2011-2012 Recipients & Citations

Click on the recipient to view the citation.

1. Case: 1074

        Senior Constable Jeffrey Colin Wayne GARLAND, NSW Police
        Senior Constable David Henry RODERICK, NSW Police

for their actions in the rescue of a man from drowning at The Entrance, 2261 on 21 April 2008

At about 10:30pm on 21 April 2008 Senior Constable Jeffrey GARLAND was in foot pursuit of a known male offender. In an attempt to avoid apprehension the man entered the extremely cold waters and strong currents of The Entrance channel. As he attempted to follow Senior Constable GARLAND was head-butted and his head forced underwater.

Another police officer arriving at the scene organised bystanders to assist by arranging a small boat to rescue the two struggling men. The officer then attempted to swim to the aid of the two men but was overtaken, and picked up by the boat which was then directed the boat towards the two men who had by now been in the water approximately 30 minutes. Senior Constable GARLAND insisted that the offender be picked up, while he chose to hang on to the side of the boat as it returned to shore.

On the shore Senior Constable RODERICK noticed that Senior Constable GARLAND had weakened and had started sliding towards the boat's motor. Unable to be heard as he shouted for the boat's power to be cut Senior Constable RODERICK then waded into the cold water to shoulder depth. He grabbed the boat and pulled it into the sand bank until the motor stalled, seriously injuring his back in the process. Despite his injuries, Senior Constable RODERICK then rendered immediate first aid to Senior Constable GARLAND who was by now suffering from the effects of fatigue and hypothermia.

Senior Constable GARLAND was transported by ambulance to Gosford Hospital for treatment. The male offender was arrested and conveyed to Wyong Hospital where he threatened police and hospital staff. After treatment he was then taken to The Entrance Police Station.

Case 10/74

2. Case: 10/77

        Senior Sergeant Clifford SUNDERLAND, Victoria Police

for his actions at the scene of an assault at Sussex Inlet, 2540 on 2 April 2008

Hearing a disturbance outside his Sussex Inlet holiday residence at about 10:00pm-10:30pm on 2 April 2008 off-duty Senior Sergeant Clifford SUNDERLAND investigated. He observed three youths who were armed with a tree branch and a metal pole provoking the owner of the caravan park, yelling obscenities and challenging him to fight.

Initially Senior Sergeant SUNDERLAND thought the situation was starting to diffuse as the youths appeared to be moving on. Turning to the owner he started to lead him from the scene. Then the youth with the tree branch started to swing a blow.

Senior Sergeant SUNDERLAND deflected the tree branch from hitting the owner but suffered a heavy blow to his own forehead in the process. The youth fled from the scene.

An ambulance conveyed Senior Sergeant SUNDERLAND to Milton Hospital where he received 22 stitches and was found to have suffered a bleed on the brain. Senior Sergeant SUNDERLAND required full time home care for a period of four months following this incident.

Case 10/77

3. Case: 10/82

        Mr. Robert COCKBURN
        Mr. Garry Jay McCAULEY
        Mr. Jason McCAULEY
        Mr. Bobby STOJANOVSKI
        Mr. Kane Joseph WILLIAMS

for their actions at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident at Unanderra, NSW 2526 on 19 September 2008.

Losing control of his vehicle at extremely high speed about 7:30pm on 19 September 2008 at Unanderra, the male driver caused the vehicle to clip a power pole, spin and land on a high pressure gas main. On impact, the petrol tank ignited and the resultant intense fire engulfed the vehicle. One of the four occupants died instantly, while the others were trapped in the vehicle.

Mr. Robert COCKBURN arrived at the accident scene. He immediately called Emergency Services, before running to the burning vehicle and attempting to open the driver side door. Simultaneously Mr. Garry Jay McCAULEY and his son Mr. Jason McCAULEY stopped, pulled over and ran to the scene of the accident.

From his nearby residence Mr. Bobby STOJANOVSKI also heard the crash, and obtained a fire extinguisher before driving to the scene. Using the extinguisher he doused flames on the seats so that there was more room for a man to be rescued. Mr. Robert COCKBURN, Mr. Garry McCAULEY and Mr. Jason McCAULEY managed to pull the man out of the vehicle. As the man's hair and clothes were alight, Mr. Bobby STOJANOVSKI continued to douse the rescued person.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kane WILLIAMS had attended the scene after seeing the crash. He assisted the rescued man to a place of safety as Mr. Robert COCKBURN directed traffic around the scene until NSW Police arrived.

The rescued man suffered 30% burns, was conveyed to Wollongong Hospital by ambulance, prior to being transported to Royal North Shore Hospital. He was in a coma for 21 days. The other occupants were unable to be rescued.

Case 10/82

4. Case: 10/90

        Mr. Warren Allan NEIL
        Mr. Susan Bernadette NEIL
        Mr. Michael John POGSON

for their actions in the attempted rescue of a quadriplegic man from his burning vehicle at Ophir via Orange, 2800 on 2 March 2008

At about 1:30 pm on 2 March 2008 a quadriplegic man lost control of his three-wheeled modified motor cycle at Ophir via Orange. The vehicle collided with a tree and burst into flames on impact.

