiting tourist from a rip at Salt Beach, Kingscliffe, NSW 2487 on 17 March 2016

At about 9.15am an English tourist went for a swim at Kingsliffe beach. Realizing he was being caught in a rip and being dragged out to sea, the man started waving his hands to attract attention.

An off duty police officer, Ms Kelly Spencer, and her fiancé, Mr. Samuel LAWSON on the beach at the time saw the man waving. Immediately Mr. LAWSON entered the surf swimming towards the man in trouble. Ms. Kelly used her mobile phone to contact emergency services, and then entered the water unfortunately also encountered problems with the rip.

Battling pounding surf Mr. LAWSON reached the man who was going in and out of consciousness. Mr. Lawson then supported the man and swam  back to the beach, where a number of bystanders assisted in carrying the rescued man to the surf club.

Mr. LAWSON then re-entered the surf to assist Ms. Spencer and a second (unknown) lady also caught in the rip to exit the water. At this stage Mr. Lawson was near collapse.

When police arrived the rescued man was conscious but struggling for breath. Ambulance officers conveyed the man to Tweed Heads Hospital where he made a full recovery.

8. 2017-11

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr. Marcus BRABANT
Mr. Thomas MARTIN

For their actions in the attempted rescue of an unconscious young man who jumped into the “Blow Hole” at Nobby’s Beach, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 on 25 July 2016

At about 9.15am on Monday 25 July 2016 two young persons (from a group of four) were jumping off rocks at Nobby’s Beach, Port Macquarie. Jessie Derwent and his 14 year old male companion jumped into the water from a rock platform known as “Grassy’s”. While attempting to exit climbing the rocks they were thrown back into the water by a large set of waves. They were dragged into a tunnel underneath the rocks where it is believed the youth hit his head on rocks and became unconscious. He was observed not moving, face down in the water.

Mr. Thomas MARTIN (16) who was part of the group, entered the water and made his way to the unconscious youth. He was unsuccessful in retrieving him due to heavy swell and the weight involved.

Mr. Marcus BRABANT then arrived at the scene. His 16 year old daughter was part of the group of four. After his daughter had advised him of what had occurred, observing Mr. MARTIN struggling with the lifeless youth, Mr. BRABANT immediately entered the water, swam about 50 metres and succeeded in getting the youth off the rocks and attempting CPR. Jessie Derwent was also able to climb onto the rocks.

Eventually, struggling to get ashore Mr. BRABANT required assistance from Mr. MARTIN to get the unconscious youth from the water. About 10.42 am Police and Ambulance arriving at the scene and had to climb down a steep escarpment to reach the men. Unfortunately the Ambulance Officer in attendance, after entering the water, detected no signs of life.

At about 11.00am Surf lifesavers extracted Jessie Derwent from the rocks. Observing he was in a state of shock and was covered with abrasions he was conveyed to Port Macquarie hospital by NSW Ambulance.

9. 2017-12

CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Mr. Petru OLARU, Security Guard
Mr. Syed SHOAIB, Security Guard

LETTERS OF COMMENDATION

Sergeant Glen REID, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Paul RYAN, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Troy JESSEP, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Peter NORTHEY, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Jeron HUISMAN, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Donna BROAD, NSW Police Force
Constable Craig WALDRON-LAMOTTEE, NSW Police Force
Constable Ellie MCKENZIE, NSW Police Force
Constable Brayden DOSS, NSW Police Force Senior
Constable Colin BENTON, NSW Police Force Senior
Constable Michael HUTCHINSON, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Michael Jervis, NSW Police Force

For their actions in the rescue of a distressed male attempting self harm on Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW 2000 on 26 November 2014.

At about 2 am on 26 November 2014 a male was observed acting suspiciously by the control room on the eastern footway of Sydney Harbour Bridge. He was in a distressed state and intended to kill himself by jumping off the bridge.  Security Guards Mr. Petru OLARU and Mr. Syed SHOAIB were alerted to his presence. As they approached him, without warning the man climbed over the inner and outer security fences, became entangled by his clothes in the barbed wire and was hanging partially upside down.

