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News

Presentation of Decorations of Bravery

November 21, 2017

Governor General to Present 41 Decorations for Bravery

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present 2 Stars of Courage and 39 Medals of Bravery at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Thursday, November 23, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.

Created in 1972, Decorations for Bravery 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 schedule for the presentation ceremony, a list of recipients and their citations, and a fact sheet on the Decorations for Bravery are enclosed.

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Media information:

Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-9166
613-852-3248 (cell)
marie-pierre.belanger@gg.ca 

Follow GGJuliePayette and RideauHall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

CEREMONY SCHEDULE

Members of the media are asked to observe the following schedule:

9:45 a.m.:       Media start to arrive at Rideau Hall
10:30 a.m.:     Ceremony begins
                        The Governor General speaks
                        The Governor General presents the Decorations for Bravery
11:30 a.m.:     Interviews with recipients

RECIPIENTS

STAR OF COURAGE

John W. Gallie, S.C. (deceased)

Toronto, Ont.

Sebastian Taborszky, S.C.

Canmore, Alta.


MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Samson Agboegbulem, M.B.

Ottawa, Ont.

Samir Al-Rubaiy, M.B.

Ottawa, Ont.

Matthew Attwell, M.B.

Barrie, Ont.

James David Allan Badgley, M.B.

Picton, Ont.

Constable Daniel Bassi, M.B.

Welland, Ont.

Constable Jacob Braun, M.B.

Fenwick, Ont.

Sergeant Stephen Claude Joseph Bates, M.B., C.D.

Gander, N.L.

Ali Belhis, M.B.

Vancouver, B.C.

Anthony Colabufalo, M.B.

Caledon, Ont.

Warrant Officer John Dunbar, M.B., C.D.

Halifax, N.S.

Brian Duncan, M.B.

Harvey, N.B.

Ranger Fontaine Robert Fiddler, M.B.

Sandy Lake, Ont.

Corporal Ryan Folkes, M.B.

Petawawa, Ont.

John Gorman, M.B.

Niagara Falls, Ont.

Fire Captain James Bruce Hicks, M.B.

Algonquin Highlands, Ont.

Corporal Alexander Keightley, M.B.

Petawawa, Ont.

Master Corporal Dale M. Kurdziel, M.B.

Lancaster Park, Alta.

Private Matthew Thomas Lepain, M.B

Windsor, Ont.

Larry Douglas Martin, M.B.

Aurora, Ont.

James Mascioli, M.B.

Timmins, Ont.

Constable Corey McAllister, M.B.

Saint John, N.B.

John McQuaid, M.B.

Ottawa, Ont.

Marcus Fredrick Douglas Middleton, M.B.

Richmond Hill, Ont.

Troy Morton, M.B.

Saint George, N.B.

Acting Lieutenant Stéphane Ouellette, M.B.

Montréal, Que.

Constable Vincent Samuel Poirier-Payette, M.B.

Laval, Que.

Constable Neal Ridley, M.B.

Fonthill, Ont.

Constable Allan Rivet, M.B.

Welland, Ont.

Travis James Robbins, M.B.

Oshawa, Ont.

Daryl Roy, M.B.

Palgrave, Ont.

Montell Russell, M.B.

Ottawa, Ont.

District Fire Chief Donald Smith, M.B.

Embrun, Ont.

Calvin Bradley Stein, M.B.

Madoc, Ont.

Joseph Vincent Teddy, M.B.

Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T.

Master Corporal Shawn Thorn, M.B.

Lancaster Park, Alta.

Shane Watson, M.B.

Saint George, N.B.

Corporal Michel Lee Patric Westelaken, M.B.

Oromocto, N.B.

Derek Grahame Wilson, M.B.

Barrie, Ont.

Corporal Alexander Zawyrucha, M.B.

Windsor, Ont.