Witnessing the accident Mr. Warren NEILL and Ms. Susan NEILL jumped out of their car and ran to the injured man who was still conscious, and attempted to move him from the wreckage. Mr. Michael POGSON arrived at the scene at about this time and all three managed to drag the man to safety across the road and to a gully before the vehicle was engulfed by flames.

Ms.Susan NEILL and Mr. Warren NEILL gave first aid to the injured quadriplegic man until the ambulance arrived. Also directing traffic around the scene until police arrived. Mr. POGSON returned to the burning vehicle and with assistance from other bystanders managed to control the fire.

When being conveyed by ambulance to Orange Base Hospital the man went into cardiac arrest. Despite immediate treatment he did not survive the journey.

Case 10/90

5. Case: 10/98

        Detective Senior Constable Nigel Stephen Allan JARVIS
        Protective Service Officer Jack Keith MURDOCK

for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident at Rose Lagoon via Collector, 2581 on 1 February 2008

Driving his family along the Federal Highway at Rose Lagoon via Collector at about 1:53pm on 1 February 2008 a man became drowsy and fell asleep. His vehicle hit a guide post, before travelling 53 metres off the road and colliding with a tree where all 4 occupants of the vehicle became unconscious.

The driver soon regained consciousness and managed to remove his two young children from the now burning vehicle, but efforts to remove his wife were unsuccessful.

Independently arriving at the scene off duty Detective Senior Constable Nigel Stephen Allan JARVIS and off duty Protective Service Officer Jack Kevin MURDOCK extricated the still unconscious woman from the smoke filled burning vehicle. Together they carried her 50m metres to safety moments before the vehicle exploded.

Detective Senior Constable JARVIS then assisted with traffic management until NSW Police arrived. Concurrently Protective Service Officer MURDOCK commenced first aid on the woman. The woman was conveyed to the Intensive Care Unit of Goulburn Hospital by Ambulance where she recovered.

Case 10/98

6. Case: 10/99

        Mr. Christian SERENO

for his actions in the attempted rescue of a man from a burning unit at South Strathfield, 2135 on 13 July 2008

Hearing a fire alarm at about 4:30pm on 13 July 2008 Mr. Christian SERENO saw smoke emanating from a second storey unit and smelled burning plastic coming from a nearby unit complex at South Strathfield.

Obtaining a fire extinguisher from his car Mr. SERENO ran back to the unit complex where he was advised there was an elderly man inside the burning unit. He then ran into the stairwell, alerting the bottom floor residents to get out of the complex before continuing up the stairs and entering the unit which was engulfed by heavy smoke.

Despite poor visibility Mr. SERENO walked inside the unit for approximately 1 minute before finding the burning body of a man. Although within 3 metres of the non responsive body his fire extinguisher malfunctioned and Mr. SERENO was overcome by smoke and forced to exit the unit. While making his way out of the unit, Mr. SERENO continued directing other occupants to safety.

Fire & Rescue NSW personnel wearing breathing apparatus entered the unit shortly afterwards and found the occupant deceased. Mr. SERENO was conveyed to Canterbury Hospital by ambulance, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

Case 10/99

7. Case: 10/103

        Mr. Anthony John BEAMES

for his actions following a stabbing incident at Riverwood, 2210 on 2 March 2007

At about 7:15pm on 2 March 2007 a man was stabbed inside a restaurant in Riverwood, NSW 2210 suffering severe wounds to his chest and left arm, and losing consciousness.

Restaurant patrons summoned Mr. Anthony BEAMES a security guard at a nearby club. Instructing the victim's friend to apply pressure to the wounds to reduce blood loss Mr. BEAMES then directed staff to retreat to safety in the kitchen and assisted the owner of the restaurant to leave the premises.

Still armed with a 12 cm knife, the male offender made several attempts to leave the scene. Despite being unarmed himself Mr. BEAMES blocked the man from leaving, and simultaneously directed the shocked diners to safety away from the offender.

Mr. BEAMES remained at the scene confining the offender until police and ambulance arrived. The offender was arrested. The victim was conveyed to St George Hospital.

Case 10/103

8. Case: 10/96

        Mr. Steven TAYLOR

for his actions at the scene of a unit fire at Jamistown, NSW 2750 on 3 August 2005

At about 6:20pm on 3 August 2005, a man took a 9kg LPG bottle into his unit, opened the valve and lit a cigarette lighter causing a large scale explosion. Mr. Steven TAYLOR, who was visiting his two young sons in another unit at the time, immediately ran downstairs to investigate.

Mr. TAYLOR kicked down the door of the man's burning unit so that the man could run out, his body and t-shirt on fire. Mr. TAYLOR extinguished these flames and led the man outside to safety before re-entering the unit block and rescuing his two sons. He again returned to the smoke filled building, and in extremely poor visibility alerted other residents of the fire.

Fire & Rescue NSW arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, at which time Mr. TAYLOR collapsed. He was conveyed by Ambulance to Nepean Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. The rescued man was conveyed to Concord Hospital Burns Unit for treatment to extensive burns to his upper body.

