2009-2010 Recipients & Citations

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for his actions in the rescue of a man from a waterhole at Nethercote Falls via Pambula, NSW 2549 on 21 January 2005.

At about 4.50pm on 21 January 2005 a man slipped on rocks at Nethercote Falls, fell about 35 metres striking his head in the process. He then landed in a rock pool where he quickly sank.

Mr Zac Robin climbed down the cliff face and jumped about 20 metres into the murky water. He located the man wedged between rocks under the water and managed to bring him to the surface.

With assistance from his brother, Mr Api Robin who was already in the water, they placed the badly injured man on a rock ledge. Although in a remote area, ambulance officers eventually reached and treated the victim, removing him on a surfboard, and then out of the park on foot. Due to his extensive injuries the man was conveyed to Canberra Hospital by helicopter.

Mr Api Robin has received the Society’s Letter of Commendation for his actions during this incident.

Case 09/23


Senior Constable Adam Paul ATTUELL, NSW Police Force

for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident and fire on the Oxley Highway near Somerton, NSW 2340 on 3 April 2007.

At about 2.15pm on 3 April 2007 Senior Constable Attuell, off duty and in casual clothing, came across two vehicles involved in a head on collision on the Oxley Highway about 8km west of Somerton.

Both the 4 wheel drive vehicle towing a caravan and a Ford Sedan were extensively damaged with smoke and flames coming from the sedan. The driver of the sedan was trapped by his legs and seatbelt in the burning vehicle.

After several attempts to free the trapped driver Senior Constable Attuell made the decision to enter the burning vehicle, eventually managing to free the driver and drag him out of the vehicle, assisted by a man who had stopped at the accident scene.

After arranging for others to tow the burning sedan away from the 4 wheel drive vehicle, Senior Constable Attuell stayed with the elderly couple until Emergency Services released the trapped passenger from that vehicle. Despite sustaining injuries to his hands and arms during the rescue, Senior Constable Attuell provided treatment to the elderly victims until Emergency Services took over.

Case 09/24


Mr Ronald James SEARLE

for his actions at the scene of a petrol fire at a service station at Pennant Hills, NSW 2120 on 25 April 2007.

At about 8.20 pm on 25 April 2007, after colliding with a concrete barrier, a Toyota van crashed into a service station at Pennant Hills smashing into fuel bowsers which burst into flames.

Mr Searle, a tanker driver on the scene checking fuel levels, immediately took a fire extinguisher from his truck. Placing himself between the crashed van and the burning petrol bowsers he pushed the fire away from the van. Exhausting the first extinguisher he procured another and continued to fight the fire. The woman managed to escape from the van through a window and moved away.

By this time a service station attendant had isolated the fuel to the bowsers and assisted with another extinguisher. The police report considered Mr Searle’s prompt actions prevented a far more serious fire from occurring.

Case 09/25



for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Mt. White, NSW 2250 on 13 May 2007.

Early on Sunday 13 May 2007 a vehicle crashed and collided with a tree on the Pacific Highway near Mt White. Arriving shortly after the accident occurred, Mr Simon Nguyen immediately entered the vehicle on the passenger side and attempted to awaken the unconscious driver.

Realizing that professional help was necessary Mr Nguyen left the vehicle and asked an accident witness to contact emergency services before re entering the vehicle. He stayed in the vehicle trying to help the driver until he noticed a small fire had started. Despite the smoke from the fire he got in and out of the vehicle several times trying to disperse the smoke but soon became overwhelmed himself.  Finally his friends pulled him away from the car fearing it would explode.

Emergency Services were unable to rescue the driver

Case 09/26


Ms Sarah Leone THOMPSON

for their actions at the scene of a house fire at Lord Howe Island, NSW 2898 on 19 May 2007.

At about 8.30pm on 19 May 2007 Ms Sarah Thompson noticed a fire in a plastic bottle on the steps of her cousin’s one bedroom cottage. Ms Thompson tried to extinguish the fire however it quickly spread to the laundry area so she ran to a neighbour’s home and asked them to call the Fire Brigade. She then returned to the cottage where she entered through a window and tried to persuade her cousin to leave the burning house.  Mr Duncan Rayward arrived at the house and assisted Ms Thompson to forcibly remove the man from the building shortly before the house was engulfed in flames. By the time the Police and Fire Brigade arrived the cottage was completely ablaze.

