The Royal Humane Society of Australasia

ANNUAL BRAVERY AWARDS PRESENTATION

ANNUAL BRAVERY AWARDS PRESENTATION

on Thursday 21 July 2016
at City Hall, Brisbane
at 1.00pm

Fourteen residents of Queensland will be presented with bravery awards of The Royal Humane Society of Australasia:

The awards, one Posthumous Medal, four Bronze Medals and nine Certificates of Merit will be presented by The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk.

The awards recognize the following:

  • The rescue of a man from a crashed prime mover at Bald Hills
  • The rescue of three people from a crashed car at Brighton
  • The rescue of a woman trapped on a boat in the flooded Burnett River at Bundaberg
  • The rescue of a boy from drowning in the flooded Leichardt River, 70kms from Burketown
  • The rescue of numerous people following the floods at Grantham
  • The rescue of a woman and her son from a car sinking in a lake at Springfield Lakes
  • The rescue of a man who had fallen into a flooded creek near Nambour
  • The rescue of a mother and baby from a crashed and burning car at Aratula

Details of the rescues are attached.

Contact: Sue Cutler (Secretary) (03) 9650 3233
Or visit our Web Site: www.rhsa.org.au (See “Press Releases”)

Members of the media wishing to attend are requested to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled commencement of the presentation.

The formal elements of the presentations are normally of about 40 minutes duration.

Media interviews and photographs (by mutual agreement with recipient) would take place after the presentation ceremony.

Note:

The Royal Humane Society of Australasia, formed in 1874, is concerned with giving public recognition to acts of bravery by making awards to those who risk their own lives to save the lives of others.

Over 8,400 awards have been made in the Society’s 141 years’ history.

THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA

CITATIONS – 2014/2015

To receive the Certificate of Merit:

1. MATTHEW JOHN GRACE

2. MICHAEL JOHN McGAHAN

At 8pm a driver lost control of his prime mover and trailer on the Gateway Motorway at Bald Hills. The truck crashed through the Armco on the overpass of the Gympie Arterial Road, overturned and came to rest on a gravel road below. The driver was able to remove himself from the wreckage. However the male passenger suffered an amputation of his left leg and was trapped in the vehicle. Diesel was spilling from the fuel tanks and the area was in complete darkness.

S/Consts Grace and McGahan attended and saw three people providing assistance to the injured man and had used a shirt as a tourniquet in an effort to stop the bleeding.

S/Const McGahan retrieved a dog lead from the police van. Both officers then climbed under the truck and used the lead as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding. S/Const Grace provided regular updates to Police Communications and assisted in dragging the injured man a safe distance away from the truck.

Please note that the three civilians who went to the rescue of the truck driver received bravery awards at a previous ceremony.

MATTHEW JOHN GRACE
MICHAEL JOHN McGAHAN
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To receive the Bronze Medal:

3. GUY ROLAND PATRICK LALOR

To receive the Certificate of Merit:

4. JEFFREY WARREN LANSDOWN

At 12.50am a vehicle crashed at high speed and collided with a centre guard rail and flipped onto its roof which caved in and the chassis came apart. A large amount of fuel was leaking from the punctured petrol tank and pooling under and around the vehicle and oil and hydraulic fluid were also leaking from the vehicle’s crushed engine bay.

Snr Sgt Lansdown and Const Lalor responded to the accident and when they arrived they saw that the driver had freed himself from the car. The front male passenger and two female passengers in the rear of the vehicle were all trapped and the rear seat passengers were lying on top of each other with their heads pinned inside the rear deck compartment of the vehicle.

Const Lalor reached into the vehicle and cut the front-seat passenger’s seatbelt to release him and dragged him through the crushed front window to safety.

Const Lalor then crawled into a small opening at the rear of the vehicle and Snr Sgt Lansdown followed him as far as possible to provide assistance. Both officers were surrounded by large quantities of blood and shattered glass. Const Lalor was able to free one of the female passengers and both officers worked carefully to edge the injured woman towards the exit space feet first to waiting police and ambulance staff.

Const Lalor then moved further into the vehicle and with the assistance of Snr Sgt Lansdown was able to free the other female passenger.

