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News

Decorations for Bravery Ceremony

October 26, 2011

Governor General to Present 44 Decorations for Bravery


OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present two Stars of Courage and 42 Medals of Bravery at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on
Friday, October 28, 2011, at 10:30 a.m
.

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972, to recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or 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 media schedule for the presentation ceremony, a list of recipients and their citations, and a fact sheet on the Decorations for Bravery are enclosed.

-30-

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

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter 


CEREMONY SCHEDULE

Members of the media are asked to observe the following schedule:
9:45 a.m.:        Media arrive at Rideau Hall
10:30 a.m.:      Ceremony begins
                       The Governor General speaks
                       The Governor General presents the Decorations for Bravery
12 p.m.:           Interviews with recipients


RECIPIENTS

STAR OF COURAGE

Angela Jeannette Stirk, S.C.

Norland and Oro-Medonte, Ont.

Fontella Twoyoungmen, S.C. (posthumous)

Morley, Alta.


MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Michael Lee Anderson, M.B.

Vancouver, B.C.

Brent Michael Blackmore, M.B.

Nanaimo, B.C.

Constable Nicholas Bell, M.B.

West Vancouver, B.C.

Robert C. Bombardir, M.B.

Powell River, B.C.

Maxime Bondu, M.B.

Charlemagne and
Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Que.

Darryl Fabian Boone, M.B.

Marion Bridge, N.S.

Dale Brady, M.B.

Valemount, B.C.

Kingsley Cheung, M.B.

Williams Lake, B.C.

Darren Coogan, M.B.

Orangeville, Ont.

Sergeant Delkie Curtis, M.B.

Cobourg, Ont.

Jewel Denison, M.B.

Kingston, Ont.

Denis Diotte, M.B.

Lac-des-Îles and
Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Que.

Ratko Ray Djuric, M.B.

Prince George and Bear Lake, B.C.

Brian Dean Fowlow, M.B.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L.

Dennis William Robert Fowlow, M.B.

Buchans, N.L.

Bonnie Gamble, M.B.

Calgary, Alta.

Gordon Gamble, M.B.

Calgary, Alta.

Krista Dorothy Girvan, M.B.

Edmonton, Alta. and Riverview, N.B.

Jeremy Hodder, M.B.

Stoneville, N.L. and Girouxville, Alta.

Justin Kenneth Darwin Ilnicki, M.B.

Williams Lake, B.C.

Matthew Michael Jackson, M.B.

Kelowna, B.C.

Tara Michelle Josey, M.B.

Ottawa, Ont.

Tamsen Laine Lahnalampi, M.B.

Onaping and Ottawa, Ont.

Nadine Anik Leduc, M.B.

Ottawa, Ont.

Kevin Joseph Leski, M.B.

Langley and Squamish, B.C.

Tyler Norman David Lockerby, M.B.

Kelowna, B.C.

André J. Maillet, M.B.

Bouctouche and
Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, N.B.

J. Robert Maillet, M.B.

Bouctouche and
Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, N.B.

RCMP Constable Shane Douglas Nicoll, M.B.

Terrace and Surrey, B.C.

Barry Ryder Nilsen, M.B.

Bear Lake, B.C. and Kelvington, Sask.

Patrick Robert O’Connor, M.B.

Calgary, Alta.

Steven C. Reynolds, M.B.

Milton, Ont.

Sharon Yvonne Rider, M.B.

Kincardine, Ont.

Timothy Andrew Rider, M.B.

Kincardine, Ont.

Vince P. Sharpe, M.B.

Inuvik, N.W.T.

Sergeant Roger Thomas, M.B.

Cobourg, Ont.

Pazia Toyne, M.B.

Lorette, Man.

Major Frank Wagener, M.B.

Wilnsdorf, Germany and
Gilbert, Arizona, U.S.A.

Michael Braden Walker, M.B.

Toronto, Ont.

Glen William Watts, M.B.

Nanaimo, B.C.

Russell Ryan Werner, M.B.

Powell River, B.C.

Sheldon Steven Willier, M.B.

Rocky Mountain House, Alta.