Case 09/27



for his actions in the rescue of a woman from the flooded Talbragar River at Dubbo, NSW 2830 on 30 June 2007.

Trying to reach her home on a property approximately 20 km from Dubbo at about 11.40 pm on 30 June 2007 a woman in a vehicle was swept almost 30 metres downstream in the flooded Talbragar River.

Due to the dangers, force of the water, near freezing temperature and the inherent danger posed to bystanders in any rescue attempt, the Volunteer Rescue Squad was activated and Mr David Chenhall and Mr Anthony McEachern attended the location to carry out the rescue.

With the vehicle edging its way down stream and the woman hanging on to the door, it took a fully equipped Mr Chenhall several attempts to reach the vehicle. With a relayed harness Mr Chenhall climbed onto the roof of the vehicle and assisted the woman into the harness. With the use of safety lines, manned throughout by Mr. McEachern, the woman was assisted to safety.

Mr Anthony McEachern has received the Society’s Letter of Commendation for his actions during this incident.

Case 09/28



for the rescue of his son from a burning caravan at Austral, NSW 2171 on 24 July 2007.

At about 3.30pm on 24 July 2007 Mr John Harris became aware that a caravan on his property was burning. After entering the caravan he discovered that a quilt and a heater were on fire. Mr Harris grabbed the quilt and heater and dragged them outside burning both his hands badly in the process.

Unsure whether his son was inside the caravan, despite thick smoke, Mr Harris re entered the caravan on his hands and knees and located the sleeping man. Mr Harris dragged his son out of the caravan and used a nearby hose to extinguish the fire from his body.

Mr Glen Harris was transported to hospital and was subsequently transferred to Royal North Shore Burns Unit in a serious condition with 3rd degree burns to 64% of his body.

Mr John Harris required skin graft operations to his hands.

Case 09/29


Senior Constable Jeffrey FREEMAN, NSW Police Force


Senior Constable Michael DIETRICH, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Leanne GILMOUR, NSW Police Force

for their actions in the rescue of a woman from the waters of the Hasting River, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 on 27 August 2007.

At about 6.15am on 27 August 2007 police were called to the Hastings River, Port Macquarie near Lady Nelson Wharf where a woman appeared to be drowning.  Senior Constable Jeffrey Freeman immediately entered the water and began swimming towards the woman who was now partly submerged. On reaching her he lifted her head out of the water but, due to her weight and several layers of clothing, he struggled to keep her above water as he began swimming back to shore.

Senior Constable Leanne Gilmour had also entered the water and once Senior Constable Freeman had come closer to shore he was able to push the woman towards his colleague.  Senior Constable Gilmour took hold of the woman under her arms and pulled her towards the shore.  Once Senior Constable Freeman reached shallow water he was able to assist in moving the woman closer to the rock wall where Senior Constable Dietrich and a bystander lifted her onto the grassed area of the Town Green.

All three officers began CPR before the arrival of ambulance personnel.

Case 09/30


Constable Jane BAKER, NSW Police Force


Constable Leslie Moira OAKES, NSW Police Force

for the rescue of a woman threatening suicide from a cliff at Nowra, NSW 2541 on 1 September 2007.

At about 4.20pm on 1 September 2007 Constables Leslie Oakes and Jane Baker attended a domestic dispute in Nowra involving a mother and daughter. The daughter, with a history of mental illness, was subsequently transferred to Shoalhaven Hospital.

Constables Oakes and Baker then attended the hospital and during this time the young woman, who was very agitated, went missing. Constables Oakes and Baker immediately commenced a search for the young woman. They were informed by a security guard that she was seen in bushland opposite the hospital grounds, near a cliff edge, with a sheer drop of approximately 30 metres onto rocks on the edge of the Shoalhaven River.

On the edge of the cliff, beyond the guard rail the woman, in a highly distressed state, was threatening to jump. The two constables stepped over the guard rail and approached her. Constable Baker stood less than a metre behind the woman speaking calmly to her whilst Constable Oakes stayed nearby. When the woman looked towards the river, Constable Baker feared she was about to leap over the edge. Constable Baker then stepped forward and took firm hold of the woman’s jacket pulling her away from the edge. Constable Oakes subsequently approached and also grabbed the woman who began to struggle.  The two constables wrestled with the woman, eventually subduing her.  They were assisted by the security officer in bringing the woman away from the cliff to a safer area.