JEFFREY WARREN LANSDOWN
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
GUY ROLAND PATRICK LALOR
BRONZE MEDAL

To receive the Certificate of Merit:

5. BRENT JAMES SCHULZ

At 2.15am Cyclone Oswald struck the Bundaberg District. Bundaberg flood waters reached an unprecedented level of 9.5m and the river speed was estimated at 40 knots (70kmp). At the time a number of vessels were located at the Mid Town Marina.

A 16m sailing yacht with an 81 years old man and his 86 years old wife were at the marina at the time the cyclone struck. The bow line of the yacht snapped and the vessel moved away from the pontoon where it was moored. The man came up on deck before it collided with another vessel moored behind it and then was swept down the Burnett River. At 8.35am information was received that the woman onboard had been observed on the deck of the yacht.

S/Const Stains and Consts Thompson and Schulz drove to an area further downstream and observed the yacht still moving uncontrollably down the raging river. S/Const Stains alighted from the vehicle and ran along the river bank for about 300m as Consts Thompson and Schulz continued in the police vehicle. S/Const Stains then observed the yacht stuck in the mangroves behind a building. S/Const Stains and Consts Thompson and Schulz crawled out onto a conveyor belt which was at the back of the building but were unable to reach the woman standing on the yacht.

Det S/Const Murray arrived at the scene and located an old tinny with no bung and full of water. He tipped out the water and put a stick into the bung hole to seal it. Det S/Const Murray went out in the tinny as the other officers held onto it with some rope. Det S/Const Murray reached the yacht, tied the tinny to it and boarded the yacht to search for the man but was unable to locate him. The other officers pulled the tinny back and S/Const Stains got in and Det S/Const Murray pulled her across to the yacht. He then threw the rope back to Consts Thompson and Schulz.

Det S/Const Murray lifted the woman off the yacht, placed her into the tinny with S/Const Stains and Consts Thompson and Schulz pulled them back to the shore. S/Const Stains then went back for Det S/Const Murray.

The woman suffered cuts and bruises as a result of the incident and sadly her husband’s body was located later that day.

(Det S/Const Murray, Snr Const Stains and Const Thompson were unable to attend the ceremony)

BRENT JAMES SCHULZ CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To receive The Posthumous Medal:

6. DONNA MARIE CHONG

(To be accepted on Ms Chong’s behalf by her husband Mr Peter Mabb)

At 7pm Ms Chong, her husband, two children and nephew were travelling in a 4WD vehicle when they came to a causeway. At the time the area was subject to rain and flooding. The causeway was about 200m wide which rapidly expanded to 500m and the guide markings indicated a depth of 200mm.

Ms Chong’s husband drove the vehicle across the causeway but after the depth increased to 500mm he decided to turn back. As he stopped the vehicle and put it in reverse, the rapid water caused the front of the vehicle to slip off the causeway into deeper water and it began to float away.

Ms Chong and her husband were able to get themselves and the children out of the vehicle and were holding onto a tree. Ms Chong’s nephew was then washed away and Ms Chong swam out into the open water after him. Her husband was able to hold onto the tree with their two children.

Ms Chong caught her nephew and put him on her back. They were both carried away and over a waterfall a short distance away.

Ms Chong suffered significant head injuries from the rocks below the waterfall but was still able to swim through the turbulent water with her nephew to a rock ledge and lifted him up onto the ledge. Sadly, Ms Chong was then swept away and drowned.

DONNA MARIE CHONG THE POSTHUMOUS MEDAL

To receive the Bronze Medal:

7. PAUL STEPHEN ANDREWS

8. MATTHEW PAUL SHILLINGFORD

9. CHRISTOPHER DOHERTY-BIGARA

Sgt Andrews, S/Const Shillingford and Const Doherty-Bigara of Ipswich Tactical Crime Squad were deployed to the Grantham area and were the first police on the scene and patrolled down the Gatton Helidon Road which was flooded. The officers located displaced civilians in various states of shock and transported them to Helidon where an evacuation centre had been established.

Sgt Andrews coordinated the processing of evacuees and coordination of additional police resources, media and council employees. Sgt Andrews detailed S/Const Shillingford and Const Doherty-Bigara to conduct preliminary investigations into three deceased people in a rural fire truck. The officers had to wade through high water and thick mud to reach them.