CITATIONS

STAR OF COURAGE

Angela Jeannette Stirk, S.C.
Norland and Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Star of Courage

On March 20, 2005, Angela Stirk courageously attempted to stop a man who was attacking her father with a knife, in their home in Coboconk, Ontario. At approximately 3 a.m., the doorbell rang, waking Ms. Stirk. She answered the door just as her father was coming down the stairs. It was a well-known neighbour who asked to speak with her father. Ms. Stirk went back to bed, but was startled shortly afterward by her father’s cries for help. The man at the door had stabbed her father several times. When the victim stumbled down the basement stairs followed by the assailant, Ms. Stirk placed herself in front of her father, blocking the assailant’s jabs and receiving several cuts to her hands in the struggle. Unable to depend on her strength against the much larger attacker, she pleaded with him to stop and promised not to tell anyone if he left. The assailant left the house and was later apprehended by police. Sadly, Ms. Stirk’s father did not survive.

Fontella Twoyoungmen, S.C. (posthumous)
Morley, Alberta
Star of Courage
Vanna Jade Twoyoungmen, M.B.
Morley, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On June 24, 2006, sisters Fontella and Vanna Twoyoungmen desperately tried to protect one another from a vicious attack at the hands of Vanna’s husband, in Morley, Alberta. During an argument with the intoxicated and enraged man, Vanna was violently harmed. Fontella jumped in between them, trying to stop the aggressor, who then turned on her as well. Vanna grabbed a broom and hit the man, hoping he would stop attacking her sister. He left the house momentarily and when he returned, he grabbed Fontella, threw her to the floor and began to savagely beat her again. He then took hold of Vanna, forced her into his vehicle and drove her to a relative’s house. As for Fontella, she was brought to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries six months later.

The decoration awarded to the late Ms. Fontella Twoyoungmen will be received by her father, Mr. John Norman Fisher.

The decoration awarded to Ms. Vanna Twoyoungmen will be presented at a later date.


MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Michael Lee Anderson, M.B.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Brent Michael Blackmore, M.B.
Nanaimo, British Columbia
RCMP Constable Shane Douglas Nicoll, M.B.
Terrace and Surrey, British Columbia
Glen William Watts, M.B.
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On January 15, 2008, Michael Anderson, Brent Blackmore, Glen Watts and Constable Shane Nicoll bravely attempted to rescue an elderly man from a vehicle submerged in the Millstone River, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Upon witnessing the out-of-control vehicle sink into the river, Messrs. Watts and Blackmore entered the frigid water and swam out to the car. They struggled unsuccessfully to open the driver’s door. Mr. Anderson swam out with a large rock to help them, but in their efforts to break a window, the rock slipped from their grasp and sank to the bottom. When Mr. Anderson returned with another rock, they managed to break the rear window open, allowing Mr. Watts to climb inside. Constable Nicoll, who was off-duty at the time, swam out with a knife, which Mr. Watts used to cut the seat belt as the car was filling up with water. At the same time, the other men tried to break another window to reach the victim. Feeling the effects of hypothermia, the four rescuers reluctantly abandoned their efforts and returned to shore. Sadly, the victim did not survive.

Constable Nicholas Bell, M.B.
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Constable Wayne Thompson, M.B.
Delta, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On October 31, 2008, Vancouver Police constables Nick Bell and Wayne Thompson rescued two elderly people from a burning house, in Vancouver. The officers arrived at the scene to see the entire top floor ablaze. Through the open front door, the constables shouted out to the two residents, who were standing still, in utter shock. As debris fell around the victims, the fire started spreading and they were enveloped by thick smoke. Without any special equipment, the constables ran in and pulled the reluctant seniors to safety.

Constable Thompson received his decoration at a previous ceremony.

Robert C. Bombardir, M.B.
Powell River, British Columbia
Russell Ryan Werner, M.B.
Powell River, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On August 30, 2008, Robert Bombardir and Russell Werner rescued a man who was trapped inside a burning vehicle, in Powell River, British Columbia. Alerted by the sound of a collision, Messrs. Bombardir and Werner made their way to the scene to find a van on fire and the driver trapped against the dashboard. Unable to pry open the badly damaged front doors, they managed to break a window and open the rear passenger-side door. Messrs. Werner and Bombardir were forced to pull out numerous large items from the vehicle before entering. Through the heat and smoke of the fire creeping up from beneath the vehicle, they made their way to the victim, who was screaming for help. They instructed onlookers to spray water onto the victim’s feet, as they were engulfed in flames. With determined effort, Messrs. Bombardir and Werner were able to pull the victim free and take him a safe distance away.