Mr. Olaru climbed over the inner safety fence and managed to grab one hand which he twisted against the metal frame of the fence whilst laying his arm across the barbed wire on the outer fence.  The male struggled and Mr. Olaru could feel the barbed wire cutting into his arm. He knew that that if he let go he would fall from the Bridge. Mr. Shoaib ran towards them and grabbed the man’s other hand.

A total of 9 police officers from Harbourside LAC and Sydney City LAC arrived a few minutes later. They managed to get the man to an upright position and restrain him by holding him against the fencing. He continued to struggle against their grip and expressed his intention to die.  

Shortly after, 3 officers from the rescue squad arrived.

Using safety equipment they climbed over the outer safety fence and rescued the man that until then had been restrained by the other police.  The man was taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was “sectioned” under the Mental Health Act.

10. 2017-13

BRONZE MEDALS

Inspector ANDREW McALPINE, NSW Ambulance
Inspector KEVIN McSWEENEY, NSW Ambulance

For their actions at a fatal shooting at the Police Headquarters, Parramatta, NSW 2150 on 2 October 2015.

New South Wales Ambulance received electronic notification from New South Wales Police Headquarters notifying them that a man was shooting people outside Police Headquarters in Charles Street Parramatta.

Multiple resources were dispatched including INSPECTOR Andrew McAlpine and INSPECTOR Kevin McSweeney from Parramatta Ambulance Station. The paramedics were told that 2 men had been shot in the street.

When the paramedics arrived at the scene they were directed to the patients by heavily armed police wearing bullet proof vests. In an unsecured and exposed environment the paramedics went to assist the two men who had been shot and were lying on the footpath. One patient’s injuries were incompatible with life whilst resuscitation attempts were made for 15 minutes in relation to the other patient.

When the resuscitation efforts failed the paramedics turned their attention to the SPECIAL CONSTABLES who were in shock. Throughout the paramedics presence on Charles Street it was not known if the gunman was a single offender or whether others were involved and whether the paramedics were likely to suffer a secondary attack.

12. 2017-17

BRONZE MEDALS

Sergeant Mark McCULKIN
Senior Constable James McMILLAN

For their actions in the rescue of three persons from carbon monoxide poisoning in a house at Portland, NSW 2847 on 7 August 2014.

At about 12.40am on 7 August 2014 Sergeant Mark McCulkin and Senior Constable James McMillan attended a house in Portland in response to an emergency call from that residence. Both officers had ended their allocated shift and were preparing the go home, however elected to remain on duty to attend to the call. The caller, who as in an incoherent state, advised another occupant had possibly been struck by lightning and there was a gas leak in the premise causing the occupants to vomit.

On arrival at the premises, unable to get a response from the occupants, the officers made a forced entry into the property. They found three victims in various states of consciousness.  They assessed the source of the ‘gas’ like fumes was a kettle style BBQ. Opening the property to allow air flow, they prioritised the removal of the victims outdoors.

The officers first removed an unconscious male experiencing difficulties breathing.
Having provided immediate first aid, Sergeant McCulkin and Senior Constable McMillan re-entered the premise twice more to rescue the other two victims, a male and a female, rendering first aid each time.

Whilst removing the second and third victims the Police Officers were joined by NSW Fire Rescue and NSW Ambulance officers, as well as crime scene police officers.
The Fire Rescue officers tested the scene which indicated the three victims had been subject to dangerous high  ‘off the scale’ levels of carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by the unknown substance the occupants has been burning in the kettle style BBQ for warmth. Ambulance officers treated the victims at the scene. The first male was assessed as being at high risk and consequently air lifted to hospital. He remained there for several weeks under treatment.  The other two victims were transported to Lithgow hospital for treatment and then released.

The Ambulance officers also assessed Sergeant McCulkin and Senior Constable McMillan.  Both were affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, and were also conveyed to Lithgow Hospital for treatment.

13. 2017-18

SILVER MEDAL

Constable Matthew STEELE, NSW Police Force

For his actions in the rescue of a female attempting self harm at The Gap, Watson’s Bay, NSW 2030 on 19 April 2014.