Between processing of evacuees, the officers searched nearby where they located a deceased elderly woman. They continued processing evacuees throughout the night and finally ceased operations in the morning of 11 January 2011. The officers then returned to duty in the early afternoon.

PAUL STEPHEN ANDREWS
MATTHEW PAUL SHILLINGFORD
CHRISTOPHER DOHERTY-BIGARA
BRONZE MEDAL
BRONZE MEDAL
BRONZE MEDAL

To receive the Certificate of Merit:

10. TERESA ELIZABETH ANDERSON

11. LEONARD JOSEPH MORONEY

At 8.30am the driver of a vehicle lost control on a wet road and drove into the lake.

Off-duty police officers, S/Const Anderson and Const Moroney and Mr Jorgenson were all alerted to the situation and swam 25m out to the vehicle and observed a female driver and a young boy of about 6-7 years of age in the rear of the vehicle. Const Moroney instructed the driver who was screaming to remove her seat belt and get out of the vehicle.

Const Moroney opened the rear door of the vehicle and removed the young boy who appeared to have a disability and swam back to the bank with him.

S/Const Anderson removed the rear parcel tray in an attempt to get the driver out from the back of the vehicle. The officer then felt the driver rising up from beneath her. S/Const Anderson grabbed the driver and dragged her to the surface. The driver was then able to swim to the edge of the lake where police and QAS were in attendance.

The lake was approximately 8m deep and the water was stagnant, very dark in colour and had an offensive smell.

TERESA ELIZABETH ANDERSON
LEONARD JOSEPH MORONEY
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To receive the Certificate of Merit:

112. SHANE GREY ROBERT ASHTON

At 10.15pm Const Ashton responded to a call in relation to a man who had disappeared from a park in Nambour.

Const Ashton conducted a search concentrating on the creek which was swollen and fast flowing due to recent heavy rain and observed what appeared to be an arm submerged under the water.

Despite being unable to establish the depth of the water or any underwater obstructions, Const Ashton entered the water which initially appeared to be about upper thigh depth in the middle of the creek. Const Ashton moved through the water to where he had seen the arm and reached down into the water and pulled up an unconscious man. Const Ashton carried the man through the swollen creek for 10-15m over a number of blockages that had formed in the swollen creek to a point where he was able to climb the bank. He then lifted the man onto the muddy bank and dragged him to a grassed area about 5m away.

Const Ashton commenced CPR on the man for 25-30 minutes until the arrival of the QAS but sadly the man was not able to be revived.

SHANE GREY ROBERT ASHTON CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To receive the Certificate of Merit:

13. BRADLEY WILLIAM MORRISON

14. STEVEN DAVID HIRD

At about 9.20pm a woman with her 9 month old baby in the back seat was driving along the Cunningham Highway to her mother-in-law’s house. She started to slow down on the highway as she approached a driveway to make a right hand turn and came to a complete stop.

A prime mover towing two Krueger trailers in B double configuration was behind the car and when the driver of the car came to a complete stop the truck crashed into the woman’s car and came to rest on the driver’s compartment and both vehicles caught fire. The truck driver was able get out of his vehicle but the woman and child were trapped.

Other truck drivers came across the scene of the accident and went to help. Mr Zarth ran over to the vehicle with Mr Morrison and he opened the left hand rear door and noticed a baby strapped into a harness. Mr Morrison reached in and took the baby out of the burning car.

Mr Hird also stopped to help and went to the passenger side of the car and saw the trapped driver. The door was jammed and very hot due to the fire so Messrs Zarth and Hird used fire extinguishers to try and put the fire out.

Both the truck and car then became totally engulfed in flames and all three men had to move away and sadly the driver of the car died at the scene.

(Mr Zarth received his bravery award at a ceremony in Melbourne).

BRADLEY WILLIAM MORRISON
STEVEN DAVID HIRD
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

“I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE ALL RECIPIENTS OF THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA’S BRAVERY AWARDS AND INVITE ALL GUESTS TO BE UPSTANDING FOR THE NATIONAL ANT