 

CITATIONS

STAR OF COURAGE

John W. Gallie, S.C. (deceased)
Toronto, Ontario

On May 13, 2014, John Gallie rescued several members of his family during a house fire in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The blaze began in the middle of the night and spread to the entire house within minutes. Racing against time, Mr. Gallie first carried his disabled uncle over his shoulder out the front door. He returned inside, passing near the flames to reach his other uncle’s bedroom and drag the man to safety. Mr. Gallie fought through the heavy smoke and flames again to wake the other residents still sleeping upstairs. Thanks to Mr. Gallie’s quick actions, they all exited the building safely.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Gallie will be received by his father, Mr. John P. Gallie.

Sebastian Taborszky, S.C.
Canmore, Alberta

On November 9, 2015, Sebastian Taborszky rescued a man who had fallen during an ice climbing excursion at Murchison Falls, in Jasper National Park, Alberta. Mr. Taborszky and the man were on an 80-metre descent when the victim started to free-fall. Mr. Taborszky tried in vain to grab on to the rope, which sliced through his glove. The victim, tangled in the rope, stopped falling 10 metres from the ground. Without any equipment or support, Mr. Taborszky climbed down the wall of ice to reach his injured companion. Over the next seven hours, in -15°C temperatures, Mr. Taborszky endured exhaustion, dehydration and his own injuries as he dragged the severely injured victim over the steep, rocky terrain back to their vehicle. He then hoisted the victim inside the car and drove for an hour before he could alert the authorities for help.


MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Samson Agboegbulem, M.B.
Samir Al-Rubaiy, M.B.
Montell Russell, M.B.
Ottawa, Ontario
District Fire Chief Donald Smith, M.B.
Embrun, Ontario 

On December 5, 2015, Samson Agboegbulem, Samir Al-Rubaiy, Montell Russell and District Fire Chief Don Smith rescued two young children from a burning apartment in Ottawa, Ontario. Locked outside of her unit, the children’s mother alerted the men who then attempted to force their way inside, finally using a fire extinguisher to break through the door. Despite the smoke pouring into the hallway, the men crawled inside the unit to search for the children, but were forced to retreat due to the flames. They persisted in their efforts until both children were located and brought to safety.

Matthew Attwell, M.B.
Barrie, Ontario
Brian Chapman, M.B.
Bolton, Ontario
Anthony Colabufalo, M.B.
Caledon, Ontario
Fire Captain James Bruce Hicks, M.B.
Algonquin Highlands, Ontario
Larry Douglas Martin, M.B.
Aurora, Ontario
Marcus Fredrick Douglas Middleton, M.B.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Travis James Robbins, M.B.
Oshawa, Ontario
Daryl Roy, M.B.
Palgrave, Ontario
Ean Smith, M.B.
Thamesville, Ontario
Eryn Smith, M.B.
Brampton, Ontario
Derek Grahame Wilson, M.B.
Barrie, Ontario 

On April 23, 2014, paramedics Ean Smith and Eryn Smith, as well as firefighters Matt Attwell, Brian Chapman, Anthony Colabufalo, Bruce Hicks, Larry Martin, Marcus Middleton, Travis Robbins, Daryl Roy and Derek Wilson, were instrumental in the rescue of three firefighters injured in a warehouse explosion in Mississauga, Ontario. A violent blast inside the warehouse caused a wall to collapse, burying the firefighters under the rubble. The remaining firefighters either had their breathing apparatus blown off by the explosion or had to remove them after quickly running out of oxygen. Despite flying debris, heavy smoke and secondary explosions, the firefighters and paramedics combined their efforts to recover their injured colleagues, and moved them away from the intense heat and flames to safety.

The decorations awarded to Mr. Smith and Ms. Smith were presented to them at a previous ceremony.
The decoration awarded to Mr. Chapman will be presented to him at a future ceremony.

James David Allan Badgley, M.B.
Picton, Ontario 

On October 2, 2015, James Badgley rescued a man from his burning house in Belleville, Ontario. A damaged gas line had exploded and set fire to the house. Mr. Badgley quickly ran inside, found the victim and helped him to safety. Despite the flames and heavy smoke, Mr. Badgley re-entered the house a second time to ensure it was empty before finally retreating from the blaze.

