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News

Decorations for Bravery Announcement

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August 3, 2010

Governor General announces the awarding of 17 Decorations for Bravery

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today the awarding of two Stars of Courage and 15 Medals of Bravery. The recipients will be invited to receive their decorations at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972 to recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or to protect the lives of others. The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

A list of recipients and their citations, as well as a fact sheet on the Decorations for Bravery, are attached.

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Media information
Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-9166
mpbelanger@gg.ca
www.gg.ca


RECIPIENTS

STAR OF COURAGE

Casey Marie Peirce, S.C.

Calgary, Alta.

Alexander Bruce Scott, S.C.

Saint John, N.B.

MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Sergeant B. John Ayers, M.B.

Victoria, B.C.

Leading Seaman Robert T. Binder, M.B. (deceased)

Toronto, Ont.

Steve Blake, M.B.

Jasper, Alta.

Dale Brady, M.B.

Valemount, B.C.

Shane Michael Doucette, M.B.

Red Deer, Alta.

Constable Lionel Girault, M.B.

Montréal, Que.

Sergeant Michael Johnston, M.B.

Victoria, B.C.

Master Corporal David Frederick Taylor King, M.B., C.D.

Victoria, B.C.

Sergeant Patrick Lalonde, M.B.

Montréal, Que.

Guy Lavoie, M.B.

Saint-Narcisse, Que.

Able Seaman Jaret A. McQueen, M.B.

Hamilton, Ont.

Constable Jean Milliard, M.B.

Montréal, Que.

Constable Cal Traversy, M.B.

Delta, B.C.

Constable Clifford Watson, M.B.

Victoria, B.C.

Andrea Wiznuk, M.B.

Enderby, B.C.

 

CITATIONS

STAR OF COURAGE

Casey Marie Peirce, S.C., Calgary, Alberta
Star of Courage

On July 26, 2008, Casey Peirce rescued a man and woman whose canoe had overturned during a sudden storm, at Spray Lakes, Alberta. While cycling with her family, Ms. Peirce heard cries and noticed the victims in the middle of the lake desperately hanging onto their partially submerged canoe. Ms. Peirce jumped in and swam out to the victims. Although her fingers were already numb from the cold water, she grabbed a rope that was attached to the canoe, wrapped it around her wrist, and started to tow the canoe and the victims towards the shore, nearly a kilometre away. Exhausted but determined, Ms. Peirce dragged them for some 45 minutes to bring them closer to shore where others helped pull the hypothermic victims out of the water.


Alexander Bruce Scott, S.C., Saint John, New Brunswick
Star of Courage

On February 27, 2008, Alexander Scott rescued a suicidal man from a possible drowning, in Saint John, New Brunswick. Walking along the boardwalk at the harbour, Mr. Scott noticed a man in the water in distress. Without hesitation, he jumped into the ice-filled waters and swam out to reach him. Mr. Scott grabbed the victim in a secure hold and towed the man through the large chunks of ice towards the harbour wall. Nearing their destination, the victim began to panic and pulled his rescuer under water. Mr. Scott broke free and again grabbed the now unconscious victim, bringing him closer to the wall. Although Mr. Scott was beginning to feel the numbing effects of hypothermia, he refused to let go of the victim. With his one free hand, he grabbed onto a rescue line thrown to him, and they were both pulled to safety. Sadly, the victim did not survive.


MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Sergeant B. John Ayers, M.B., Victoria, British Columbia
Sergeant Michael Johnston, M.B., Victoria, British Columbia
Constable Clifford Watson, M.B., Victoria, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On February 3, 2007, Victoria Police sergeants John Ayers and Michael Johnston, and Constable Clifford Watson, risked their lives to stop a car thief from escaping a roadblock, in Victoria, British Columbia. Advised that the thief had already broken through a blockade a few streets away, the three officers set up a second roadblock using their police vehicles. Officers warned passersby to get out of the way as the thief drove his vehicle onto the sidewalk. The officers exposed themselves to great danger by keeping their positions, while the driver of the stolen vehicle deliberately attempted to run them over. Having no other means of stopping him, the officers fired on the thief to ensure the safety of the public.


Leading Seaman Robert T. Binder, M.B., (deceased) Toronto, Ontario
Master Corporal David Frederick Taylor King, M.B., C.D., Victoria, British Columbia
Able Seaman Jaret A. McQueen, M.B., Hamilton, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On August 14, 2008, Leading Seaman Robert Binder, Master Corporal David King and Able Seaman Jaret McQueen rescued a man from a submerged vehicle, in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Upon hearing the crash of the vehicle—which was then propelled into the waters of Lang Cove, at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt—Leading Seaman Binder and Master Corporal King entered the murky waters to reach the vehicle. After repeated efforts, they extracted the unconscious man from the vehicle, brought him back to shore and began CPR. Master Corporal King and Able Seaman McQueen dived numerous times to the vehicle to search for other possible victims. Only once the vehicle was pulled out of the water did they find a deceased woman inside. 