Maxime Bondu, M.B.
Charlemagne and Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec
Denis Diotte, M.B.
Lac-des-Îles and Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On March 18, 2009, Maxime Bondu and his father-in-law, Denis Diotte, saved two people from drowning, in Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec. Mr. Bondu’s mother and her spouse were returning from a day of fishing when the ice gave out under the weight of their ATV. Hearing their cries for help, Messrs. Bondu and Diotte ran to the scene and tried numerous times to rescue the victims, repeatedly falling into the water in the process. With a great deal of effort, the victims were eventually pulled out of the frigid waters by the rescuers and moved safely to shore. 

Darryl Fabian Boone, M.B.
Marion Bridge, Nova Scotia
Medal of Bravery

On February 15, 2009, volunteer firefighter Darryl Boone rescued two men whose ATVs had broken through the ice of the Mira River, in Marion Bridge, Nova Scotia. When Mr. Boone received the emergency call on his pager, he immediately made his way to the scene, where he assessed the situation and directed other firefighters to prepare the ice rescue equipment. As time was of the essence in the approaching darkness, he pulled a canoe up to the edge of the hole and jumped into the freezing water to assist the victims, who were clinging to their floating ATVs. The men were suffering from hypothermia and had difficulty breathing in the -17°C winds. Mr. Boone helped the first victim up onto the ice and then pulled the second man up, who was unable to move his limbs in his wet clothing. Once the victims were safely in the canoe, the other firefighters pulled it in to shore. Both victims were brought to hospital and survived the ordeal.

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 Medal of Bravery awarded to Mr. Brady.

Mr. Blake received his decoration at a previous ceremony.

Kingsley Cheung, M.B.
Williams Lake, British Columbia
Justin Kenneth Darwin Ilnicki, M.B.
Williams Lake, British Columbia
Kevin Joseph Leski, M.B.
Langley and Squamish, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On October 13, 2007, Kingsley Cheung, Justin Ilnicki and Kevin Leski rescued two people who were trapped inside a burning vehicle, near Raven Lake, British Columbia. A head-on collision between two vehicles had killed all five occupants of one car and caused the other, a pickup towing a camper, to roll on its side and catch fire. Driving by the accident scene, Messrs. Cheung, Ilnicki and Leski heard screams from the truck and immediately stopped to help. Both the driver and his wife were injured and unable to get out on their own. After breaking the windshield, the men were able to pull the driver out and bring him a safe distance away. They had more difficulty retrieving the passenger, as she was trapped by her seatbelt and surrounded by the raging fire. Despite the intense heat and the threat of an explosion from the propane tanks in the truck’s camper, the rescuers were able to pull the severely injured woman out. While Mr. Cheung went to a nearby ranch to call for an ambulance, Messrs. Ilnicki and Leski took care of the two survivors, shielding them from debris and the heat of the burning vehicles until help arrived nearly 40 minutes later.

Darren Coogan, M.B.
Orangeville, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On November 11, 2006, Darren Coogan rescued a man who was trapped inside a burning vehicle, on Highway 407, in Vaughan, Ontario. Driving along the highway, Mr. Coogan witnessed a service van strike a deer, veer off the road, crash into a pole and catch fire. He immediately stopped his car and approached the smoking vehicle. Other witnesses remained at a safe distance from the scene, concerned about the van’s cargo of flammable liquids. The driver desperately tried to break out through a small opening in the bent door as his van filled with toxic smoke. Without a thought for his own safety, Mr. Coogan grabbed the driver’s keys through the opening, and tried in vain to unlock the doors. He then used his elbow to break the driver’s window and pulled the injured man through it. He brought the victim to a safe distance just as the vehicle was engulfed by the fire. Because of Mr. Coogan’s brave actions, the victim survived.