Neither Constable Oakes nor Constable Baker had been formally trained in rescue or negotiation techniques and neither had the benefit of a rescue harness.

Case 09/31

14. 15. 16. BRONZE MEDALS

Senior Constable Robert James BALLARD, NSW Police Force
Probationary Constable David John MILLS, NSW Police Force


Mr Mitchell THOMPSON
Mr Stewart McLACHLAN

for their actions in the rescue of a 13 year old boy from the surf at Redhead Beach, NSW 2209 on 1 September 2007.

Three boys swimming at the unpatrolled Redhead Beach at about 4pm on 1 September 2007 got into difficulties. Two boys got ashore to raise the alarm, while the third was swept about 150metres out from shore.

At about 4.15pm the police patrol of Senior Constable Robert Ballard and Probationary Constable David Mills arrived at the beach. They were approached by Jared Dodson and his friend with boogie boards. Probationary Constable Mills and Jared Dodson entered the surf on the boogie boards and after struggling through the large surf eventually reached the exhausted boy.

Concurrently Senior Constable Ballard, a trained surf life saver, obtained a surf rescue board and also struggled through the rough surf to reach the greatly fatigued boy. Between the three of them they managed to get the lad on the surf rescue board and started shoreward.

Two off duty lifesavers, Mr Mitchell Thompson and Mr Stewart McLachlan, attending a wedding reception at the surf club, also entered the water. They stripped down to their underwear and paddled out on surf rescue boards to offer assistance with the rescue.

Despite difficult breaking waves all five rescuers managed to get themselves and the boy ashore where Ambulance Officers were in attendance.

Case 09/32



for the surf rescue of a woman and her son at Culburra Beach, NSW 2540 on 8 September 2007.

On 8 September 2007 while riding a surf kayak at the unpatrolled Culburra Beach Mr James Rowlinson observed a person struggling in the surf about 50 metres off shore. There was a strong rip running, with waves ranging from 2 to 3 metres. Alerted by the boy’s mother and using his surf kayak Mr Rowlinson reached the distressed and confused 10 year old who was now on a sandbank with waves breaking over him.

The boy, who was autistic eventually understood Mr Rowlinson’s instructions and hung on to the kayak. Unfortunately the 1.7 metres long kayak, designed to take 75 kg, now contained a 90kg boy and his rescuer who was 70 kg. The extra weight caused the kayak’s tail under water with the nose pointed to the sky. After being swept off the kayak at one point Mr Rowlinson managed to get the boy back on the kayak and succeeded in getting him ashore.

On finally returning the boy safely back to shore, Mr Rowlinson was advised that the boy’s mother had also entered the water trying to reach her son and was now also in trouble herself about 70 metres off shore. Mr Rowlinson once again paddled his kayak to reach her. Finding her in an exhausted state he took off his life jacket and placed it on her.  The woman held on to the kayak as Mr Rowlinson paddled away from the rip and back towards shore.  They were joined by another surfer when they were about 20 metres from shore and assisted back to the beach.

An ambulance arrived soon after and treated the woman and her son.  At the time of the boy’s rescue Mr Rowlinson was the only other person in the water in either direction for about 500 metres.

Case 09/33


Mr Ian James CUTMORE (Posthumous)
Mrs Marion Joan McKINNA


Mr James Henry McKINNA

for the rescue of three children from the waters of Lake Keepit, Manilla NSW 2346 on 6t October 2007.

On 6 October 2007 three children, a boy aged 12 and 11 year old twin girls went for a swim in Lake Keepit, Manilla, NSW 2346, and got into difficulties. Immediately Mr Ian Cutmore (the boy’s father) swam out to them, however, because the children began to panic, he was continually pushed under the water and was soon in difficulties himself.

A couple from a nearby caravan, alerted to the problem by a sibling, without delay initiated a further rescue operation. Mrs Marion Mckinna, immediately ran down to the water, removed her jeans and swam out towards the children.  On reaching the closest girl she attempted to help her.  The girl was struggling but Mrs Mckinna managed to swim with her to a rock where she regained a foothold.