Steve Blake, M.B., Jasper, Alberta
Dale Brady, M.B.,* Valemount, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On June 8, 2008, pilot Dale Brady and search and rescue technician Steve Blake rescued two climbers who had been missing for nearly three weeks, on Mount Robson, British Columbia. Despite challenging flying conditions related to the high elevation and winds, Mr. Brady angled the helicopter towards the mountain to allow Mr. Blake to reach the climbers. Severe winds caused the helicopter to drop several feet, making the rescue nearly impossible; however, dangling from his precarious position, Mr. Blake managed to secure the victims into the rescue sling. Mr. Brady then landed the helicopter at a location where the victims could be transferred to an ambulance. 

* This is the second Decoration for Bravery awarded to Mr. Brady.


Shane Michael Doucette, M.B., Red Deer, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On August 18, 2008, Shane Doucette rescued a co-worker from a methane gas well, in Clive, Alberta. After completing paperwork, Mr. Doucette came out of his office and saw the hatch to one of the tanks was open, yet there was no sign of his colleague. He quickly climbed up the ladder on the tank and saw the victim floating face down inside. Mr. Doucette shut off the valves controlling the gas flow and shouted out for help. He held his breath, and jumped down through the hatch into the confined space full of toxic gas. He grabbed the victim, flipped him onto his back and pulled him to the ladder. Mr. Doucette climbed out to take several deep breaths, then went back inside, put the victim onto his shoulder and carried him to the opening where others helped pull them out. Mr. Doucette then performed CPR until the man was revived.


Constable Lionel Girault, M.B., Montréal, Quebec
Sergeant Patrick Lalonde, M.B., Montréal, Quebec
Constable Jean Milliard, M.B., Montréal, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On July 12, 2001, City of Montréal police Sergeant Patrick Lalonde and constables Lionel Girault and Jean Milliard risked their lives to apprehend an armed bank robber, in Montréal. Hearing over their radios that a police officer had been shot at a nearby bank, the constables rushed towards the area. A bystander alerted them that the armed suspect was trying to get away in a taxi across the street. In separate vehicles, the three constables followed him and blocked his escape. The suspect ran to another taxi and held a gun to the driver’s head. The constables approached cautiously from different directions, shouting at the suspect who refused to throw down his weapon. Fearing for the taxi driver’s life, the officers fired several shots at the suspect, wounding him in the shoulder; he dropped his weapon and gave himself up.


Guy Lavoie, M.B., Saint-Narcisse, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On July 4, 2008, Guy Lavoie rescued an injured woman who was trapped inside a burning vehicle, in Rimouski, Quebec. A tractor-trailer had rammed into several vehicles, which were stopped at a construction zone on the road. The impact sent two cars flying into the ditch and caused others to catch on fire. Witness to the accident, Mr. Lavoie rushed to check on the drivers and emptied two fire extinguishers on the flames, which, unfortunately, kept growing in intensity. He then went to one of the burning vehicles to help a woman who was severely injured. Although the heat and flames were intense, Mr. Lavoie reached in through the door, unhooked the seat belt and pulled the woman out. The tires exploded due to the heat, sending debris flying out as Mr. Lavoie picked the victim up and brought her a safe distance away, thus saving her life.


Constable Cal Traversy, M.B., Delta, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On September 12, 2008, off-duty police constable Cal Traversy rescued four people from a burning house, in Delta, British Columbia. Hearing a loud explosion from a neighbour’s house, Constable Traversy hurried to the scene, pushed open the front door and found a boy in the smoke-filled house, whom he quickly brought to safety. Despite experiencing extreme breathing difficulty, Constable Traversy went back inside the house and, from the second floor, escorted two family members outside. Unable to return to the second floor, he yelled to the young woman remaining upstairs to escape through the window and was able to catch her after she jumped. Then, wrapping a jacket around his face, he crawled back inside the house one final time to ensure that no one else was trapped inside.  


Andrea Wiznuk, M.B., Enderby, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On August 14, 2006, Andrea Wiznuk rescued a woman who was trapped inside a burning vehicle, near Enderby, British Columbia. Despite warnings from other passersby to move away in case the vehicle exploded, Ms. Wiznuk ran to assist and, even through the thick black smoke, she managed to open the driver’s door. Unmindful of the flames coming up through the dashboard, Ms. Wiznuk unhooked the unconscious victim’s seat belt and pulled her out. As the vehicle became engulfed in flames, Ms. Wiznuk managed to drag the victim to a safe distance until the ambulance arrived. Thankfully, the woman survived.

 

FACT SHEET ON DECORATIONS FOR BRAVERY

BACKGROUND

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972. They recognize people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival to try to save a loved one or a perfect stranger whose life is in immediate danger. 

The three levels of Decorations for Bravery reflect the degree to which the recipients put themselves at risk:

The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

The Star of Courage (S.C.), recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

The Medal of Bravery (M.B.), recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

ELIGIBILITY AND NOMINATION

Anyone is free to propose the name of a person who has risked injury or death in an attempt to rescue another person. The incident need not have taken place in Canada, and the rescuer need not be Canadian, but Canadians or Canadian interests must be involved. The Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Nominations must be made within two years of the incident, or within two years after a public entity, including a court, a quasi-judicial tribunal or a coroner, has concluded its review of the circumstances surrounding the incident or act of bravery.

For more information on the Decorations for Bravery and on the recipients of these awards, please visit www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=73.