Constable Daniel Bassi, M.B.
Welland, Ontario
Constable Jacob Braun, M.B.
Fenwick, Ontario
Constable Neal Ridley, M.B.
Fonthill, Ontario
Constable Allan Rivet, M.B.
Welland, Ontario 

On October 10, 2015, Niagara Regional Police constables Daniel Bassi, Jacob Braun, Neal Ridley and Allan Rivet subdued an active shooter in Fenwick, Ontario. Constable Ridley negotiated with the distraught man who was threatening to blow up his apartment building. The man suddenly opened fire, hitting both constables Ridley and Braun. Despite their injuries, the officers, joined by constables Bassi and Rivet, were able to neutralize the threat, preventing the situation from escalating further.

Sergeant Stephen Claude Joseph Bates, M.B., C.D.
Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador 

On October 2, 2014, search and rescue technician Sergeant Stephen Bates risked his life while evacuating an ailing man from a fishing vessel, in severe weather conditions off the coast of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Sergeant Bates was preparing to extract the man by helicopter when the hoist cable became tangled in the boat’s hydraulics. Struggling against strong winds, he succeeded in freeing the cord. Sergeant Bates and his team were then able to remove the man from the ship and transport him to shore.

Ali Belhis, M.B.
Vancouver, British Columbia 

On October 31, 2013, Ali Belhis risked his life to end a hostage-taking incident at École Gabrielle-Roy, in Surrey, British Columbia. After alerting his colleagues to the danger and calling for a lockdown of the school, Mr. Belhis confronted the hostage taker on the school yard. He spoke with the man in an effort to calm him down and to prevent him from entering the school. He continued to engage the hostage taker, pleading with him to let the child go, until the police arrived and restrained the individual.

Warrant Officer John Dunbar, M.B., C.D.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Corporal Alexander Keightley, M.B.
Petawawa, Ontario
Master Corporal Dale M. Kurdziel, M.B.
Master Corporal Shawn Thorn, M.B.
Lancaster Park, Alberta 

On July 20, 2015, Warrant Officer John Dunbar, Corporal Alexander Keightley, Master Corporal Dale Kurdziel and Master Corporal Shawn Thorn rescued a family from their burning home in Lancaster Park, Alberta. While WO Dunbar used a ladder to retrieve one of the children from the roof, MCpl Kurdziel rushed into the smoke-filled residence to locate a second child. Accompanied by Cpl Keightley and MCpl Thorn, he entered the house again to locate the mother and moved her to safety.

This is the second Medal of Bravery for Master Corporal Dale Kurdziel.

Brian Duncan, M.B.
Harvey, New Brunswick
John McQuaid, M.B.
Ottawa, Ontario 

On November 3, 2015, Brian Duncan and John McQuaid rescued three people from their burning car near Yoho, New Brunswick. The vehicle had flipped and landed on its passenger side. Mr. Duncan pulled the glass from the sun roof, unbuckled two children from their seats and removed them from the car one by one. Meanwhile, using a pair of shears, Mr. McQuaid managed to free the driver from her seatbelt. Despite the intensifying blaze, Mr. Duncan and Mr. McQuaid, assisted by a bystander, were able to pull the driver to safety.

Ranger Fontaine Robert Fiddler, M.B.
Sandy Lake, Ontario 

On April 5, 2016, Ranger Fontaine Fiddler rescued six people from their burning home in Sandy Lake, Ontario. Through an open window at the front of the house, Ranger Fiddler found the family trapped by the flames. He ran to the back and found a way into the house. He removed four children to safety before re-entering the residence to locate the other victims. All members of the family survived, thanks to Ranger Fiddler’s efforts.

Corporal Ryan Folkes, M.B.
Petawawa, Ontario
Corporal Michel Lee Patric Westelaken, M.B.
Oromocto, New Brunswick 

On July 14, 2014, Corporal Ryan Folkes and Corporal Michel Westelaken rescued a woman from her burning truck near Badger, Newfoundland and Labrador. The rescuers came across the victim’s truck on its side in the ditch, with the woman trapped inside. Despite the fire, they reached into the truck to free the victim and, with the help of bystanders, lifted her out onto a makeshift stretcher and brought her to safety.