Case 10/96

9. Case: 10/85

        Mr. Dain SCHUELIN

for the rescue of a man from a house fire at Old Erowal Bay, NSW 2540 on 21 September 2008

At about 12:30am on 21 September 2008, a fire broke out in a family home. A woman and her daughter assisted in getting 3 other children out of the house without injury, before realising that her husband was still asleep inside.

The woman attempted to rescue him but was unable to re-enter the house owing to the ferocity of the fire. She then attempted to extinguish the flames with a garden hose while her daughter ran to alert one of the neighbour's, Mr. Dain SCHUELEIN.

Mr. SCHUELEIN immediately tried to enter the burning house. Visibility was minimal, so after several unsuccessful attempts Mr. SCHUELEIN placed a t-shirt over his head and crawled through the house, until he found the unresponsive body of the man in a room engulfed with fire. Despite the closeness of the flames Mr. SCHUELEIN took hold of the man's body and dragged him out of the house and onto the front lawn.

Conveyed to Concord Hospital Burns Units by Ambulance the man was in a critical condition and remained in the Intensive Care Unit for some time before making a full recovery.

Case 10/85

10. Case: 10/92

        Mr. Sean Thomas STEGGLES
        Mr. Thomas James BRICE
        Mr. Christopher Mark NORTHAM
        Mr. Colin CHAPMAN
        Mr. Joseph HEYES

for their actions in the rescue of an elderly woman from a house fire at Back Head, NSW 2430 on 1 October 2008

At about 6:45 pm on 1 October 2008, 5 youths returning from the beach noticed a red glow from the window of a residence belonging to an elderly woman. The woman had turned on an electric heater that was placed near a large bundle of newspapers which had caught alight.

The 5 youths ran to investigate the glow and render assistance to the woman, who they could see was attempting unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire. They yelled for her to open a door or window, but the woman was confused and not able to assist.

Mr.Thomas BRICE tried to smash a window to force entry into the house, badly cutting his wrist. Unable to access the house from the window all 5 youths then climbed up to the front balcony calling out to the woman, in an effort to keep her calm and let her know help was nearby.

Mr.Sean STEGGLES and Mr. Colin CHAPMAN kicked down the front door and all 5 youths entered the house. They found the confused woman through the thick, black smoke and comforted her. Mr. Christopher NORTHAM then ran out to alert a neighbour while Mr. Joseph HEYES called Emergency Services. Messrs CHAPMAN, STEGGLES, BRICE and HEYES stayed with the woman. Mr. Christopher NORTHAM returned with a neighbour and helped him to put out the flames.

15. 15The neighbour managed to turn off the power at the mains, and ambulance and Rural Fire Services arrived at the scene shortly afterwards. Conveyed to Manning Base Hospital the woman suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation. All 5 youths were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Case 10/92

11. Case: 10/70

        Mr. Simon Timothy HAGGARTY
        Mr. Albert James BLANCH

for their actions at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident at Bellbora, NSW 2422 on 4 November 2008

At about 1:00pm on 4 November 2008, a motor vehicle left the road and collided heavily with the side of a gully approximately 3 metres below the road surface. The female driver was trapped in the vehicle which had caught alight.

Driving in the vicinity Mr. Albert BLANCH noticed black smoke coming from the gully. He investigated and located the burning vehicle observing that the woman was bleeding from the nose and slumped over the steering wheel.

At this stage, Mr. Simon HAGGARTY arrived at the scene. He notified Emergency Services before obtaining a fire extinguisher and helping Mr. BLANCH to try to put out the fire. Both men were soon forced back by the heat and flames. They made several more attempts to extinguish the fire despite their belief that the driver was already deceased. A final attempt by Mr. HAGGARTY to reach the trapped woman from the driver's side door was beaten back by the encroaching fire.

The vehicle became totally engulfed by flames, incinerating the woman and starting a small grass fire. After the fire was extinguished the woman's body was removed from the vehicle by the Rural Fire Service. Mr. HAGGARTY later required medical treatment for psychological injury as a result of the incident.

Case 10/70

12. Case: 10/88

        Mr. Mathew Robert JENKINS
        Mr. Justin Leigh JARY
        Mr. Zachary James JARY
        Mr. Desmond LANIGAN

for their actions in the attempted rescue of a man from committing suicide in the Murray River at Bruce's Bend via Buronga, NSW 2739 on 28 November 2008

At about 9:25pm on 28 November 2008, approximately 15 people witnessed a man drive his motor vehicle straight down a boat ramp and into the Murray River.

Despite darkness and lack of lighting Mr. Matthew JENKINS immediately dived into the water and unsuccessfully attempted to open the driver's side door of the partially submerged vehicle now floating downstream on the river about 3 to 5 metres from shore. Mr. Zachary JARY and Mr. Desmond LANIGAN also swam to the driver's side door but the man refused to budge.

Mr. Matthew JENKINS and Mr. Justin JARY then entered the vehicle through a passenger side window. The man remained unresponsive and stayed seated in the vehicle, staring straight ahead.