At approximately 11.15 pm on 19 April 2014, police were called to the Gap, Watson’s Bay, where a female had climbed over the fence at an area known as Jacobs Ladder. She was lying face down on the edge of the cliff with only her upper torso visible. Her lower torso hanging over the edge of a 60m drop to the rocks and ocean below. The police attempted to persuade her to come back from the edge, but she had difficulty holding on.

Having called for Police Rescue specialists, the Sergeant in charge noted an imminent danger of the woman falling and decided that police should cross the safety fence and assist. At 11.36 pm Constable Steele, without concern for his own safety, climbed the safety fence, squatted down in front of the woman, on a small ledge, took hold of her under her armpits and pulled her back up over the cliff edge.  Two other Constables also climbed over the safety fence and assisted returning the woman to the correct side of the fence.

14. 2017-19

BRONZE MEDALS

Sergeant Melissa CLARKE, NSW Police Force
Sergeant Matthew PEET, NSW Police Force
Constable Jarrod WRIGHT, NSW Police Force
Constable Sarah FOSTER, NSW Police Force

For the rescue of a male from a shed fire at the rear of 130 Church Street, South Windsor NSW 2756 on 27 December 2014.

At approximately 3:30 pm on 27 December 2014 sergeant Melissa CLARKE, Sergeant Matthew PEET, Constable Jarrod WRIGHT, and Constable Sarah FOSTER responded to a call at South Windsor. A male had threatened self harm for a few hours following a relationship breakdown.  He had barricaded himself inside a shed and then set it on fire.

Upon arrival the Police Officers saw that the shed at the rear of the premises was on fire. The door barricaded with metal weights and locked by a padlock. Forcing the door open using a sledge hammer they entered the shed, inhaling large amounts of toxic fumes coming from burning plastic and other material. The male was on the ground unconscious, unresponsive and not breathing.  He was covered in petrol with various tools on top of him. The officers entered and re-entered the smoke filled burning shed until they finally removed the unconscious man. 

Once removed, the male was laid on the ground and Sergeant PEET commenced CPR while Sergeant CLARKE commenced EAR.  Constable Foster extinguished the main fire with a garden hose.

After approximately 5 minutes the male was able to breathe unassisted and placed in the recovery position until the NSW Ambulance arrived.  He was later air lifted to Westmead Hospital in a critical condition and made a full recovery one week later.

The police officers were all taken to hospital by Ambulance for treatment of smoke inhalation.  All were initially required to take time off work to recover.

15. 2017-20

SILVER MEDAL

Mr. Ian CLARKE

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr. Paul SAUNDERS

For their actions in the rescue of a woman attempting self harm at Kalang River, Urunga, NSW 2455 on 11 September 2014.

At about 2.50pm a woman drove her 4 wheel drive vehicle into the Kalang River at Urunga with the intention of self harm.

Observing the incident Mr. Ian CLARKE, and Mr. Paul SAUNDERS entered the water with the intention of rendering assistance at the time when the vehicle was sinking below the surface of the river.

While Mr. SAUNDERS (not a strong swimmer) had a struggle to reach the car due to the strong current. Mr. CLARKE actually managed to swim to the vehicle.

The woman driver was abusive to Mr. CLARKE and resisted his assistance. At this point she had exited the vehicle through the rear window holding onto the roof racks with the intention of going down with the car.

After prising the woman from the vehicle Mr. Clarke swam her towards the break wall where Mr. SAUNDERS, despite being in water above his head, was able to take hold of the struggling female and assist Mr. Clarke to get her to the bank.

Both Mr. CLARKE and Mr. SAUNDERS stayed with the rescued woman until the Emergency Services arrived.

16. 2017-21

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr. Greg BERWICK
Mr. Tony LIEBREGTS

For their actions in the rescue of a disabled elderly man from a house fire at Rathmines, NSW 2283 on 1 March 2014.

At about 2.30 am on the 1 March 2014 the detached house at Rathmines caught fire. Its sole occupant, a 68 year old man who was disabled, was apparently asleep in his bedroom at the time. The non-suspicious fire, which started in the lounge room, probably due to electrical overcrowding, resulted in extensive damage to most of the house.