Sergeant Delkie Curtis, M.B.
Cobourg, Ontario
Sergeant Roger Thomas, M.B.
Cobourg, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On October 6, 2007, Cobourg Police sergeants Delkie Curtis and Roger Thomas rescued a woman from a smoke-filled apartment, in Cobourg, Ontario. On patrol in the early hours of the morning, Sergeant Thomas noticed smoke billowing from an upper-level window and immediately called the fire department for assistance. Sergeants Thomas and Curtis entered the building and ran up the stairway, alerting occupants as they went. Seeing smoke escaping from one of the apartments, they broke down the door to gain entry. Without proper equipment or concern for their own safety, the officers crawled through the dense, black smoke that filled the apartment, in search of possible victims. They finally located a woman in a bedroom and brought her outside, where she was treated by paramedics. Both officers were later treated for smoke inhalation.

Jewel Denison, M.B.
Kingston, Ontario
Donald Neil Harper, M.B. (Posthumous)
Odessa, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On August 19, 2008, Don Harper and Jewel Denison tried to rescue a young boy from drowning, in Kingston, Ontario. Mr. Harper was at the beach with a friend and three of her grandchildren, when one of the boys was carried away by the fast current. Mr. Harper rushed into the water, but had difficulty locating the boy who was constantly being knocked over by the large waves. Mr. Harper tried several times to reach the boy, but was pulled under himself by the strong current. Alerted to the incident, Ms. Denison jumped in the water and, with great difficulty, swam out to the boy, grabbed him and made her way back to shore. Despite being completely exhausted, Ms. Denison then tried to resuscitate the child. Meanwhile, Mr. Harper became trapped in the undertow, unable to escape its strong pull. Sadly, neither Mr. Harper nor the six-year-old boy survived.

The decoration awarded to the late Mr. Harper will be presented at a later date.

Ratko Ray Djuric, M.B.
Prince George and Bear Lake, British Columbia
Barry Ryder Nilsen, M.B.
Bear Lake, British Columbia and Kelvington, Saskatchewan
Medal of Bravery

On August 26, 2008, Ratko Djuric and Barry Nilsen rescued a woman from a burning house, in Bear Lake, British Columbia. Mr. Djuric was leaving for work early in the morning when he saw flames coming from his neighbour’s basement. He ran to her house and could hear her inside, but was unable to see due to the dense, toxic smoke. Mr. Djuric held his breath and crawled inside to find her in the hallway. He grabbed her by the ankle and started pulling her towards the door, but had to rush outside to catch his breath. Mr. Nilsen then arrived and made his way to the unconscious victim, pulling her another short distance. With Mr. Djuric’s help, he managed to drag her outside. The men then alerted other neighbours of the present danger. Because of their brave actions, the severely burned victim survived.

Brian Dean Fowlow, M.B.
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador
Dennis William Robert Fowlow, M.B.
Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador
Tina Maryann Moores, M.B. (posthumous)
Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador
Sharon Rose Sparkes, M.B.
Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador
Medal of Bravery

On August 15, 2009, Brian Fowlow, Dennis Fowlow, Tina Moores and her sister, Sharon Sparkes, were instrumental in the rescue of a little girl from a possible drowning in an area known as Little Sandy, near Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador. The child had been playing with a friend in the water, when she slipped off a sandbank and fell into deeper water. The older girl alerted Mrs. Moores, who immediately ran into the lake and swam out to the victim. Upon reaching her, Mrs. Moores held the girl’s head above water and struggled to stay afloat. Mrs. Sparkes swam out to them, grabbed the girl and started to make her way back against the strong current. At the same time, Dennis and Brian Fowlow swam out to help, reaching the pair just as others arrived by boat and were able to pull the unconscious girl onboard to begin CPR. The girl was finally revived, but sadly, Mrs. Moores disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

The decorations awarded to Ms. Sparkes and the late Mrs. Moores will be presented at a later date.