16. 16When the vehicle began to fill up with water, Mr.JENKINS and Mr. Justin JARY were forced to climb out to safety, just before the vehicle sank into 4.7 metres of water approximately 30 metres from shore.

The four rescuers swam back to the shore and contacted the Victorian Police, who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards. By his stage the vehicle had completely submerged with the man still inside.

Case 10/88

13. Case: 10/93

        Mr. Liam Francis KELLY

for his actions in the rescue of a man from heavy seas at Brunswick Heads, NSW 2483 on 4 February 2009

At about 8:00am on 4 February 2009 a man attempted to negotiate his 4-metre open hulled vessel across the bar at the mouth of the Brunswick River. Conditions that day included a fast outgoing tidal current with a breaking swell of 2 metres and murky, choppy waves.

A wave struck the vessel, causing it to capsize. The man, who was not wearing a life jacket, was thrown into the water suffering a dislocated shoulder, lacerations to the head and cramping.

At the southern end of the breakwall Mr. Liam KELLY realised the man was in difficulty. He immediately swam to the man, dragging him back towards the southern breakwall. Just as Mr. KELLY managed to start lifting the man up onto the rocks, they were both swept back out to sea by the tide.

In spite of the severe conditions, Mr. KELLY maintained his hold of the man and brought him back to the breakwall by about 8:10am. As they made their way to safety they continued to be pummeled by the swell.

Both Mr. Kelly and the rescued man suffered deep lacerations, cuts and abrasions to their bodies.

Case 10/93

14. Case: 10/83

        Mr. Michael John McMAHON
        Mr. Leslie PARKER

for their actions in the rescue of a man from a submerged vehicle at Mort Bay, Balmain NSW 2940 on 10 February 2009

At about 7:00am on 10 February 2009, a vehicle crashed into a reserve, ran into the swings, and smashed through a second fence on the waterline. After being airborne the vehicle dropped 2 metres into the waters of Mort Bay trapping the driver and his pet dog.

Working nearby Mr. Michael McMAHON immediately entered the water and unsuccessfully attempted to open the driver's side window. The driver remained unresponsive to Mr. McMAHON's attempts to speak with him.

Observing the incident from his kitchen window Mr. Leslie PARKER ran to the scene. He also entered the water, swam to the vehicle and managed to smash the rear window for access. He entered the vehicle and reassured the driver.

Both men worked together to ease the driver through the rear window, followed by his pet dog. They then assisted the driver and his pet dog safely to the shore. During the rescue, the vehicle was slowly submerging so that by the time the police arrived only the roof rack was showing.

Case 10/83

15. Case: 10/91

        Mr. Mark Reginald WEBB
        Mr. Thomas James BESANT

for their actions in the attempted rescue of a woman from a burning motor vehicle at Mount Defiance near Jerrong, NSW 2787 on 23 February 2009

At about 1:20pm on 23 February 2009, a vehicle left the road, spun out of control, struck a tree and rolled onto its roof in a steep gully on the side of the road. The vehicle then caught fire, trapping its female driver.

Investigating smoke coming from a gully Mr. Mark WEBB made initial contact with the woman and identified that she was pinned and trapped in the burning vehicle. Mr. WEBB unsuccessfully tried to open the doors and smash the windows of the burning vehicle, before running up to the road for help, returning with Mr. Thomas BESANT. The two men then approached the woman's vehicle.

The fire had intensified with flames reaching a metre. With the vehicle roof crushed there was not enough space to pull the woman out of the vehicle. Attempts to extinguish the fire by beating at it with green saplings and dousing it with water were unsuccessful. The woman was by now badly burned, reaching out desperately to the two men for help.

Mr. BESANT ran back to his vehicle and obtained a winch, whilst Mr. WEBB continued making multiple attempts to free the woman. Both men tried to attach the winch in an attempt to remove a door from the woman's vehicle, receiving burns to their hands and arms in the process. Throughout this ordeal, the woman was conscious.

In a final effort to gain entry, Mr. WEBB prised open a door whilst Mr. BESANT reached into the burning vehicle to attach the winch rope. However the increasing flames drove the men away. At this point the fuel line ruptured causing an explosion which incinerated the woman.

Messrs WEBB and BESANT were conveyed from the scene by Ambulance for treatment at Oberon Hospital.

Case 10/91

16. Case: 10/101

        Station Officer Ian ARKLEY

for his actions at the scene of a terrace house fire at Chippendale, NSW 2008 on 25 April 2009

At about 6:40am on 25 April 2009 whilst driving to work, off-duty Station Officer Ian ARKLEY, noticed that smoke was pouring out from the rear and front entrances of a terrace house. Approaching the building there were two people debating whether to kick down the front door and search for the occupants.

Observing that the fire had already vented Station Officer ARKLEY, wearing only shorts, a t-shirt and sandals, entered the smoke-filled building at floor level. The fire spread quickly and extended upstairs. Station Officer ARKLEY made his way down the hall and upstairs aware there was little time in which to locate and remove any occupants.