Concurrently Mr James Mckinna launched his eight foot inflatable boat and motored out to the boy and other girl. Mr Mckinna reached the children and helped them back to the shore, all the while the boy was screaming for his father.  Mr Mckinna then returned to his wife who was again struggling to keep the other girl afloat and brought them both back to the shore.  At no time during these rescues was there a sighting of Mr Cutmore.

Before the arrival of emergency services Mr Mckinna organised some of the other men on the scene to do a controlled search of the water in the area where Mr Cutmore was last seen.  Mr Cutmore’s body was located about 50 minutes later.

Case 10/01


Master Jack PAYNE (age: 11)

for the rescue of his younger brother from a vicious dog attack at St Helens Park 2560 on 10 October 2007.

At about 5.30pm on 10 October 2007 Benjamin Payne (age: 4) was attacked by an unrestrained dog in an unprovoked situation. Benjamin was pushed to the ground and the dog grabbed him by his head causing lacerations to his head, legs and arms.

With no adults present at the time of the attack, Jack Payne grabbed a bicycle that was nearby and rammed the bike into the dog.  Jack kept this up a number of times until the dog finally released Benjamin. At this time the dog was still in a very aggressive state and still trying to attack Benjamin also threatening other children who were nearby.  Jack Payne positioned himself between the dog and his brother and using the bike as a shield, he managed to shepherd his injured brother into the safety of their home.

Benjamin’s injuries included 10 puncture marks at the back of the head, one requiring stitches, bruising and 5 to 10 puncture marks to the left leg.

The animal was later euthanized.

Case 10/02


Mr Garry James BRADBURY

for the rescue of a woman from a house fire at Balgowlah, NSW 2093 on 23 October 2007.

At approximately 5pm on 23 October 2007, while jogging in the streets of Balgowlah, Mr Garry Bradbury was alerted by two girls, about 12 years old, to a nearby duplex on fire. Seeing the ground floor door ajar with smoke pouring out he eased the door open. The door bumped into an unconscious woman lying against it. He moved her away from the door so he could enter. Mr Bradbury lifted her under her arms and dragged her out the back door to safety.  The girls assisted him and they placed her on the lawn in the recovery position.

Fearing there might be others in the house, after noticing there were children’s toys in the backyard, Mr Bradbury re-entered the duplex.  Despite the black smoke, he re-entered searching the duplex three times, after exiting on each occasion for fresh air.

After the arrival of the Fire Brigade, officers using breathing apparatus conducted a search of the house. Fortunately the house was found to be empty. The woman was conveyed to hospital suffering from minor burns.

Case 10/03


Mr Ronald van-HAM

for the rescue of a woman from the waters of Sydney Cove NSW 2000 on 26 October 2007.

Master of a water taxi, which had been secured alongside the Commissioners Steps in Sydney Cove, at about 9.40pm on 26 October 2007 Mr. Ronald van-Ham dived into the water to rescue a woman who had jumped into the water nearby.  After Mr van-Ham assisted her from the water the woman threw herself into the water a second time.

This time, after radioing for assistance Mr van-Ham then re entered the water with a lifesaving buoy.  When the Water Police arrived the woman was resisting Mr van-Ham’s attempts to keep her above water. Mr van-Ham managed to swim with the woman close enough to the Police vessel so that the police officers could assist him. It took three police officers and Mr van-Ham to remove the struggling woman from the water. She was later conveyed by ambulance to hospital.

The police report noted it was a dark night and despite a large number of onlookers, none offered assistance to Mr van Ham.

Case 10/04

26. 27. 28. 29. BRONZE MEDALS

Detective Colin Patrick WOOLSEY, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Leanne Joy WOOLSEY, NSW Police Force
Mr Stephen DOWEY

for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Limeburners Creek 2324 on 17 February 2006.

At about 3pm on 17 February 2006 a transit van collided with a tree and burst into flames at Limeburners Creek on the Bucketts Way. Arriving at the scene of the accident Detective Colin Woolsey and his wife Senior Constable Leanne Woolsey became aware that the driver was still inside the burning vehicle. Flames were coming from underneath the cabin of the van from the engine area. Colin Woolsey briefly tried to douse the fire while Leanne Woolsey tried to release the driver trapped by his foot.