Bonnie Gamble, M.B.
Calgary, Alberta
Gordon Gamble, M.B.
Calgary, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On July 17, 2009, Gordon and Bonnie Gamble were instrumental in helping a young woman escape her ex-boyfriend, who had abducted her in Calgary, Alberta. The victim had jumped out of the abductor’s vehicle on a road near Carseland, but was caught and dragged back into the car. Passing by the scene, Mr. and Mrs. Gamble noticed the altercation, stopped their vehicle and dialled 911 to notify the police. While the attacker was momentarily distracted by another passing vehicle, the girl escaped his grip and ran towards the Gambles’ Jeep. Mr. Gamble opened the passenger-side door, allowing the girl to jump in. Mrs. Gamble then drove at high speeds as the kidnapper, in close pursuit, tried to overtake the vehicle. After a harrowing chase, Mrs. Gamble turned into the driveway of a farmhouse. The attacker rammed into the Gambles’ vehicle, pinning it against a fence. The victim ran to the house to get help as her abductor chased after her on foot. Mr. and Mrs. Gamble ran onto the road and flagged down an approaching police car. The police arrested the suspect without incident.

Krista Dorothy Girvan, M.B.
Edmonton, Alberta and Riverview, New Brunswick
Medal of Bravery

On July 17, 2008, Krista Girvan rescued a teenage girl from a possible drowning in the swift-flowing waters of the North Saskatchewan River, in Edmonton, Alberta. Ms. Girvan had been walking along the river when she heard someone screaming. She ran to find a young girl who said that her friend had been swept away by the current. After alerting others nearby to call 911, they ran along the shoreline, following the victim, but lost sight of her many times behind the trees and bushes lining the river. They shouted at her to hold on as they could hear sirens approaching in the distance, but the girl seemed to have difficulty keeping her head above the water. Ms. Girvan then jumped in and swam out to the victim who had drifted into the middle of the river. She grabbed the girl from behind and struggled against the strong current to bring her closer to shore, where firefighters had just launched a rescue boat. The exhausted rescuer and victim were pulled aboard and brought safely to shore.

Jeremy Hodder, M.B.
Stoneville, Newfoundland and Labrador and Girouxville, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On September 4, 2008, Jeremy Hodder risked his life to rescue a man following a motor vehicle accident on Highway 401, near Toronto, Ontario. A tractor trailer was in the process of turning off the highway when it lost control and hit a guardrail. The truck slid to a stop beneath an overpass, where it burst into flames and set off multiple explosions. When Mr. Hodder came upon the crash site, the driver was lying on the shoulder of the highway, in front of the burning wreck, unable to move. The intense heat and raging flames did not deter Mr. Hodder from approaching the wreckage. He checked to see if anyone else was in the truck’s cab, and then carried the badly burned victim to a safer location just as the vehicle became fully engulfed.

Matthew Michael Jackson, M.B.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Tyler Norman David Lockerby, M.B.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On June 29, 2009, Matt Jackson and Tyler Lockerby risked their lives to rescue four people from a submerged vehicle, near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Messrs. Jackson and Lockerby witnessed the van in front of them strike a concrete barrier and swerve out of control, roll down an embankment and plunge into Griffin Lake. The two friends stopped their car, ran to the lake and jumped into the frigid waters. They swam out to the vehicle and climbed onto its roof. Mr. Jackson dove under water and pulled three of the victims out through the driver’s-side window. He passed them to Mr. Lockerby who brought them to shore one by one. Advised that a fourth person was still trapped inside the rapidly sinking vehicle, Messrs. Jackson and Lockerby made their way back. Unable to pry open the door, they managed to pull the last victim out through the broken front window. They brought the woman to shore and waited until the paramedics arrived. Thanks to the quick and brave actions of Messrs. Jackson and Lockerby, all four victims survived.

Tara Michelle Josey, M.B.
Ottawa, Ontario
Nadine Anik Leduc, M.B.
Ottawa, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On January 7, 2008, paramedic dispatchers Tara Josey and Nadine Leduc were instrumental in the survival of a man wounded in a drive-by shooting, in Ottawa, Ontario. The two dispatchers were exiting a coffee shop when they heard a series of gunshots. They saw a car speed away and found a young man lying in the parking lot. While onlookers fled the scene, Ms. Josey and Ms. Leduc rushed forward to help the victim. They heard what sounded like more gunshots as they tended to the man’s wounds. Both women instinctively covered the young man with their bodies to protect him. Although the rescuers feared that the shooter had come back, they remained at the scene, applying pressure to the victim’s wound, until paramedics and police arrived.

