Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

November 23, 2009 12:33 ET

Governor General Announces the Awarding of 13 Bravery Decorations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2009) - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today the awarding of one Star of Courage and 12 Medals of Bravery. The recipients will be invited to receive their decorations at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The Bravery Decorations were created in 1972, to recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or protect the lives of others. The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

A list of recipients and their citations, as well as a fact sheet on the Bravery Decorations, are attached.

 RECIPIENTS OF BRAVERY DECORATIONS

Jimmy Victor Beardy, M.B.Manitoba
Constable Patrick Benoit, M.B.Kingston, Ont.
Ryan Sterling Burry, M.B. St. John's, N.L.
Elaine Dare, M.B. Port Loring, Ont.
Frédéric Dufresne, M.B. Trois-Rivières, Que.
Kimberly Friesen, M.B.Quesnel, B.C.
Paul Linklater, M.B.Thompson, Man.
Gillian Irene MacAulay, M.B. Trenton, N.S.
Sylvain Joseph Marcoux, M.B.Montréal, Que.
Constable Sean Ralph, M.B. Ottawa, Ont.
Constable Alain Rochette, M.B. Ottawa, Ont.
Sergeant Bryant Wood, S.C., M.B.
(honored with two Bravery Decorations)
Port Hope, Ont.

CITATIONS

Sergeant Bryant Wood, S.C., M.B., Port Hope, Ontario
 Star of Courage

On September 9, 2007, Sergeant Bryant Wood, of the Port Hope Police Service, rescued a woman from a burning house, in Port Hope, Ontario. Dispatched to the scene, Sergeant Wood and a colleague found the main entrance engulfed in flames and a secondary door blocked from the inside. They opened a window, and through the thick, black smoke, they pulled a man and two women to safety. Another woman remained inside, unwilling to exit until she found her cat. As the fire quickly worsened, Sergeant Wood climbed inside to search for her. Fearing that the second floor could collapse at any moment, he searched through the apartment and finally located the victim in a bedroom. He grabbed the resisting woman and brought her to a window, where his colleague helped pull them both out.

* Sergeant Wood is also receiving a Medal of Bravery for a separate incident.

Jimmy Victor Beardy, M.B., Manitoba
 Paul Linklater, M.B., Thompson, Manitoba
 Medals of Bravery

On December 18, 2004, Jimmy Beardy and Paul Linklater rescued two children from a burning house, in Thompson, Manitoba. Arriving at the scene, Mr. Linklater kicked open the door and felt his way through the smoke-filled house to find the occupants, but was forced back out to get air. Joined by Mr. Beardy, Mr. Linklater then ran upstairs, yelling loudly to wake the sleeping family of five. The rescuers located two of the children and rushed them outside. Two of the other residents made their own way outside to safety, while the last boy was rescued by firefighters.

Constable Patrick Benoit, M.B., Kingston, Ontario
 Medal of Bravery

On March 29, 2008, off-duty Constable Patrick Benoit, of the Kingston Police Force, rescued an injured man following an accident on highway 401, in Kingston, Ontario. A tractor-trailer had hit a communications tower, crashed into a rock wall and burst into flames. Alerted by the loud noise as he drove nearby, Constable Benoit stopped to assist. The injured driver was on the rock wall above his burning rig and was in danger of falling. In complete darkness, Constable Benoit managed to climb up halfway, but fell as stones on the wall came loose. Persevering, he reached the victim and pulled him a safe distance away until help arrived.

Ryan Sterling Burry, M.B., St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
 Medal of Bravery

On January 6, 2008, Ryan Burry rescued his aunt and her three-year-old daughter after their snowmobile had broken through the ice, in Boyd's Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador. During an excursion in the harbour, Mr. Burry, in the lead machine, turned to check on his aunt and cousin just as their vehicle began to sink. He rushed to the scene and crawled to the edge of the ice. He reached for the child and brought her to safety, then raced back to his aunt, who was clinging to the edge, weighed down by her waterlogged clothing. Mr. Burry pulled her up onto the ice, and drove her and the child to safety.

Elaine Dare, M.B., Port Loring, Ontario
 Medal of Bravery

On February 29, 2008, Elaine Dare rescued two people whose snowmobiles had broken through the ice of Lake Restoule, Ontario. During an excursion, the snowmobilers had lost sight of the marked trail in the dark and snowy conditions, when two of the riders ended up half-submerged in the freezing water. With her friends gripping the edge of the ice to stay afloat, Mrs. Dare immediately drove off to get help. She followed a set of distant lights towards a house, where she obtained a rope and then raced back to her friends. Standing on the slippery, unsafe ice, Mrs. Dare threw the rope to the victims until she succeeded in pulling them both to safety. They were then brought to a nearby building, where they waited until an ambulance arrived.

