ANNUAL BRAVERY AWARDS PRESENTATION
Thirty-One residents of Queensland will be presented with bravery awards of The Royal Humane Society of Australasia:
on Friday 8 June 2012
at Government House, Queensland
The awards, twelve Silver Medals, eighteen Bronze Medals and one Certificates of Merit will be presented by the Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley, AC.
The awards recognize the rescues:
Details of the rescues are attached.
Contact: Sue Cutler (Secretary) (03) 9650 3233
0400 441 467
Or visit our Web Site: www.rhsa.org.au
(see “Press Releases”)
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 8,035 awards have been made in the Society’s 137 years’ history.
THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA
CITATIONS – 2010/2011
MELISSA LOUISE ANDERSON, sergeant, aged 37 years, of Crestmead, Qld, and;
BRENDAN JOHN HALEY, sergeant, aged 38 years, of Logan Central, Qld, in going to the rescue of a man, armed with a knife, who set fire to his house at Kingston, Qld on 1 September 2008.
At 6.30pm a man armed with a knife set fire to his house using petrol and threatened to stab anyone who entered the house.
Sgt Anderson armed with a taser, positioned herself at the front steps as the man started setting fire to furniture and refused to leave the house while holding a knife to his throat. Flames and black smoke started to pour out of the windows as Sgt Anderson entered the burning house, found the man sitting on a couch, discharged the taser and tried to drag the now incapacitated man out of the house but was obstructed by furniture and was forced by the thick smoke to run out to the verandah. Sgt Haley then entered the house and was also unable to drag the man clear until Sgt Anderson re-entered, and they dragged him out to safety.
The following cases resulted from rescues effected as a result of the torrential floods in SE Queensland, particulary in the Lockyer Valley during 10-11 January 2011. Most nominees are members of Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS).
BRENDON WEBER, diesel mechanic, aged 24 years, of Yamanto, Qld,
BRONZE MEDAL - 11534
ANDREW SHORTLAND, secondary school teacher, aged 50 years, of Eastern Heights, Qld,
JONATHAN KLAEBE, training manager, State Security Service, aged 51 years, of Flinders View, Qld,
FRANK MARTIN, CEO, Australian Unmanned Systems Academy, aged 55 years, of Booval, Qld,
JUSTIN MARTIN, university student, aged 20 years, of Booval,
CASSIE BROADFOOT, aged 18 years, of Newtown, Qld,
ANDREW KELLY, university student, aged 19 years, of Bundaberg, Qld,
JONATHAN KIRKMAN, police constable, aged 27 years, of Goodna, Qld, and;
BRONZE MEDAL - 11541
JAMES RUNHAM, retired teacher, aged 54 years, of Flinders View, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the floodwaters of the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers during 12-15 January 2011.
Members of the Training Ship Ipswich Naval Cadet Unit operating three powered boats (“The Witch”, “Sir Paul” and “Lady Janet”), aluminium runabouts, who completed 55 rescues, evacuations and medical transfers (including 4 births.
The three Ipswich crews set about rescuing families from flooded houses and higher peaks of drier land, coping with floodwaters rushing at 21kn (37kph), full of floating and submerged obstacles, natural and man-made.
MARK STEPHENSON, Station Officer, QFRS, aged 42 years, of Raceview, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people in the Lockyer Valley on 10 January 2011.
On Monday 10 January 2011 Mr Stephenson was deployed in the vicinity of Murphy’s Creek in the Lockyer Valley in company with several other members of the QFRS in order to provide a Swift Water Rescue capability
Mr Stephenson, in company with two other members, was nearly engulfed in a vehicle on a bridge when the wall of water tore around them. He once again was directly threatened by the flood waters when conducting a reconnaissance for 5 missing people and being washed some 500m downstream before he could self rescue.
It is through his leadership on the ground that preserved skilled performance by his shielding of the swift water teams from information overload, his prioritisation and subsequent tasking of actions negated the potential for the crews to forego safety in order to try to get to everyone. Mr Stephenson led their intent to rescue and transformed it into coordinated action under immense pressure and in direct risk. At 0400 hours on Tuesday 11 January he returned to Ispwich station after approx 17 hours coordinating Swift Water Rescue duties between Murphy’s Creek, Grantham and Gatton.