By now the fire had entered the driver’s side roof section of the cabin and practically the whole vehicle was involved in fire. With help from Mr Stephen Dowey and Mr Ivor Brice the Woolsey’s between them managed to extract the seriously injured driver to safety. The man was placed about 5 or 6 metres away, however because the heat was so intense and the ground in the immediate area was burning, he was moved a further 10 metres away and placed in the recovery position.

Whilst awaiting arrival of emergency services the off duty officers took charge of traffic control and caring for the seriously injured driver. About five minutes after the ambulance arrived, the van exploded. The injured man was transported by helicopter to hospital but died later that evening whilst undergoing surgery.

Case 10/05


Senior Constable Andrew James MAYFIELD, NSW Police Force


Senior Constable Ian Volney CAMERON, NSW Police Force
Mr Roger INA

for the rescue of a woman attempting suicide from a hotel balcony in the Sydney CBD, NSW 2000 on 25 November 2007.

Working at the Hyde Park Inn at about 10 am on 25 November 2007 Mr Roger Ina observed and located a person standing on a ledge outside the balcony of ninth floor apartment about 25 metres from ground level. After phoning emergency services he went to the apartment. A woman aged about fifty, was standing on a small ledge on the outside of the balcony railing. He was able to speak to her calmly for about fifteen minutes. With the arrival of the police officers the woman lost her footing on the ledge leaving her clinging on to the balcony by one hand.

Senior Constable Cameron ran to the balcony and grabbed her arm through the balcony railing. The woman began to push away from the wall in an attempt to break free. Mr Ina came to assist which required him also to lean over the balcony railing. The woman was too heavy for them to lift and at this point Senior Constable Mayfield attempted to handcuff her to the railing. This proved unsuccessful as he couldn’t get clear access to her arm. She continued to struggle and hit him away with her free arm.

Without any safety harness, Senior Constable Mayfield climbed over the balcony and hanging on with one hand he managed to grab the woman’s free hand. The officers were then able to lift her to a height where they could successfully pull her over the balcony railing to safety.

The woman was conveyed to St Vincent’s Hospital by ambulance.

Case 10/07


Mr Lester Craig KLAJMAN

for his actions at the scene of a house fire at North Rocks, NSW 2151 on 15 December 2007.

Working at his job as a tradesman on a house in North Rocks on the morning of Saturday 15 December 2007 Mr Lester Klajman noticed smoke coming from a house a few doors away on the opposite side of the street. He asked his employer, Mrs Stapleton, to ring the Fire Brigade. He then ran to the burning house.

Believing someone was inside the burning house Mr Klajman attempted entry. After several unsuccessful attempts he managed to break a glass window to gain access. Unfortunately during this action he severed an artery in his arm. Mrs Stapleton and her husband rendered first aid, assisted by a doctor neighbour who was able to control the bleeding until the ambulance arrived.
Subsequently the Fire Brigade discovered the bodies of a man and child in the burnt out house.

Mrs Jenni Stapleton has received the Society’s Letter of Commendation for her actions during this incident.

Case 10/08


Leading Senior Constable Graham WEST, NSW Police Force

for his actions in the rescue of a woman from Wollongong Harbour, NSW 2500 on 16 April 2007.

Attending Wollongong Harbour at about 4 pm on 16 April 2007 police observed a woman jumping off the jetty. She refused a floatation device and swam towards the harbour entrance. A trawler called to assist threw the woman a rope however she refused and swam away from it. By this time a jet ski and rubber dingy had also been sent out to try and assist. As the woman continued to resist, a decision was made by police to enter the water.  Leading Senior Constable West dived in and swam to the woman.

The woman kicked out at him causing Constable West to become submerged several times.  In the struggle with the woman over about 15 -20 minutes they drifted out about 100 metres past the harbour entrance.  After being kicked in the stomach and hip area Constable West was beginning to tire and was in danger of drowning.  At this stage he utilised his OC spray to prevent any further violent confrontation.

With the woman still fighting Constable West managed to secure a torpedo buoy around her and then dragged the woman onto the Jet Ski trailer board, being kicked in the groin and stomach several times in the process. With the large build woman (120kg) continuing to struggle and being uncooperative; Constable West was forced to use his own body to restrain the woman on the trailer board.