Woken by the sound of a large explosion and breaking glass, neighbours Mr. Greg BERWICK his wife, Mrs. Christine BERWICK and Mr. Tony LIEBREGTS went to investigate. Mrs. Berwick rang triple 000 first off. They found the house well ablaze with the roof starting to collapse. A large amount of black smoke was coming from the premises and flames were apparent. At this time voice contact with the disabled man was made.

Access through a door at the back was considered but proved to be impossible because of the ferocity of the fire. The front door was also on fire.

Mr. LIEBREGTS found a wheelie garbage bin. Using this he climbed up about two and a half metres, removing a flyscreen, to enter through the disabled man’s bedroom window. Because the black smoke was so thick he then left to get a torch.  On return he climbed into the bedroom and, after a search, found the disabled man lying on the floor unresponsive. He was forced to make several trips to the open window to obtain air.

Meanwhile Mr. Berwick had gone to get a ladder from his home and on return entered through the bedroom window. Together the two men removed the disabled man from the burning house via the ladder with some help from people on the ground.

Mr. LIEBREGTS a NSW Ambulance Paramedic, administered aid to the disabled man, including oxygen provided by Fire & Rescue NSW. The severe burns were variously assessed at 15 to 28 percent of the disabled man’s body along with lung damage. He succumbed to his injuries and died the next day at Royal North Shore Hospital.

17. 2017-22

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr. Robert James McPHERSON
Mr. Danny Lindsay WILLIAMS

For their actions in rescuing neighbours and children from dangerous flood waters at Greta, NSW 2334 on 21 April 2015.

A large amount of flooding resulted from a storm that hit the Hunter Valley on the 21 April 2015. The creek at the corner of Sale Street and Price Street, Greta overflowed, resulting in the houses at number 76 and 78 Sale Street being surrounded by water. The water was flowing dangerously fast and was about five metres deep in sections.

At about 11:30am Mr. Henry KRAJEWSKI, 78 Sale Street was home, when the water suddenly rose leaving him stranded inside his house. Rising water dislodged the house from its piers, and it started to float away. Mr. KRAJEWSKl was able to climb out of his house and cling onto one of the trees on his property.

At the same time, Ms. Kate HART, 76 Sale Street, with her two sons Josh (8 yrs) and Matthew (9 yrs) were also caught by surprise by the rising flood waters. They had no way to get out of the house as it filled with water.

Local residents, Mr. Robert McPHERSON and Mr. Danny WILLIAMS were nearby when the flood water struck. They saw what was unfolding. Mr. McPHERSON and Mr. WILLIAMS grabbed a life jacket and a rope and entered the flood waters. They made their way to where they were able to reach Mr. KRAJEWSKI and were able to then lead Mr. KRAJEWSKI back to safe ground. Fortunately he was uninjured as a result of his ordeal. Emergency Services arrived a short time later.

With no other way to get to 76 Sale Street to rescue Ms. HART and her two sons, Mr. McPHERSON went to his own house, returning moments later with his dingy. Mr. McPHERSON and two Fire & Rescue Officer’s motored their way over to the house. They were able to extract Ms. HART and her two children and bring them back to safety.

18. 2017-23

SILVER MEDAL

Mr Edward IVANOFF

For his actions at in saving a woman from a murder attempt at Warriewood, NSW 2102 on 21 May 2013.

On Tuesday 21 May, 2013 sometime after 6pm Mr Edward IVANOFF was in his home in Warriewood with his wife, Leigh, when he believed he heard his female neighbour, Jan (62), call out “Help me please”, then a little later “Stop smashing the furniture” and then “Help, please somebody help me”. He thought he heard her sob.

After a short conversation with his wife, who then telephoned the police, Mr. Ivanoff ran to his neighbours’ home and banged on their door.  Jan managed to open the door, but on entry Mr. Ivanoff saw her semi-naked on the floor with significant injuries to her body.  He grabbed the woman and assisted her out of her house. He then took her to the sanctuary of his home.

