Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

September 19, 2007 10:55 ET

Governor General Announces the Award of 23 Bravery Decorations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2007) - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today the awarding of 23 Bravery Decorations. Recipients will be invited to receive their decorations at a ceremony to be held at Rideau Hall at a later date.

On the recommendation of the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee (Bravery), the Governor General has awarded Medals of Bravery to the following recipients:



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Name Hometown
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RCMP Corporal Curtis Wilfred Ashford, M.B. Head of Bay D'Espoir, N.L.
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RCMP Constable Jason Alexander Barnhill, M.B. Terrace, B.C.
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Constable Melbourne James Birmingham, M.B. Groves Point, N.S.
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RCMP Constable Brenton Stephen Brady, M.B. Coquitlam, B.C.
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RCMP Constable Eric Michael Brown, M.B. Langley, B.C.
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Steve Cotton, M.B. Laval, Qc
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Luke Eagles, M.B. Lakeville, N.B.
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Fred Euverman, M.B. Terrace, B.C.
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Eric Haughian, M.B. Surrey, B.C.
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Steve Korpi, M.B. Prince George, B.C.
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Murray Kuemper, M.B. Terrace, B.C.
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Robert Larmour, M.B. Terrace, B.C.
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Eugene Leveque Jr., M.B. Little Grand Rapids, Man.
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Roger Licht, M.B. Stanford, Montana, U.S.A.
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Constable Shaun MacLennan, M.B. Beaver Cove, N.S.
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RCMP Constable Stephen Wayne MacQueen, M.B. Halifax, N.S.
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Detective-Sergeant Maxime Paquette, M.B. Saint-Philippe, Qc
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RCMP Constable Sean Philip, M.B Nanaimo, B.C.
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Lloyd Rice, M.B. Plains, Montana, U.S.A.
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RCMP Sergeant Kevin Marty Schur, M.B. Oliver, B.C.
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Randy Smith, M.B. Lafontaine, Ont.
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Jason Souch, M.B. Kelowna, B.C.
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RCMP Constable Stephen William Vigor, M.B. Edmonton, Alta.
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Krista Maria Wall, M.B. Fergus, Ont.
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The citations for the recipients are attached.


The Bravery Decorations

The Bravery Decorations were established in 1972 as part of the Canadian honours system.

The Cross of Valour is awarded for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

The Star of Courage is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

The Medal of Bravery is awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.


CITATIONS

RCMP Corporal Curtis Wilfred Ashford, M.B.

Head of Bay D'Espoir, Newfoundland and Labrador

Medal of Bravery

On April 14, 2005, Corporal Curtis Ashford rescued a suicidal woman from drowning in Bonavista Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Informed that the distressed woman had been located at the shoreline, Corporal Ashford immediately attended the scene and attempted to persuade the woman to abandon her precarious position on the edge of an ice-covered cliff. When he approached her, she leaped into the ocean, three metres below. Corporal Ashford immediately jumped into the freezing waters to rescue her. He swam out to the woman who was floating face down, some five metres from shore. Although hindered in his efforts by the strength of the current drawing them farther out to sea, he managed to hold onto her and make his way back through the crashing waves until they safely reached the shore.

RCMP Constable Jason Alexander Barnhill, M.B., Terrace, British Columbia

Fred Euverman, M.B., Terrace, British Columbia

Eric Haughian, M.B., Surrey, British Columbia

Steve Korpi, M.B., Prince George, British Columbia

Murray Kuemper, M.B., Terrace, British Columbia

Robert Larmour, M.B., Terrace, British Columbia

Roger Licht, M.B., Stanford, Montana, U.S.A.

Lloyd Rice, M.B., Plains, Montana, U.S.A.