Station Officer ARKLEY managed to wake two of the upstairs occupants with his shouting. They followed him downstairs, where a third occupant who had fallen asleep in the lounge room also awoke. Station Officer ARKLEY saw these three people exit the terrace house.

Suspecting there could be more occupants still inside, Station Officer ARKLEY crawled on his hands and knees to a downstairs bedroom feeling his way around. He came across an unconscious body on the bed. This occupant could not be stirred awake.

Station Officer ARKLEY saw that another person had entered the area and called out to him for help. Together they managed to drag the fourth occupant outside to safety, and had to restrain this occupant from re-entering the terrace house when he regained consciousness. Aware there was the possibility that a fifth person might still be trapped by the fire Station Officer ARKLEY assessed the situation, but did not believe there was a chance to re-enter the terrace house.

After Fire & Rescue NSW arrived and took control at the scene a loud explosion occurred. They established that there were no other occupants inside the terrace house. Station Officer ARKLEY continued making his way to work after the incident.

Case 10/101

17. Case: 10/51

        Senior Constable David Henry RODERICK

for his actions in the rescue of two elderly persons at the scene of a house fire at Budgewoi, NSW 2261 on 13 May 2009

At about 3:30pm on 13 May 2009, NSW Police and other emergency personnel attended a residential address in relation to a house fire threatening neighbouring houses.

At the scene Senior Constable David RODERICK was advised that an elderly couple were inside a neighbouring house which was engulfed in thick black smoke from the original house fire. Inside this neighbouring house was an elderly man recuperating from major throat and bowel surgery, too weak to escape, and an elderly woman who had emphysema and suffered breathing difficulties.

Senior Constable RODERICK entered the neighbouring house and found the elderly man slumped over a chair. He also found another unknown male inside the dwelling. He instructed the unknown male to get help from emergency personnel, while he stayed with the elderly man.

The unknown man did not return so without assistance Senior Constable RODERICK lifted the elderly man and carried him out of the house, placing him safely onto the protected verandah away from the smoke. He then re-entered the dwelling and also carried out the elderly woman. Finally Senior Constable RODERICK returned yet again and closed all the windows which faced the fire coming from next door.

NSW Police canvassed the area, as the elderly woman had reported seeing two unknown intruders shortly before thick smoke came in from the house next door. The intruders were not found, and witnesses who saw the two persons leaving the scene did not recognise either of them.

Ambulance personnel attended to the elderly man and woman and conveyed all and Senior Constable RODERICK to Wyong Hospital for treatment.

Case 10/51

18. Case: 10/107

        Mr. Peter Reed STRICKLAND

for his actions in the rescue of his two young sons from a house fire at Crabbes Creek, NSW 2483 on 27 June 2009

At about 4:50pm on 27 June 2009, Mr. Peter STRICKLAND and his wife noticed smoke issuing from underneath their house, Mr. STRICKLAND unsuccessfully attempted to put out the fire with an extinguisher, whilst his wife and daughter ran for help.

Mr. STRICKLAND realised that his two young sons were still inside the house. He was quickly able to locate his younger son, who has Down's syndrome, as the boy was standing near the front door. Mr. STRICKLAND then crawled inside the house on his hands and knees, through toxic thick black smoke, to try and locate his elder son. He finally found the boy in the doorway of a bedroom just as the floor directly beneath them began to give way. The floor collapsed moments after Mr. STRICKLAND carried the elder boy outside to safety.

Fire & Rescue NSW arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, and were unable to save the property. The cause of the fire remains unknown

Case 10/107

19. Case: 10/97

        Inspector Rowan Patrick O'BRIEN
        Senior Constable Matthew David CRIBB

for their actions in the rescue of a woman from a bushfire at Tingha, NSW 2369 on 17 November 2009

At about 3:00pm on 17 November 2009, NSW Police, who had responded to a major bushfire, encountered deteriorating weather conditions including spot fires which endangered properties 3 kilometres from the fire front. Concurrently, Rural Fire Service units were attending to property protection on the Western side of the bushfire, which spanned both sides of Bundarra Road, Tingha.

Inspector Rowan O'BRIEN instigated action to alert property owners on the Eastern side of Bundarra Road of the approaching fire danger. Together with Senior Constable Matthew CRIBB, he commenced attending properties to warn owners and to ascertain their actions to remain or leave.

A woman, residing alone with no water or fire plan, refused to accompany the officers even though she was in panic. Inspector O'BRIEN and Senior Constable CRIBB continued attending other properties. When they had confirmed that all other owners were prepared for the fire or had relocated, both officers returned to the woman. This decision was made despite imminent danger from the fire and probable entrapment at the woman's property.

When they arrived, the officers found the woman attempting to load her small vehicle and drive out of her property. A convoy was formed with Inspector O'BRIEN leading, the woman following in her vehicle and Senior Constable CRIBB behind her.

Half way down the access road, Inspector O'BRIEN observed that the fire had jumped Bundarra Road and was approaching fast. He organised the convoy to retreat towards the woman's dwelling. This was found to be in such poor condition, that the officers decided to seek shelter in their respective vehicles. The woman was encouraged to get into Inspector O'BRIEN's vehicle.