Tamsen Laine Lahnalampi, M.B.
Onaping and Ottawa, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On March 11, 2008, Tamsen Lahnalampi risked her life to rescue two people from a possible drowning, in San Jose, Costa Rica. While on March break, a group of students had been warned not to go any further than knee-deep in the water, as the waves were extremely high that day. Despite the warning, two of the teenagers wandered out too far and were caught in the incredibly strong riptide. Someone alerted Ms. Lahnalampi, who immediately headed into the deep, dangerous water. Despite her strength as an able swimmer, Ms. Lahnalampi experienced great difficulty in keeping herself afloat, and found herself being pulled further and further away from shore. She persevered through the rough waters and, upon reaching her schoolmates, calmly encouraged them to follow her. Taking one of the victims by the wrist, she led them all safely back to shore.

André J. Maillet, M.B.
Bouctouche and Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, New Brunswick
J. Robert Maillet, M.B.
Bouctouche and Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, New Brunswick
Medal of Bravery

On January 28, 2010, André Maillet and his nephew, Robert Maillet, both fishermen, saved two people from drowning in Bouctouche Bay, in New Brunswick. The rescuers saw, from a distance, that the ice had given out beneath a snowmobile and sled, causing a woman and her elderly father to plunge into the water. The men quickly grabbed an axe and a rope and ran to the scene. They then tied their rope to the sled’s rope and pulled the sled along the firm surface to the edge of the hole. The man was then able to lift himself onto the ice and crawl to the rescuers, with the woman following behind. The victims were then brought safely to shore.

Patrick Robert O’Connor, M.B.
Calgary, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On April 11, 2009, Patrick O’Connor was instrumental in the rescue of a man and a 14-year-old boy in the Gulf of Mexico. Strong winds prompted warnings to stay out of the water. The victims had been kayaking when a large wave capsized their craft, throwing them overboard. The boy, who had swallowed large amounts of water, started to panic. Mr. O’Connor was on the beach when he noticed a crowd pointing towards the victims, who were approximately 100 metres from shore. Mr. O’Connor and another man fought against the strong undertow and high waves to bring the drifting kayak back to the victims. They placed the unconscious boy in it and the three men then pushed the kayak to shore. Sadly, the boy did not survive.

Steven C. Reynolds, M.B.
Milton, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On December 2, 2007, off-duty firefighter Steven Reynolds was injured trying to disarm a distraught woman wielding a sword, at a gas station in Milton, Ontario. Mr. Reynolds had just pulled up in his vehicle, when he heard a young woman calling for help. Realizing she was armed with a sword, Mr. Reynolds calmly asked the woman to put the weapon down. She quickly became aggressive and began yelling at him. Mr. Reynolds ran inside the station and held the doors closed while the aggressor used the sword to break the glass doors. The woman then walked up to an unoccupied vehicle and smashed out the windows, while Mr. Reynolds spoke with a 911 dispatcher. The woman returned to the station and walked inside barefoot. Sword still in hand, she approached the attendant at the counter, seemingly unaware that Mr. Reynolds was coming up behind her. She spun around and sliced his arm. Despite the deep wound, Mr. Reynolds was able to pin the violent, struggling woman against the counter. Two attendants then helped to restrain her as Mr. Reynolds, weak and drenched in blood, fell to the floor. The police quickly arrived to arrest the woman and see to Mr. Reynolds’ wounds.

Sharon Yvonne Rider, M.B.
Kincardine, Ontario
Timothy Andrew Rider, M.B.
Kincardine, Ontario
James Jacob Daniel Thede, M.B.
Port Elgin, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On May 23, 2009, in Port Elgin, Ontario, James Thede, Sharon Rider and Tim Rider were instrumental in the rescue of a woman whose clothing had caught on fire. The woman had been working with flammable items in the back of a sporting goods store when a spark set her workstation ablaze. Flames engulfed her upper body as she ran to the front of the store. Her colleague, Mr. Thede, quickly tried to put out the fire on the woman’s clothing before attempting to extinguish the growing fire in the back room. Unsuccessful in his efforts, he dialled 911 for help, just as Mr. and Mrs. Rider approached the store. Mrs. Rider immediately ran in to care for the victim while Mr. Rider made his way to the back room where he was able to put out the flames. The ambulance arrived shortly after and brought the victim to the hospital where she was treated for her burns. The victim survived as a result of the efforts of the three rescuers.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Thede will be presented at a later date.

