Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

September 08, 2011 14:36 ET

Governor General Announces the Awarding of 27 Decorations for Bravery

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2011) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced today the awarding of three Stars of Courage and 24 Medals of Bravery. The recipients will be invited to receive their decorations at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972, to recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or to 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 Decorations for Bravery, are attached.

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RECIPIENTS

STAR OF COURAGE

Private Adam J. P. Fraser, S.C. Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Courcelette, Que.
Corporal Déri J. G. Langevin, S.C. Chicoutimi and Québec, Que.
Corporal Marc-André Poirier, S.C. Amos and Québec, Que.

MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Maxime Bondu, M.B. Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Que.
Sergeant André Coallier, M.B. Montréal, Que.
Steve Degrace, M.B. Beresford, N.B.
Denis Diotte, M.B. Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Que.
Monique Gagnon, M.B. Petit-Rocher, N.B.
Constable Karine Giroux, M.B. Montréal, Que.
Kevin Gooding, M.B. Stoney Creek, Ont.
Bernard Keetash, M.B. Mishkeegogamang, Ont.
Lana Mae Krieser, M.B. Brandon, Man.
André J. Maillet, M.B. Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, N.B.
J. Robert Maillet, M.B. Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, N.B.
William Edward Lance Matthews, M.B. Mansfield, Ont.
Mark Montour, M.B. Mishkeegogamang, Ont.
Ross P. Moore, M.B. Dwight, Ont.
Jeffrey Neekan, M.B. Mishkeegogamang, Ont.
Geneviève Otis-Leduc, M.B. Montréal, Que.
Alexandre Phaneuf, M.B. Laval, Que.
Constable David Pilote, M.B. Montréal, Que.
Jean-François Renault, M.B. Mirabel, Que.
Tyler Glenn Sampson, M.B. (posthumous) Halifax, N.S.
Madden Sarver, M.B. 100 Mile House, B.C.
Constable Daniel Tétreault, M.B. Montréal, Que.
Philbert Truong, M.B. (posthumous) Victoria, B.C.
Kathryn Whittaker, M.B. Ottawa, Ont.

CITATIONS

STAR OF COURAGE

Private Adam J. P. Fraser, S.C.
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Courcelette, Quebec
Corporal Déri J. G. Langevin, S.C.
Chicoutimi and Québec, Quebec
Corporal Marc-André Poirier, S.C.
Amos and Quebec, Quebec
Star of Courage

On July 19, 2009, corporals Marc-André Poirier and Déri Langevin and Private Adam Fraser demonstrated exceptional courage while helping people who had been injured following the crash of a civilian helicopter at the Kandahar Air Field, in Afghanistan. Alerted to the incident, the three rescuers rushed to the scene outside the security wall of their camp. They crossed a dangerous area engulfed in flames and dodged frequent explosions to reach two victims who were lying in a ditch near the wreckage of their burning helicopter. They moved the wounded to a safe place and provided first aid until medical personnel arrived. The rescuers had to abandon their search for other victims when they realized they were in a minefield. Thanks to the rescuers' efforts, five of the 21 passengers and crew survived.

MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Maxime Bondu, M.B.
Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec
Denis Diotte, M.B.
Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On March 18, 2009, Maxime Bondu and his father-in-law, Denis Diotte, saved two people from drowning, in Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec. Mr. Bondu's mother and her spouse were returning from a day of fishing when the ice gave out under the weight of their ATV. Hearing their cries for help, Messrs. Bondu and Diotte ran to the scene and tried numerous times to rescue the victims, repeatedly falling into the water in the process. With a great deal of effort, the victims were eventually pulled out of the frigid waters by the rescuers and moved safely to shore.

Sergeant André Coallier, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec
Constable Karine Giroux, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec
Constable David Pilote, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On June 22, 2009, Sergeant André Coallier and constables Karine Giroux and David Pilote, of the City of Montréal Police, risked their lives to help a young, suicidal woman, in Lasalle, Quebec. Arriving on the scene, the police officers saw the woman in the waters of the St. Lawrence River. Wearing a heavy backpack, she had difficulty keeping her head above water. Constables Giroux and Pilote grabbed a lifebuoy and swam more than 100 metres through the current to reach the woman. Sergeant Coallier swam to the mouth of the bay, where he would be able to grab the woman before she reached the rapids. Fighting against strong countercurrents, he tried to get her attention while constables Giroux and Pilote approached her from behind. They were able to gain control of the struggling woman and bring her to safety.