The fire front passed over, around and under the vehicles. The woman became hysterical and abusive and had to be restrained by Inspector O'BRIEN from exiting the vehicle. At the height of the fire, the occupants were unable to touch their windscreens owing to the exterior heat. Some smoke entered the vehicles.

Inspector O'BRIEN regularly spoke with Senior Constable CRIBB via police radio, to check on his welfare and provide "human contact" throughout the ordeal. Senior Constable CRIBB made numerous unsuccessful attempts to radio their coordinates to the local Police Station, requesting urgent assistance.

After the fire had passed, Senior Constable CRIBB's vehicle was found to have sustained a cracked windscreen and Inspector O'BRIEN found his rear mudflaps had been melted by the intense heat. The Rural Fire Service attended shortly afterwards. They determined that had the convoy continued, rather than retreating down the access road, or if anyone had exited their vehicles, they would have perished.

Until fire conditions improved several hours later, at around 9:00pm the same evening, both Inspector O'BRIEN and Senior Constable CRIBB remained at the scene coordinating a Police response and offering assistance to Rural Fire Service personnel.

Case 10/97

20. Case: 10/71

        Mr. Eddie NOEL

for his actions in the rescue of a woman from a partly submerged motor vehicle at Tascott, NSW 2250 on 11 December 2009

At about 7:30am on 11 December 2009, a woman lost control of her vehicle, colliding with a large sandstone rock which formed part of an ocean retaining wall. On impact, the vehicle rolled off the edge of the ocean wall and into the water. Landing on its roof the vehicle became partly submerged about 1 metre from the shore line.

Travelling behind the woman's car, Mr. Eddie NOEL witnessed the collision and immediately stopped to render assistance. He climbed down the rocks and jumped into the water, and found the woman trying to exit her vehicle. Mr. NOEL managed to extricate the woman and assist her to the shore.

The woman was conveyed to Gosford Hospital by ambulance for observation.

Case 10/71

21. Case: 10/63

        Mr. Nicholas John SLATER

for his actions in the rescue of a man from a flooded creek at Pipeclay, Beechwood, NSW 2446 on 27 December 2009

At about 7:15pm on 27 December 2009, a man returning from his neighbour's property attempted to cross a causeway over a creek swollen from recent heavy rains and under approximately half a metre of water.

Half way across the creek, water lifted the rear end of the vehicle and swept it off the causeway about 150-200 metres down stream. It became lodged against an obstacle in the middle of the swollen creek, approximately 6 metres from the edge on either side. The force and amount of water threatened to wash the vehicle further down the creek.

Witnessing the incident, Mr. Nicholas SLATER had followed the vehicle into the causeway. Using a chain and snatch strap Mr. Slater climbed out on a fallen tree trunk. He secured the chain and snatch strap to the steering wheel and to a large tree, preventing the vehicle from being swept further down stream.

The man was unable to move inside the vehicle as water rose up to chest height. Mr. SLATER and his wife remained on the embankment as close to the vehicle as possible to reassure the man, until Fire & Rescue NSW arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.

Rescue crews managed to remove the man from the vehicle using a large ladder.

Case 10/63

22. Case: 10/80

        Mr. Peter Lloyd WILLIAMS

for his actions in the attempted rescue of an elderly woman trapped inside a burning house at Belmont, NSW 2280 on 20 February 2010

At about 11:45pm on 20 February 2010, Mr. Peter WILLIAMS noticed a large amount of thick smoke issuing from the neighbouring house and an orange glow through its front window.

Mr. WILLIAMS knew that the elderly woman who lived inside suffered from emphysema. Although unaware at this stage whether she was in the house, he immediately ran up the front steps, took a tight grip of the locked aluminum security door and managed to rip it from its hinges. He entered the house by kicking down the front door.

Smoke and flames forced Mr. WILLIAMS to the ground. He crawled along the floor searching for the elderly woman until the flames forced him to retreat to safety. He attempted to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, until another neighbour took over the hosing.

Failing to get a response from a window at the side of the burning house, Mr. WILLIAMS went to the rear of the house where he gained entry. He again crawled on the ground towards the elderly woman's bedroom. Unable to breathe because of the intense heat and smoke he was forced to retreat a second time.

Another neighbour alerted Mr. WILLIAMS that the elderly woman was lying on her bed in a front room. Mr. WILLIAMS made another attempt to enter the house through the front door. This time he was able to locate the unconscious elderly woman, carry her out of the house through the front door and put her in the recovery position on the front lawn.

Fire & Rescue NSW arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and contained the fire. Ambulance personnel conveyed the elderly woman to The John Hunter Hospital where she later passed away as a result of her injuries.

Case 10/80

23. Case: 10/100

        Senior Constable Tracey Lee ANDREWS
        Senior Constable Damien Peter COOK
        Senior Constable Steven John WINSLOW
        Senior Constable Gavin Phillip PEARCE

for their actions in the attempted rescue of a man from a submerged vehicle in Mosman Bay, NSW 2088 on 25 May 2010

At about 9:15pm on 25 May 2010, officers responded to a call that a vehicle had entered the water at Mosman Bay.