Vince P. Sharpe, M.B.
Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Medal of Bravery

On November 17, 2007, retired firefighter Vince Sharpe rescued two occupants from a burning trailer home, in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Mr. Sharpe stopped his vehicle when he noticed smoke coming from the door of the residence. At the same time, a woman ran outside, coughing and crying that her father was inside. Although he was unable to see due to the abundant smoke, Mr. Sharpe crawled inside, located the victim and dragged the unconscious man outside. Advised that there was still another man in the trailer, Mr. Sharpe crawled in again, feeling his way forward, until he located the second victim. He finally succeeded in bringing the young man to safety. Mr. Sharpe’s quick actions saved the lives of both men.

Pazia Toyne, M.B.
Lorette, Manitoba
Medal of Bravery

On December 11, 2007, 10-year-old Pazia Toyne risked her life to rescue a five-year-old girl who had fallen through the ice, in High River, Alberta. Miss Toyne, along with several other children, had been on the ice while walking home from school when one of the girls got too close to a hole. The ice broke and the girl fell in the water. Miss Toyne heard the cries for help, and without any concern for her own safety, ran towards the hole, sliding on her stomach to reach the victim. The water was up to the girl’s neck and she was clinging to a piece of ice. As she tried to pull the victim out, Miss Toyne also fell into the water. After much effort, she managed to get back onto thicker ice and drag the other girl to safety. 

Major Frank Wagener, M.B.
Wilnsdorf, Germany and Gilbert, Arizona, U.S.A.
Medal of Bravery

On April 18, 2008, Major Frank Wagener, of the German Air Force, rescued a student pilot after their aircraft had crashed near a runway, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The aircraft had experienced a major mechanical malfunction and was nose-diving quickly towards the ground. Major Wagener and the student pilot ejected at approximately 300 feet above the ground while the aircraft was in its steep descent. It struck the ground a few seconds after the ejections and exploded. A huge fireball spewed from the wreckage beneath the descending pilots, causing serious injuries to both men. Although Major Wagener was able to get out of his harness and ejection seat, the student pilot remained trapped, unable to free himself from his burning parachute. Major Wagener ran back into the fire to detach the student pilot from his gear and walked him safely away from the crash site.

Michael Braden Walker, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On December 24, 2007, Braden Walker came to the aid of a man who had been stabbed while travelling on a bus, near Madoc, Ontario. Sitting a few seats ahead of Mr. Walker and the would-be victim, the attacker was bothersome to nearby passengers. As the bus approached its scheduled stop, the attacker walked towards his target and stabbed him. Mr. Walker immediately grabbed the attacker’s hand and forcibly removed the knife. He kept the struggling attacker in a headlock and walked him to the front of the bus while others helped care for the victim until the ambulance and police arrived.

Sheldon Steven Willier, M.B.
Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On June 28, 2009, Sheldon Willier rescued a man from a possible drowning in Lesser Slave Lake, Spruce Point Park, Alberta. The victim and a friend had been fishing when two-meter-high waves flipped their boat. They had been drifting with their overturned craft for nearly three hours when Mr. Willier noticed them from a nearby campsite. He swam a short distance before returning to put on a life jacket. Setting out again, he battled against the high waves and strong current. The intensity of the waves caused Mr. Willier to lose sight of the victims and become disoriented. Fatigued after swimming nearly 100 metres, he finally reached them. One of the men was clinging to the boat, but the second one had disappeared beneath the surface. Mr. Willier grabbed onto the lone survivor and pulled him a good distance to where they met up with Mr. Willier’s brother in a rubber dinghy. Exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, they were helped into the vessel and brought to shore. Sadly, the second victim did not survive.


FACT SHEET ON THE 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 the 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,
please visit www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=73.