In an exhausted condition Constable West was picked up by the crew of the trawler while the woman was towed ashore and then transported to Wollongong Hospital.

Case 10/09


Mr Anthony Mark NOTT

for the rescue of two people from the surf at Tomakin Beach, NSW 2537 on 6 January 2008.

At the unpatrolled Tomakin Beach on 6 January 2008 Mr Anthony Nott observed a man and woman caught in a rip being carried out to deeper waters. Unable to return to shore because of fatigue they signalled for help.

Realising there were no life guards closer than 10 minutes away, Mr Nott although not trained in lifesaving, took his surf board and paddled out to the man and woman who were now struggling to stay afloat.  Despite the strong rip present, Mr Nott was able to reach the couple and bring them back to shore safely.

Case 10/10



for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on the Hume Highway, Yarra, NSW 2580 on 11 January 2009.

In heavy rain with poor visibility travelling on the Hume Highway, Yarra, at about 5.30pm on 11 January 2009 Mr Timothy Johnstone saw the vehicle travelling ahead lose control and collide with the “Armco” railing.

The impact of the collision caused the fuel tank to rupture and fuel was spilling onto the exhaust system. There were four children in the vehicle aged 13, 6, 5 and 4 years.  The driver, a woman in her fifties, was slumped over the steering wheel.
On reaching the car Mr Johnstone heard the children screaming. He was able to extract a young girl from the car and take her to his vehicle. He then returned to the crashed car and checked on the driver, who had no pulse. He then extracted an older girl and took her to his car telling her to stay with her sister.

Once again he returned to the car where he found two boys. The older one was severely injured and screaming as the younger boy was on top of him. Unsuccessfully Mr Johnstone tried to pull the younger boy from the car but this action caused great distress to the older injured boy.

After using his vehicle to radio again for help he returned to the crashed vehicle. The younger boy had somehow managed to climb from the wreckage. Mr Johnstone took the boy over to his car and by this time a few other motorists had stopped including a doctor who assisted Mr Johnstone in removing the injured boy from the wreckage. The boy had a very severe leg injury. Police arrived soon after and Mr Johnstone placed the younger children in his car with the heater on until the ambulance arrived.  Unfortunately the driver of the vehicle did not survive.

Case 10/11



for their actions at the scene of a house fire at Baulkham Hills NSW, 2153 on 14 November 2007.

At approximately 12.15am on 14 November 2007 Mr Caldwell was driving home from work when he saw flames and smoke coming from the front room of a house in Baulkham Hills.  He parked his car, called 000 and ran to the house calling out to any possible occupants.  He could see flames in the front room and paint peeling off the walls.  He then ran to the next door neighbour and banged on the door.  The owner of this house, Ms Moore, responded and after quickly dressing in a gown and slippers joined Mr Caldwell on the neighbour’s front veranda.  Ms Moore knew that an elderly disabled woman resided there and flames were now shooting out of the front lounge room window.  They shouted to the occupant and through the noise of the fire they thought they could hear moaning sounds coming from the other side of the door.  Mr Caldwell kicked the door in causing it to partially open.  Heat and smoke poured out and flames could be seen coming across the hallway near the lounge room.  The elderly woman appeared to be trapped behind the door.  Ms Moore was aware that the woman used a walking frame and thought this may be blocking their entrance.  Ms Moore managed to enter the doorway and move the walking frame away.  The elderly lady was kneeling behind the doorway so Ms Moore dragged her into the hallway allowing Mr Caldwell to also enter. Together they carried the elderly woman from the house onto the veranda and then further away from danger onto the front lawn where they placed her in the recovery position and comforted her until the ambulance arrived.  Emergency services arrived about five minutes later.

Case 10/14

39. 40. 41.42. 43. 44. BRONZE MEDALS

Station Officer Brendan COX, NSW Fire Brigades
Station Officer Kevin Joseph CONROY, NSW Fire Brigades
Firefighter David George WILKIE, NSW Fire Brigades
Firefighter Kurt Brendon INGLE, NSW Fire Brigades
Firefighter Scott Robert THOMAS, NSW Fire Brigades
Firefighter Kyle Jonathan MATHIESEN, NSW Fire Brigades

for their actions at the scene of a building fire at Redfern, NSW 2016 on 15 November 2007.