John Gorman, M.B.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
James Mascioli, M.B.
Timmins, Ontario 

On May 18, 2015, John Gorman and Jim Mascioli intervened in an attack on a young woman, in Timmins, Ontario. The men discovered a car that had crashed into a ditch; inside, they found a woman being stabbed by the driver. Mr. Gorman pulled the victim out of the car, but the assailant followed them out onto the road. After threatening them with his knife, the assailant lunged at the victim, tackled her to the ground and resumed his attack. Mr. Mascioli hauled the man off the woman and restrained him while Mr. Gorman and a bystander cared for the victim until emergency services arrived.

Private Matthew Thomas Lepain, M.B.
Corporal Alexander Zawyrucha, M.B.
Windsor, Ontario 

On August 12, 2015, Private Matthew Lepain and Corporal Alexander Zawyrucha assisted a woman involved in a car accident in Windsor, Ontario. After witnessing the collision, the two men steadied the vehicle, which was leaking gasoline and had started rolling backwards. Private Lepain tried to pull the victim from her car, but she became entangled in her seatbelt. As Corporal Zawyrucha reached in to help, Private Lepain noticed a fire growing under the hood of the car, threatening to light the pool of gasoline spreading beneath their feet. Corporal Zawyrucha managed to pull the victim out and, with the help of Private Lepain, brought her to safety just as the vehicle became engulfed in flames.

Constable Corey McAllister, M.B.
Saint John, New Brunswick
Troy Morton, M.B.
Shane Watson, M.B.
Saint George, New Brunswick 

On January 3, 2017, Troy Morton, Shane Watson and off-duty Constable Corey McAllister, of the Kennebecasis Regional Police, rescued a man from his burning car in Saint John, New Brunswick. After stopping at the scene, Constable McAllister pried open the vehicle’s door with his bare hands and attempted to remove the semi-conscious driver, who was pinned against the steering wheel. Joined by Messrs. Morton and Watson, the constable reached into the car to remove the victim and dragged him away to safety before the flames completely engulfed the vehicle.

Acting Lieutenant Stéphane Ouellette, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec 

On September 28, 2014, off-duty firefighter Stéphane Ouellette helped several residents escape from a burning building in Montréal, Quebec. After hearing an explosion, Mr. Ouellette rushed to find a building in ruins and on fire. Undeterred by the heavy smoke, he climbed over the debris to the second floor where he located some of the residents and guided them outside. He then re-entered the building and rescued another victim before he noticed several residents stranded on their third-floor balcony. He located a ladder and placed it against the balcony just as emergency crews arrived to complete the rescue.

Constable Vincent Samuel Poirier-Payette, M.B.
Laval, Quebec
Constable Steve Demers, M.B.
Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, Quebec 

On October 7, 2014, Montréal police constables Steve Demers and Samuel Poirier-Payette put their lives at risk as they attempted to rescue a mother and her son from a burning house in Beaconsfield, Quebec. The officers first tried to reach one of the victims in the basement but were quickly driven back by the heat and heavy smoke. Hearing screams from the second victim on the main floor, the two constables struggled through the smoke until they reached the woman, but she refused to leave without her son, who was still in the basement. Constable Demers fell twice while attempting to drag the woman outside, but finally succeeded with the help of his colleague. Sadly, the victim’s son did not survive.

The decoration awarded to Constable Demers will be presented to him at a future ceremony.

Calvin Bradley Stein, M.B.
Madoc, Ontario 

On July 9, 2016, Calvin Stein saved a three-year-old girl from being trampled by a team of charging horses that had broken away from their handlers at a fair in Tweed, Ontario. Mr. Stein sprinted for the child who was directly in their path and tossed her out of harm’s way, seconds before the horses ran into him. He sustained severe injuries as the horses dragged him several feet before finally coming to a stop.

Joseph Vincent Teddy, M.B.
Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories

On October 21, 2015, Vince Teddy rescued an elderly man whose Ski-Doo had broken through the ice near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. As Mr. Teddy ran with a toboggan in tow toward the victim, the elder managed to pull himself back onto the ice. Mr. Teddy also fell through the ice, but managed to pull himself out and then crawl the remaining distance to the victim. He instructed the elder to roll onto the toboggan and then pulled him to safety.

 

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/honours