On arrival, Senior Constable Tracey ANDREWS and Senior Constable Damien COOK observed a vehicle which was fully submerged in the bay, with its headlights and taillights still on.

Both officers entered the bay and swam to the submerged vehicle, which was approximately 1.5 metres under the murky water. In poor visibility they tried to open the driver's side door, but it appeared to be locked.

Swimming to the passenger's side door, Senior Constable COOK opened it and a large mass of air and debris (papers and documents) floated to the surface. Senior Constable ANDREWS and Senior Constable COOK checked the passenger seat with their hands but could not locate any occupants.

The officers decided they needed to smash the front or driver's window to gain access to the driver's seat. After various attempts, Senior Constable COOK was successful in breaking the driver's window using a "hooligan bar". Senior Constable ANDREWS and Senior Constable COOK then dived down to the driver's door and saw a body floating face downwards on the inside roof of the vehicle.

The two officers resurfaced and were then joined in the water by Senior Constable Steven WINSLOW and Senior Constable Gavin PEARCE. All four officers collaborated to remove a man's body from the vehicle and bring it to the surface. The man's body was placed in a Stokes litter and lifted via a Fire & Rescue NSW "Bronto", before being placed under the care of the NSW Police on land.

Case 10/100

24. Case: 10/49

        Ms Rose BRIGHT
        Senior Constable Nathan INWOOD
        Constable Michael DAVIS

for their actions in the rescue of a woman who suffered a cardiac arrest whilst driving on the M5 motorway at Beverly Hills, NSW 2209 on 21 May 2010.

In rainy conditions at about 10:03pm on 21 May 2010, the female driver of a vehicle suffered a cardiac arrest and became unconscious whilst travelling on the M5 Motorway. The uncontrolled vehicle bounced off the median strip, crossed two traffic lanes and came to rest on a barrier which separates traffic flow.

Travelling approximately 30 metres behind was Ms Rose BRIGHT, an off-duty nurse. She immediately ran to the unconscious driver crossing three lanes of busy traffic. After removing the woman from the vehicle Ms Bright commenced unprotected CPR by the side of the road.

Senior Constable Nathan INWOOD and Constable Michael DAVIS arrived at the incident site. Senior Constable INWOOD helped Ms BRIGHT perform unprotected CPR whilst Constable DAVIS directed traffic away from the scene and assisted other emergency services when they arrived shortly afterwards.

The woman was transported to the Intensive Care Unit at St George Hospital by ambulance.

Case 10/49

25. Case: 10/65

        Ms Ann Maria PARSONS
        Mr. Darren SEDGMAN

for their actions in the rescue of a woman from a house fire at Airds, NSW 2560 on 16 September 2010

At about 10:40pm on 16 September 2010 Ms Ann Maria PARSONS, who assists a paralysed woman neighbour daily, noticed an electrical smell when she entered the woman's house, but was unable to locate the origin.

After helping the woman to bed, Ms PARSONS observed an orange glow from under the door of the spare room. Investigating she found that the room curtains were alight with flames reaching the ceiling.

Ms PARSONS immediately ran to the main bedroom and with great difficulty assisted the woman out of bed and back into the wheelchair. By this time the house was by this time consumed with thick, acrid, black smoke impairing visibility. Ms PARSONS removed her own cardigan and covered the woman's head as protection from the smoke.

Another neighbour Mr. Darren SEDGMAN had become aware of the fire. He grabbed a garden hose, jumped over the adjoining fence and ran towards the woman's house. Seeing a "fire ball" on the ceiling of the burning room Mr. Sedgman leapt onto the window ledge and began hosing the flames sustaining lacerations to his wrists and hands in the process. Fire & Rescue NSW arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and extinguished the fire.

Meanwhile Ms PARSONS had eventually managed to manoeuvre the woman in her wheelchair towards the front door stopping at the front steps. Ms PARSONS continued to stay with the woman the whole time until help arrived. Notably, four firefighters were required to lower the woman and her wheelchair to the ground.

Ms PARSONS, Mr. SEDGMAN and the woman were transported by Ambulance to Campbelltown Hospital for attention.

Case 10/65

26. Case: 12/01

        Constable Samuel William CHURCHILL

for his actions in the rescue of a woman from drowning in Sydney Harbour NSW 2000 on 6 November 2010.

At about 1:10am on 6 November 2010, a woman was heard calling for help from the waters of Sydney Harbour in the vicinity of the Sydney Opera House.

Police arrived a short time later. They located the woman approximately 80 metres from shore and being carried further out by a strong current. Conditions at this time were darkness, rain and a strong southerly wind.

Despite deteriorating conditions Constable Samuel CHURCHILL immediately entered the water with a life preserver, dressed in his proban overalls. He attempted to swim out to the woman now estimated to be 150 metres from the shore, rapidly being carried out to where Sydney ferries were operating.

About 30 metres into his swim, Constable CHURCHILL lost all communication with the woman who had become motionless in the water. He had considerable difficulty trying to locate her.