BRONZE MEDAL - 11601
PHILIP KARL PAFF, Station Officer, QFRS, aged 39 years, of Raymonds Hill, Qld, and;
NATHAN COLE CHADWICK, Senior Firefighter QFRS, aged 37 years, of Anstead, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people in the Lockyer Valley, Vic on 10 January 2011.
On Monday 10 January 2011 at approx 1400hrs Messrsr Paff and Chadwick were deployed in the vicinity of Murphy’s Creek in the Lockyer Valley in company with several other members of the QFRS in order to provide a Swift Water Rescue capability. While there the wall of water tore through the valley around them. Mr Paff’s first rescue involved saving a family in a house at Murphy’s Creek surrounded by the torrent of water by pulling himself along a barbed wire fence and then letting go with the current to reach this house with a rope. While rescuing this family Mr Paff saved one of his own personnel whose foot had gone into a submerged drain threatening to pull him underwater.
A short time later Mr Paff was directly responsible for locating another person who had been washed out of her vehicle along with her husband and daughter and she was clinging desperately to a tree and verging on hypothermia. This woman’s husband and daughter were lost to the flood water and later found deceased. Mr Paff rescued the woman from the waters with Mr Chadwick and carried her over debris to safety. Both men then assisted numerous people in the area before deploying downstream to Grantham.
After 1900hrs Mr Paff, in company with other QFRS personnel, moved on foot into Grantham to assist the many people in need in the township. Movement throughout this flooded town at night was extremely perilous due to the varying heights of water, its flow and the debris. The only means of illumination was headlamps. For the remainder of the evening Mr Paff searched many vehicles and buildings locating several deceased people and also assisting numerous residents to safety.
At 0400 hours on Tuesday 11 January he returned to Ipswich Station after approx 17 hours in his wetsuit performing Swift Water Rescue duties between Murphy’s Creek and Grantham.
KERRY JOHN WEIR, Senior Firefighter QFRS, aged 54 years, of Karalee, Qld, and;
SILVER MEDAL - 11604
GEOFFREY MERVYN JAMES DIXON, Senior Firefighter QFRS, aged 54 years, of Gatton, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the Lockyer Valley on 10 January 2011.
At about 1400hrs on Monday 10 January 2011 Messrs Weir and Dixon were near the intersection of Postman’s Creek Road and Murphy’s Creek Road. A wall of water tore through the valley and crashed into the bridge and vehicle that Mr Weir was driving. Mr Weir maintained his presence of mind and was able to reverse the vehicle from the bridge saving himself and the other two occupants. He immediately began to assist with searching for persons in need of assistance and responding to calls.
Messrs Weir and Dixon were tasked to an address in Spring Bluff where some children had escaped the waters by climbing through the ceiling access hole in their house. However their parents had not been able to escape as the rear of the house had been torn away taking the parents with it. It was approx 1700hrs and Messrs Weir and Dixon searched for the parents approx 1.5km downstream from the house. Whilst searching along the swollen water course for the missing people they had to traverse a large fallen tree. When crossing Mr Weir fell into the upstream side and was clinging desperately to the tree to avoid being sucked under it with the current. After some considerable effort Mr Dixon was able to pull Mr Weir back onto the trunk of the tree.
Mr Weir was exhausted and Mr Dixon allowed him to move past him to get off the tree toward the bank. As they moved off the tree it was struck by an object and Mr Dixon fell into the downstream side of the tree barely managing to grab hold of a branch, being pounded by the water and in danger of being torn from the tree. Mr Weir could not reach him directly and the force of the water made it impossible for Mr Dixon to pull himself back onto the tree. After significant effort from both men, using a throw rope carried by Mr Dixon he was hauled back onto the tree trunk. They then continued searching for the two missing people.
Messrs Dixon and Weir located both parents deceased approx 4kms downstream and retrieved the body of the mother that was in a dangerous position.
MARK ANDREW MEIER, Senior Firefigher QFRS, aged 38 years, of Willowbank, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the floodwaters at Grantham, Qld on 10 January 2011.