RCMP Sergeant Kevin Marty Schur, M.B., Oliver, British Columbia

Randy Smith, M.B., Lafontaine, Ontario

Jason Souch, M.B., Kelowna, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On August 27, 2004, these individuals were involved in the rescue of two men who were trapped following a massive mudslide near Terrace, British Columbia. Without regard for their own safety, Messrs. Haughian, Kuemper, Korpi and Souch entered the metre-deep river of mud and debris and located a first victim amid tree roots, boulders and flowing water. Despite repeated warnings of imminent additional mudslides, they proceeded to dig the man out by hand, and with great haste, were able to free him and bring him to safety. Meanwhile, Messrs. Licht and Rice located the second victim, who was buried up to his neck, farther into the mudslide. Together with Fire Chief Smith, firefighters Euverman and Larmour and RCMP Sergeant Schur and Constable Barnhill, they attempted to free the man, in spite of the heavy rain and thick mud hampering their efforts. After several minutes of exhaustive work, using ropes to pull a stretcher and a chainsaw to cut the logs blocking their way, the team reached the victim, extracted him and brought him to an awaiting ambulance.

Constable Melbourne James Birmingham, M.B., Groves Point, Nova Scotia

Constable Shaun MacLennan, M.B., Beaver Cove, Nova Scotia

Medal of Bravery

On October 14, 2004, in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Regional Police constables Mel Birmingham and Shaun MacLennan saved a suicidal man from drowning in the ocean. From a 25-metre-high cliff, the police officers spotted the victim's head bobbing up and down with the ocean tide, some five metres from shore. Realizing that the man was in trouble, they made their way down the steep cliff to the rocky beach and entered the cold, choppy waters to reach his side. Battling the strong current, they grabbed hold of the resisting man, brought him to shore and remained with him until emergency services arrived.

RCMP Constable Brenton Stephen Brady, M.B., Coquitlam, British Columbia

RCMP Constable Eric Michael Brown, M.B., Langley, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On December 14, 2004, constables Brenton Brady and Eric Brown chased and apprehended an armed man who was evading capture following a robbery in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The pursuit ended when Constable Brown rammed the fugitive's vehicle with his police cruiser, forcing him to stop. The suspect retrieved a pistol from under his seat, pointed it directly at the officer and fired a shot, striking the police cruiser's windshield just inches above the constable's head. Constable Brown exited his vehicle and took cover, as did Constable Brady, behind their police cruisers. Fearing for public safety as the gunman reached for another possible hidden weapon, the duo returned gunfire and wounded the man, who was then arrested and taken into custody.

Steve Cotton, M.B., Laval, Quebec

Medal of Bravery

On June 27, 2005, Steve Cotton rescued a woman from a burning apartment in Laval, Quebec. Unable to open the front door, Mr. Cotton used an axe to break the glass on the patio door at the back of the apartment. Once inside, he heard a faint cry for help over the crackling of the flames. Following the voice, he walked a few metres into the thick smoke before he felt someone grab his leg. When he bent down under the cloud of smoke, he saw the victim, who was barely conscious, lying on the floor. He quickly grabbed her and started dragging her outside. Mr. Cotton was almost at the door when he collapsed, overcome by the toxic fumes. A few seconds later, neighbours who had heard the glass shattering arrived on the scene and helped Mr. Cotton get the victim to safety.

Luke Eagles, M.B., Lakeville, New Brunswick

RCMP Constable Stephen Wayne MacQueen, M.B., Halifax, Nova Scotia

Medal of Bravery

On January 2, 2005, Constable Stephen MacQueen and Mr. Luke Eagles were instrumental in the apprehension of an armed man at a service station in Salisbury, New Brunswick. Upon arriving at the scene, Constable MacQueen confronted the deranged and suicidal man, who fired a shot through his police cruiser's windshield, narrowly missing the constable. Constable MacQueen then attempted to strike the suspect with his vehicle to prevent him from shooting at a truck driver stopped nearby. Throughout this period, the suspect entered and exited the service station several times. Mr. Eagles, the station clerk, noticed that he would occasionally lay his firearm down on the counter. Seizing an opportunity, he took the gun into the storeroom, locked himself inside and called 911 to advise that the man had been disarmed. The information was relayed to other attending officers, who quickly apprehended the suspect.