Guided by the Police who were standing on the shore Constable CHURCHILL persevered for another 10 minutes with his attempt to swim out towards the woman, As Constable CHURCHILL came to within 10 metres of the woman, the Water Police vessel approached and rescued the woman. She had by now been in the water approximately 30 minutes.

Cold and fatigued Constable CHURCHILL he also managed to reach the Water Police vessel where he rendered first aid to the woman, who was vomiting and suffering from hypothermia.

Once stable, the woman was assisted off the vessel by Constable CHURCHILL and conveyed by Ambulance to St Vincent's Hospital.

Case 12/01

27. Case: 10/66

        Master Alan SIMPSON (7)
        Master Dylan SIMPSON (10)

for their actions in rescuing the occupants of a burning house at Mudgee NSW 2850 on 18 September 2010.

At about 7:00am on 18 September 2010, bedding material which had been left near an electric convection heater in the lounge room of a fibro house caught alight. There were 8 occupants sleeping in the house at the time, ranging in age from 20 months to 23 years.

Master Alan SIMPSON (7) the first to wake up to the smell of the smoke. He quickly alerted his brother Master Dylan SIMPSON (10). The two boys managed to wake one of the older occupants as well as the neighbours, who in turn, were then able to safely help evacuate everyone else from the house. Master Dylan SIMPSON then also attempted to locate his pet dog and her puppies, but as by this time the house was well alight they could not be saved.

Fire & Rescue NSW arrived shortly afterwards but the house was destroyed. Ambulance officers treated several of the occupants for burns and abrasions at the scene, and conveyed two of them to Mudgee District Hospital for treatment.

Case 10/66

28. Case: 10/78

        Mr. Gary HOLCROFT
        Mr. Paul Joseph HOLCROFT Jnr
        Mr. Paul HOLCROFT Snr
        Ms Tane Charlotte HOLCROFT
        Mr. Bruce ROBSON

for their actions in a surf rescue at Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 on 26 February 2011.

At about 3:30pm on 26 February 2011, a man and his wife swimming at Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie became caught in a rip, and a strong current dragged them further away from the shore.

At one stage, the woman felt the man grab her arm starting to sink and drag her under the water. When the man let go of her arm she saw that he was floating face downwards. The woman stayed with the man and managed to turn him over.

On the shore Mr. Paul (Joseph) HOLCROFT Jnr observed the man and woman in distress out beyond the widest breakers. He alerted his relatives before swimming to the aid of the couple. Reaching the couple he observed that the man was unresponsive and floating face upwards, and that the woman was in distress and exhausted from her efforts to hold onto the man. Mr. Paul (Joseph) HOLCROFT Jnr took hold of the man and tried to drag him to safety. After constantly fighting the strong current for approximately 8 minutes, he suffered difficulty in the breakers and became separated from the man.

After obtained a body board Mr. Gary HOLCROFT and Mr. Paul HOLCROFT Snr had made their way towards the woman. They struggled against the surf before eventually being able to bring the woman back to shallow water, where Ms Tane HOLCROFT assisted in bringing her safely to the shore. Ms HOLCROFT placed the woman in the resuscitation position where she woman expelled a large amount of sea water.

Mr. Paul HOLCROFT Snr eventually relocated the man in the surf where he had been washed close to the shore but was in danger of being dragged back out. Ms HOLCROFT, Mr. ROBSON and Police who had arrived at the scene assisted Mr. Paul HOLCROFT Snr to drag the man on to the shore. Mr. ROBSON then commenced CPR, aided by the other rescuers.

Ms HOLCROFT stayed with the woman until Ambulance officers arrived and conveyed her to Port Macquarie Base Hospital for treatment. Unfortunately the man did not survive.

Case 10/78

29. Case: 11/14

        Mr. Jeffrey BARRETT
        Mr. Ian POULTER (presented previously)

for their actions in the rescue of a man from a house fire at Grays Point, NSW2232 on 3 January 2008.

At about 1:18am on 3 January 2008, Fire & Rescue NSW attended a house fire at Grays Point finding the lounge area heavily engulfed by fire. The crew found an elderly man lying on the front lawn of the house, being attended by three other persons.

Seeing the house in flames Mr. Jeffrey BARRETT went to the locked front door and banged on it in an attempt to wake the male occupant. Mr Ian POULTER had seen Mr. Jeffrey BARRETT go over to the house. He followed him, and also started to bang on the front door.

Realising the male occupant was in his bedroom both men immediately went around to the bedroom doors in the courtyard area and forced them open. At this time another man had arrived at the scene. He did not enter the burning house.

After Mr. Jeffrey BARRETT and Mr. POULTER located the man in his bed, with his clothing alight, together they dragged the conscious man out to the front lawn. Together with the bystander they extinguished the flames on his clothing and skin. The man stated he did not want assistance, tried to stand up and enter the burning house but the rescuers reassured him and prevented him from doing so.

The man was later conveyed to hospital being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

Case 11/14


Mr Eddie NOEL- Case 10/71

Senior Constable Nathan INWOOD &
Senior Constable Nathan INWOOD - Case 10/49

Ms Tane Charlotte HOLCROFT &
Mr. Bruce ROBSON - Case 10/78