At 1400 hrs Mr Meier was deployed to Grantham where he ran to 3 nearby houses to warn residents and evacuate them. He located and evacuated 1 man and they escaped by jumping on the truck and driving out of the rising water to higher ground.
Mr Meier then regrouped with other QFRS personnel and was deployed to the bridge spanning Lockyer Creek at Gatton. He saw approx 8 carloads of people who had parked on the Gatton side of the bridge watching the spectacle of water moving over it. Using a loudspeaker he directed the people to safety as the water was beginning to engulf them. In order to remain and ensure the safety of community members he was forced to escape by driving through a metre of rising and fast moving water.
He was later deployed to Grantham to assist the Swift Water Rescue crews and located several deceased and assisted many more members of the community to safety. Mr Meier often worked in neck deep water amid tonnes of debris and sometimes knee deep mud to render assistance to the Grantham community.
BRONZE MEDAL - 11608
BRADLEY PETER MILLS, Station Oficer QFRS, aged 42 years, of Tivoli, Qld, and
ANDREW KENNETH NEIL, Firefighter QFRS, aged 44 years, of Kawana Island, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the floodwaters in the Lockyer Valley on 10 January 2011.
JOHN McDERMOTT, Director/Chief Pilot, aged 55 years of Cooroy, Qld,
SIMON McDERMOTT, Charter Manager, aged 26 years, of Cooroy, and;
BENJAMIN JAMES SUTHERLAND, Telecommunications Supervisor, aged 34 years, of Oxenford, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the floodwaters in the Lockyer Valley on 10-11 January 2011.
MATTHEW CLAYTON O’BRIEN, pilot, aged 43 years, of Freshwater, NSW, and;
SILVER MEDAL - 11614
EDWARD JOHN WOODHOUSE LEE, pilot, aged 27 years, of Wellington NZ, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the floodwaters in the Lockyer Valley on 10-11 January 2011.
KRISTOPHER JOHN CHARLES LARKIN, air crewman, aged 31 years, of Palmerston North, NZ, and
SILVER MEDAL - 11616
KENDALL RURRI THOMPSON, electrician, aged 27 years, of Moonbi, NSW, in going to the rescue of numerous people from the floodwaters in the Lockyer Valley on 10-11 January 2011.
Messrs Larkin and Thompson served as Air Crewman on Helitack 220 working in concert with Firebird 460 in support of the QFRS response. Their courage and airmanship was extraordinary in conditions where other helicopter service providers chose not to fly. On one such rescue at Grantham, Mr Larkin controlled the winch for Mr Thompson lowering him down to a partially submerged house being swept down-stream in the flood waters. Mr Larkin maintained control and the vital link between aircraft and rescue crew safety while Mr Thompson entered the house twice to rescue the two trapped persons and recover them via winch. They located many people in need of assistance and ensured their rescue by either winch, hover emplane or by notifying ground crews of their locations. The crew of Helitack 220 placed themselves at great risk for sustained periods of time without respite throughout the initial two day operation and many people owe their lives to the efforts of this aircrew. The 2 helicopter crews conducted 47 rescues over the 2 days period and assisted many people
PETER JAMES McCARRON, Station Officer, (QFRS), aged 46 years, of Toowoomba, Qld, in going to the rescue of two women in a vehicke in the fast flowing water in Toowoomba on 10 January 2011.
DAVID ROBERT CRIGHTON, firefighter (QFRS), aged 43 years, of Pittsworth, Qld, in going to the rescue of a man from floodwaters at Toowoomba, Qld on 10 January 2011.
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
SCOTT DOUGLAS FRAME, senior firefighter (QFRS), aged 49 years, of Toowoomba, Qld, in going to the rescue of numerous people trapped in floodwaters at Toowoomba on 10 January 2011.
SILVER MEDAL - 11623
IAN FREDERICK BLAND, Station Officer (QFRS), aged 48 years, of Moggill, Qld, and;
SILVER MEDAL - 11624
BRENDAN WILLIAM ASHBY, Firefighter (QFRS), aged 26 years, of Raceview, Qld, in going to the rescue of four people trapped in floodwaters at Minden, Lockyer Valley on 11 January 2011.