Frédéric Dufresne, M.B., Trois-Rivières, Quebec
 Medal of Bravery

On August 1, 2005, Frédéric Dufresne risked his life to prevent a young boy from being hit by an oncoming truck, in Sainte-Monique, Quebec. Mr. Dufresne and his Scout troop were at a roadside rest stop when they noticed a three-year-old boy running towards the roadway, with his father trying to catch him from behind. As Mr. Dufresne joined the chase, the boy ran directly into the path of a transport truck filled with logs. Mr. Dufresne sprinted and tackled the boy, rolling with him until they cleared the road, just as the truck whizzed by.

Kimberly Friesen, M.B., Quesnel, British Columbia
 Medal of Bravery

On May 23, 2007, Kimberly Friesen rescued a boy from a possible drowning, in Quesnel, British Columbia. The boy, who had been cycling with his family along the Quesnel Riverfront Trail, had missed a turn and ended up in the water. Mrs. Friesen was rollerblading nearby when she heard the child's mother call out for help. Although not a strong swimmer, Mrs. Friesen took off her skates and, without hesitation, jumped into the freezing waters of the swollen river. Battling against the strong current, she reached the unconscious victim and pulled him to shore, where others helped to resuscitate him.

Gillian Irene MacAulay, M.B., Trenton, Nova Scotia
 Medal of Bravery

On August 10, 2007, Gillian MacAulay rescued two girls from a possible drowning at Melmerby Beach, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. One of the teenagers had been swimming in waist-deep water, when she was suddenly caught in a strong undertow and pulled out to sea. Ms. MacAulay heard the girl's cries and, without hesitation, swam out to her. She grabbed the girl and fought against the pounding waves to bring her to shore. Ms. MacAulay then went back in to assist the other panicking young girl who struggled in the water, bringing her to safety.

Sylvain Joseph Marcoux, M.B., Montréal, Quebec
 Medal of Bravery

On October 16, 2007, Sylvain Marcoux placed himself at considerable risk to come to the aid of a man who was being attacked by a thief, in Montréal, Quebec. Mr. Marcoux had entered a convenience store when he heard the clerk yelling and signalling with blood-stained hands towards a room at the back of the building. He followed the sounds of a scuffle and found two blood-covered men fighting in a back room. Mr. Marcoux pushed the victim away and jumped on the attacker, knocking a knife and a broken bottle from his grasp. He was able to restrain the man until police arrived.

Constable Sean Ralph, M.B., Ottawa, Ontario
 Constable Alain Rochette, M.B., Ottawa, Ontario
 Medals of Bravery

On December 8, 2005, Ottawa Police constables Sean Ralph and Alain Rochette risked their lives in an effort to rescue a woman who was being stabbed by a man armed with a hunting knife, in Ottawa, Ontario. When the officers arrived, the attacker grabbed the victim, dragged her inside her basement apartment and locked the door. After numerous attempts to break down the heavy door, the constables succeeded in kicking out a small opening at the bottom of it. Uncertain of what they would encounter on the other side, they crawled into the dark apartment. They spotted the aggressor, who finally responded to the officers' commands and surrendered his weapon. Sadly, the victim did not survive.

Sergeant Bryant Wood, S.C., M.B., Port Hope, Ontario
 Medal of Bravery

On September 8, 2006, Sergeant Bryant Wood, of the Port Hope Police Service, rescued an eight-year-old boy from a burning house, in Port Hope, Ontario. Arriving at the scene, Sergeant Wood saw heavy smoke billowing from the home and spotted an unconscious man lying inside the doorway. Sergeant Wood helped bring the man outside, where others were able to revive him. Suddenly, the family dog ran into the house, with a young boy chasing after it. Without concern for his own safety, Sergeant Wood ran into the smoke-filled house, located the boy and his dog in the living room, and carried them outside to safety. 

* Sergeant Wood also received a Star of Courage for a separate incident.

FACT SHEET ON BRAVERY DECORATIONS

BACKGROUND

The Bravery Decorations were created in 1972. They recognize people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival to try to save a loved one or a perfect stranger whose life is in immediate danger. 

The three levels of Decorations for Bravery reflect the degree to which the recipients put themselves at risk:

The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

The Star of Courage (S.C.), recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

The Medal of Bravery (M.B.), recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

ELIGIBILITY AND NOMINATION

Anyone is free to propose the name of a person who has risked injury or death in an attempt to rescue another person. The incident need not have taken place in Canada, and the rescuer need not be Canadian, but Canadians or Canadian interests must be involved. The Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Nominations must be made within two years of the incident, or within two years after a public entity, including a court, a quasi-judicial tribunal or a coroner, has concluded its review of the circumstances surrounding the incident or act of bravery.

For more information on the Bravery Decorations and on the recipients of these awards, please visit www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=73.

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