As they left the house Jan’s husband threw the handle of a shovel toward them. It hit the glass door and they were showered with broken glass.  This caused Mr. Ivanoff’'s nose to bleed and required him, in his home, to remove pieces of glass protruding from Jan’s body.

The woman was earlier the victim of a vicious attack with a cut off wooden shovel handle and the man’s fists causing cuts to her legs, knees and buttocks. She was also subject to an attempted strangulation, her face and jaw were punched.

Attending police arrested the man who was charged with assaulting police and attempted murder and other offences.

19. 2017-25

BRONZE MEDALS

Mr. Sean CLAYDON
Mr. Guy LOVELY

For their actions in rescuing a 19 year old male from dangerous swell at Warriewood Headland, Northern Beaches, NSW 2102 on 9 April 2015.

At approximately 5:20 pm on Thursday 9 April 2015 a young man jumped into the blowhole at the Warriewood Headland on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.  With a swell estimated to be in excess of 4 metres, unable to swim to safety, he located himself on a cliff face within the bowl area of the blowhole. He was trapped. With the tide coming in and darkness approaching he re-entered the water to attempt to swim 500 m to the Warriewood Beach.  Soon he began to struggle and was going under water.

A surfer Mr. Sean CLAYDON jumped into the water from a rock ledge with his surfboard and went to the young man’s aid. With the swell still 4 m high (described as “perilous conditions)  and after being pushed continuously towards the rocks, Mr. CLAYDON became extremely tired and unable to continue to pull the young man to safety.

Another surfer, Mr. Guy LOVELEY jumped into the water from a rock ledge and paddled to their position. He gave them his board and assisted in rescuing the young man.  They were all met by Ambulance Officers at Warriewood Beach. All three were injured by their ordeal.

20. 2017-26

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr. Clinton BANNERMAN

For his actions in the attempted rescue of a male swimmer in the tidal Hastings River, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 on 27 August 2015.

Walking along the breakwater, listening to music on his headphones at about 11.00 in the evening of Thursday 27 August 2015, Mr. Clinton BANNERMAN heard a male swimmer screaming for assistance in the Hastings River, Port Macquarie. At the time the weather was cold and overcast and the Hastings River had a run-out tide into the Pacific Ocean. The run-out tide was extremely fast and powerful.

Mr. Bannerman yelled to the man, “Can you swim?” The man yelled back, “No”. Without regard for his personal safety Mr. BANNERMAN stripped to his underwear, jumped into the Hastings River and swam approximately 30 metres to assist the drowning man. He grabbed the man by his arm. However due to the size of the man and his struggles, with the force of the current, he was unable to retain his hold on the man.

Fearing for his own life, Mr. Bannerman then swam to the southern break-wall where he remained exhausted for some time. Witnesses assisted him from the water. A police officer at the scene (an experienced surf lifesaver) attested, “The weather conditions were atrocious and the sea was treacherous. The conduct of this young man was one of the bravest acts that I have ever seen”. He further commented, “His actions were more remarkable considering he has no surf lifesaving skills and is an average swimmer”.

Regrettably the following day the body of the man was located floating face down in the Pacific Ocean approximately half-way between Port Macquarie and Point Plomer.

21. 2017-27

BRONZE MEDALS

Senior Constable Brendan McDONALD, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Craig SMITH, NSW Police Force

For their actions in rescuing a female under the influence of drugs intent on self harm at a Metro Service Station, 61 Maitland Road, Sandgate NSW 2304 on 12 July 2015.

At 1:00 am on Sunday 12 July 2015 Police were called to the Metro Service Station, Maitland Road, Sandgate.  A woman had walked into the Service Station and approached a petrol bowser. As she lifted the petrol bowser and then attempted to light the fuel coming from the nozzle with a cigarette lighter. The attendant pressed the emergency stop button on the console, locking herself and the other witness inside the shop.

Over a period of several minutes the woman managed to light a small amount of fuel that was still dribbling from the bowser. She continued to make attempts to get the fuel to ignite. 

Responding to the incident Senior Constable McDONALD and Senior Constable SMITH approached the woman. She immediately focussed her attention towards the officers and became hostile towards them.  She held the bowser nozzle up with the cigarette lighter and made threats to spray ignited fuel towards them.  Both Police Officers moved in towards the highly agitated woman to restrain her as she violently resisted arrest. 