On the morning of 15 November 2007 a fire engulfed a three storey building in Redfern containing several residential apartments and recording studios. A well alight third floor and a number of people in a hysterical state at the regent street entrance confronted fire crews attending from Redfern and Alexandria.

Gaining entry to the building Firefighters Wilkie, Ingle, Thomasand Mathiesen commenced search and rescue operations; concurrently Station Officers Cox and Conroy attacked the fire with a hose line and pump.

Although the presence of the recording studio greatly hampered rescue operations Firefighters Ingle and Wilkie managed to locate a seriously burnt male. While Station Officers Cox and Conroy, now inside the burning building attacking the fire, took the injured male outside to safety, Firefighters Ingle and Wilkie continued search and rescue operations within the building.

Meanwhile Firefighters Thomasand Mathiesen located a woman on the third floor in a room which was well alight.  After removing the woman to safety Firefighters Thomasand Mathiesen resumed search and rescue operations until the building was declared cleared.

Case 10/15


Leading Senior Constable Daniel Russell MOORE, NSW Police Force

for his actions at the scene of a fatal boating accident on the Georges River, Kangaroo Point, NSW 2224 on 16 September 2006.

At about 6pm on 16 September 2006 a ski boat with 2 persons on board and a half cabin cruiser with 7 persons on board collided at speed on the Georges River, Kangaroo Point. The ski boat driver died instantly as a result of the collision. His woman passenger was seriously injured. One man from the cruiser was seriously injured and four of the seven occupants were ejected into the water.

The partly submerged ski boat with five people aboard, some in the water, was being towed from the area. A police officer on the scene, Leading Senior Constable Daniel Moore saw victims drifting away from the boat in some distress. He observed a male struggling to keep his head above water about 2 -3 metres from the pontoon.  He immediately entered the water, in full uniform and appointments, and swam over to a person of large build. After a struggle Leading Senior Constable Moore managed to get the male over to the pontoon where they were assisted from the water by other police officers.

Leading Senior Constable Moore then entered the water a second time to assist an injured woman.  He kept her afloat and swam her back to the pontoon.

In returning to the vessel a third time he swam back to the cockpit area and began to feel around where he located the body of the deceased man. Once again he swam with the victim back to the pontoon. By this time Leading Senior Constable Moore was exhausted. Nevertheless he continued to assist ambulance officers and provide support to the injured whilst in wet clothes and being exposed to cold night conditions. He was at the scene for two hours until all rescued had been transported to hospital and he then resumed duty.

Case 10/17

46. 47. 48. BRONZE MEDALS

Senior Constable David Scott DILLON, NSW Police Force
Mr Francis HEATH


Senior Sergeant Robert Kenneth LAWSON, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Justin CORNES, NSW Police Force

for their actions in the rescue of a woman trapped by floodwaters at Ourimbah, NSW 2258 on 8 June 2007.

On her property at about 4.00pm on 8 June 2007 Mrs Elizabeth Heath was attending to her horse as the creek level began to rise dramatically. Mrs Heath became trapped on an area of high ground some 150m from Ourimbah Creek Road. In continuing rising water Mrs Heath took refuge by standing on two milk crates and hanging onto a gum tree with the creek ongoing, flowing at about 10-15 knots growing in width and depth. Air temperature at the time was 15 degrees, water temperature about 10 -15 degrees with driving torrential rain and there was concern Mrs Heath was becoming fatigued due to exposure and would be engulfed by the rising flood waters within an hour.

Mr Francis Heath (husband) and a neighbour Mr Noel Chapman both entered the water and attempted to swim across the swollen creek however they were both swept downstream and back to the bank.

Two life jackets and rope were obtained while Senior Constable Dillon established a suitable place to attempt a swim rescue about 150metres up stream where the creek was 30 metres wide. By now the water had reached to just below Mrs Heath’s waist and it was becoming dark.

Senior Constable Dillon volunteered to swim the river in an attempt to reach Mrs Heath who had by this stage climbed further up the gum tree.   Snr Const Dillon was fitted with life jackets and rope and entered the water wearing his boots and trousers to protect him from large debris in the rapid flowing water.   He commenced to swim across the creek whilst being dragged downstream.  Other police officers manned the rope. About halfway across Snr Constable Dillon’s trousers ballooned out, the rope tether became entangled and he was submerged on a number of occasions.  Quick actions by others allowed Snr Constable Dillon to be dragged back to the bank where Snr Sergeant Lawson pulled him to safety.