Eugene Leveque Jr., M.B., Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba

Medal of Bravery

On January 1, 2006, Eugene Leveque assisted in the rescue of a suicidal woman from drowning, in Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba. As Mr. Leveque approached the victim with a crescent saw for her to grab onto, the ice suddenly gave way, sending him into the freezing water. A friend pulled him back onto the thicker ice using the rope he had tied to his waist, but the woman remained in the water, unable to move because of hypothermia. Alerted to the scene, police officers arrived with rescue equipment and tossed an inflatable tube into the water. Using the device, Mr. Leveque was pushing himself towards the victim when a large section of the ice broke off, sending him into the water again. Despite the onset of hypothermia, he grabbed the quickly sinking victim by her clothes but was too cold to move. In the meantime, the police officers had reached the pair with their boat, and with the assistance of bystanders, pulled Mr. Leveque and the woman out of the water.

Detective-Sergeant Maxime Paquette, M.B.

Saint-Philippe, Quebec

Medal of Bravery

On the night of January 18, 2006, while pursuing a suspect, Detective-Sergeant Maxime Paquette risked his life to save the man from a cliff in Saint-Constant, Quebec. Abandoning his vehicle, the suspect continued on foot and found himself in a quarry. He became trapped on a snow- and ice-covered cliff some 30 metres high; any move he made could have lead to a fatal fall. Detective-Sergeant Paquette, who had followed him, climbed down the rock face and joined the suspect on the cliff. With only two thin ropes held by two of his colleagues at the top of the cliff preventing him from falling, Detective-Sergeant Paquette grabbed the man under the arms, and fighting strong winds, rain and the cold, remained in that precarious position for over 45 minutes. Exhausted and almost ready to let go, Detective-Sergeant Paquette and the suspect were then rescued by firefighters and ambulance workers who had arrived at the scene.

RCMP Constable Sean Philip, M.B., Nanaimo, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On November 26, 2004, Constable Sean Philip risked his life to rescue two men from drowning in the fast-flowing Nanaimo River in Cedar, British Columbia. The suspects, who were attempting to escape the police, fled their vehicle and entered the frigid waters, but soon found themselves in difficulty while attempting to swim to the other side of the river. Constable Philip immediately jumped into the water to assist the panicking men, who were succumbing to hypothermia and exhaustion. Fighting the strong current, he managed to swim to a first victim and pulled him back to shore. The other man disappeared under the surface and drowned before he could be rescued.

RCMP Constable Stephen William Vigor, M.B., Edmonton, Alberta

Medal of Bravery

On March 3, 2005, Constable Stephen Vigor was instrumental in preventing a mentally unstable and heavily armed man from escaping a crime scene, in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. During a routine search of the suspect's rural property, Constable Vigor heard several firearm discharges coming from the quonset hut where four of his partners had just entered. Seconds later, Constable Vigor encountered the heavily armed man coming out of the building. Without warning, the suspect aimed at him and fired two rounds, striking the police vehicle beside which Constable Vigor was standing. While another officer took cover in his car to call for assistance, Constable Vigor returned fire, hitting the suspect and forcing his retreat back into the quonset. He maintained a watch until the arrival of backup. Tragically, the four other RCMP officers had been ambushed and killed by the suspect, who later took his own life.

Krista Maria Wall, M.B., Fergus, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On January 5, 2005, while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, Krista Wall attempted to rescue an 11-year-old boy from drowning during an excursion on the Majagua River. Realizing that the boy had been missing for several minutes and was most likely trapped in a strong whirlpool under a waterfall, Ms. Wall, although not a strong swimmer, tied a rope around her waist and plunged into the turbulent waters. She groped around in the rushing water until she felt the child's hand. She tried unsuccessfully to reach out to him, all the while fighting the undertow pulling her down. As she resurfaced to catch her breath, the young victim's lifeless body emerged to the surface. Bystanders pulled them both out of the water but, sadly, efforts to revive the young boy were in vain.

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