Later, a search of the woman’s handbag located a suspicious amount of green vegetable matter. 

The woman was taken to the Waratah Police Station where she displayed further paranoid behaviour and was transported to Mater Hospital.

22. 2017-29

BRONZE MEDAL

Mr. Edward DARMANIN

For the rescue of a severely injured windsurfer following an accident in Manly Cove, NSW 2095 on 5 March 2015.

In poor weather, choppy seas, increasing swell and tide and 20 to 25 knot southerly breeze Mr. Edward DARMANIN went windsurfing from Forty Baskets beach. He observed only one other windsurfer in the water.  After an hour Mr. DARMANIN noticed that the wind strength was increasing. As he was getting tired he headed back to the area where he had launched from. 

On the opposite side of the Cove the other windsurfer was also heading back. Mr. DARMANIN saw a huge splash of water resulting from a crash.  About 300 to 400 metres away he started to head up wind towards him and saw that the other man was still in the water, hanging onto his board  in pain and not moving much. 

Assessing the situation the man told him he had broken his ribs, was badly hurt and in a lot of pain and not able to get back to shore on his own.  The wind was gusting to 25 knots with large chop and a southerly swell pushing them towards Fairlight Beach and the rocks on the other side.

There were no private boats around. Mr. DARMANIN knew they were in danger and he was not able to get the man back to shore with the wind and waves were pushing them away from the shore and possibly on to the rocks. The man was wearing a white helmet, had a life jacket on and was still fully conscious.  After paddling for a short time Mr. DARMNAIN advised the man that he intended to go to Forty Baskets beach, providing he was able to hang on to his gear for 5 or 10 minutes, while he went for help.

Mr. DARMANIN sailed into Forty Baskets, contacted his wife who was home and she rang triple 000.  He sailed back to the man where he found him still in the water clinging to his board.  Just as he reached him, by coincidence a Maritime vessel rounded the point near Reef Beach heading into North Harbour about 200 to 300 metres from where they were. 

Knowing it was too quick for a response from the triple 000 call Mr. DARMININ commenced the distress signal wave.  The man was coughing up a bit of blood, indicating that he had a punctured lung.  The Maritime vessel was able to Medivac man to Manly Wharf and into the Ambulance. 

Swimming back to retrieve the man’s equipment, Mr. DARMANIN separated the rig and passed the surfboard to Maritime crew.  The rig was left in the water to be retrieved later. When the Water Police vessel arrived he advised them about the accident.

B. 2017-28

Awarded a Bronze Medal by the Royal Humane Society of Australasia Inc.

Ms. Amy Jane THOMPSON

For her actions in rescuing her partner from a crashed 4WD on Fraser Island, Qld 4655 on 5 April 2013.

At 5.00 pm Ms Thompson and her partner were driving in a Toyota Hilux 3km south of Indian Head. It was high tide and the ocean had washed away the front fore-dune of the beach.  After driving along the sandbank for about 200m the sandbank gave way and the vehicle fell off a 1.5m ledge onto the wash zone of the beach.

The vehicle landed on its roof. Ms Thompson’s partner was crushed in the vehicle, his head being caught between the buckled roof and the driver’s seat. He was unable to move as the roof gradually became more buckled from the weight of the vehicle, causing more pressure on his head.  The waves from the ocean were lapping at the vehicle and causing the man to be submerged for up to two minutes at a time.

Ms Thompson tried to free her partner from the vehicle. Unable to pull him out due to the fact that he was considerably heavier than her and that his head was trapped.  He then started to lose consciousness due to the rising tide washing over his head.

Smashing the driver’s side rear window with her bare feet Ms Thompson was able to successfully move her partner’s head from its pinned position.  She pulled him by his legs out of the passenger side door, and lifted him up onto the sand bank away from danger.

In a semi conscious state due to shock and suffocation from drowning Ms Thompson cleared his airway and he coughed up sea water. She then assisted him to walk approximately 3kms to a campsite where others called emergency services.