A 10 ft tinny equipped with a 3hp motor was located and Senior Sgt Lawson and Senior Constable Cornes stripped to their underwear and travelled across the river in the tinny. The small boat was tethered by rope and controlled by others on the shore. The police officers were finally successful in reaching Mrs Heath and returned her to safety.  The rescue concluded about 5.30pm.

Case 10/18


Senior Sergeant Robert Kenneth LAWSON, NSW Police Force
Senior Constable Jamie Kenneth Patrick KAIN, NSW Police Force

for the rescue of two men from Central Coast floodwaters at Jilliby Creek, NSW 2259, on 8June 2007.

At about 8.00am on 8 June 2007 a man and his adult son were travelling in a four-wheel drive vehicle along Jilliby Road when they came upon floodwaters at Jilliby Creek. Attempting to drive through the floodwater their vehicle stalled and began floating away before becoming stuck on a submerged object.  The men contacted emergency services as the water level reached the windows on their vehicle and they were forced onto the roof.

Initially police officers were unable to locate the stranded men. Over 30 minutes passed and it became clear that a helicopter or SES boat would not be available. Senior Sergeant Lawson and Senior Constable Kain obtained a small “tinny” boat from a nearby farmhouse and using one oar and a shovel paddled about 300 metres through flowing floodwater to reach the stranded men. Senior Sergeant Lawson and Senior Constable Kain rescued both men and returned them to the eastern shore where others cared for them.  Both men were suffering from exposure to the cold water with the older man becoming quite weak.

Police Officers Lawson and Kain then resumed their duties assisting with evacuations in other affected areas nearby.

Case 10/19


Senior Constable David Lindsay PENNY, NSW Police Force

for his actions at a house fire at Cowra, NSW 2794 on 22 September 2007.

At approximately 4.00am on 22 September 2007 Senior Constable David Penny attended a house fire at Jindalee Circuit, Cowra.  On arrival he saw thick smoke and flames coming from the front rooms of the house.  Neighbours were standing around and two males were attempting to extinguish the flames with garden hoses.

Senior Constable Penny was informed that it was possible persons could still be in the house. Unable to enter the front door because it was too hot and dangerous to be kicked in Senior Constable Penny then got down on his hands and knees and entered the premises via the laundry.  He made his way into the hallway of the house and called to any possible occupants.  Due to the thick smoke and intense heat he was forced to exit after about 30 seconds.  He filled his lungs with fresh air and re entered the house however he was again forced to exit after a quick search of the back room. 

Once outside Senior Constable Penny was informed that the five children that lived there were all safe at a neighbour’s home.  Their mother had also escaped the fire however her partner, who was suspected of starting the blaze, was missing. Although Senior Constable Penny required ambulance treatment for smoke inhalation he remained at the scene searching for the offender and guarding the property.

Case 10/20


Detective Sergeant Anthony Michael BRAZZILL, NSW Police Force

for his actions at the scene of a house fire at Quakers Hill, NSW 2763 on 24 December 2007.

At about 3.50pm on 24 December 2007 a fire started in the attached garage area of a house in Quakers Hill fuelled by a 9 kg LPG bottle attached to a barbecue. At the time there were 12 people at the house, 7 of them children.

Driving past a short time after the fire broke out; off duty police officer Detective Sergeant Brazzill noticed the smoke and flames coming from the house. After parking his car and identifying himself Detective Sergeant Brazzill saw two males run inside through the front door.  Detective Sergeant Brazzill immediately ran after them and found the men trying to extinguish the flames with buckets of water.  Another elderly man was also located at the rear of the property. With the fire becoming more intense and spreading throughout the premises and visibility greatly reduced through smoke, Detective Sergeant Brazzill had to physically remove all three males from the house.

Within minutes, with all persons on the other side of the road the gas bottles in the garage exploded.

Case 10/21


Mr Apihana Robin - Case 09/23

Mr Anthony McEachern - Case 09/28

Mrs Jenni Stapleton - Case 10/08