Steve Degrace, M.B.
Beresford, New Brunswick
Monique Gagnon, M.B.
Petit-Rocher, New Brunswick
Medal of Bravery

On September 18, 2009, Steve Degrace and Monique Gagnon rescued a man from a burning house, in St. Margarets, New Brunswick. The victim had attempted to extinguish a fire that had started in the kitchen, but the flames quickly spread to other rooms in the house. Upon noticing the smoke, Mr. Degrace and Ms. Gagnon ran to the house. Mr. Degrace twice entered the house but could not find anyone. Then he and Ms. Gagnon entered a third time and found a man in the kitchen. Flames were shooting out through the windows and thick, black smoke filled the house. As they grabbed the agitated victim and pulled him toward the exit, the man fell; with great difficulty, they were able to drag him outside. Sadly, the victim did not survive.

Kevin Gooding, M.B.
Stoney Creek, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On November 21, 2008, Kevin Gooding placed himself at considerable risk to rescue a man from a burning vehicle, in Hamilton, Ontario. Mr. Gooding noticed an out-of control vehicle hit a guard rail and spin across the highway. The impact caused the vehicle to burst into flames. As flames poured out through the shattered back window, Mr. Gooding ran to the vehicle where he frantically pulled and kicked at the damaged front passenger door. Thick, black smoke filled the inside as the flames spread behind the driver's seat, setting the victim's hair and coat on fire. Mr. Gooding succeeded in opening the door and unbuckling the victim's seatbelt. After dragging the man out of the vehicle, Mr. Gooding put out the flames on the victim and then helped him walk a safe distance away.

Bernard Keetash, M.B.
Mishkeegogamang, Ontario
Mark Montour, M.B.
Mishkeegogamang, Ontario
Jeffrey Neekan, M.B.
Mishkeegogamang, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On January 26, 2008, Bernard Keetash, Mark Montour and Jeffrey Neekan rescued a 13-year-old boy from a burning house, in Mishkeegogamang, Ontario. When a fire broke out in their home, the occupants were able to evacuate all but one of their children to safety. In despair, the parents cried out to their neighbours that the boy was still inside. Messrs. Keetash, Montour and Neekan wrapped wet blankets around themselves and made their way upstairs, despite the intense heat. After locating the boy, Mr. Keetash picked him up and carried him out of the blaze. Although the victim suffered from burns and smoke inhalation, he survived, thanks to his three brave rescuers.

Lana Mae Krieser, M.B.
Brandon, Manitoba
Medal of Bravery

On June 8, 2009, Lana Krieser rescued an 11-year-old boy who was electrocuted during a school trip, in Clear Lake, Manitoba. While hiking on a trail, the boy and his friend noticed an orange glow coming from a bush. After finding a dead deer, the boys were preparing to leave when the victim slipped on the wet grass, fell to the ground and came in contact with a live hydro wire. His friend ran to get Ms. Krieser, who rushed to the scene to find the boy in convulsions and a small brush fire burning close by. Without any concern for her own safety, Ms. Krieser approached the boy and tried to move him, electrocuting herself in the process. She stepped back for a moment, then grabbed onto the boy's clothing and managed to pull him several feet away until help arrived. Despite knowing the risks involved in moving the victim while he was still in contact with the power line, Ms. Krieser's actions saved the boy's life.

André J. Maillet, M.B.
Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, New Brunswick
J. Robert Maillet, M.B.
Saint-Thomas-de-Kent, New Brunswick
Medal of Bravery

On January 28, 2010, André Maillet and his nephew, Robert Maillet, both fishermen, saved two people from drowning in Bouctouche Bay, in New Brunswick. The rescuers saw, from a distance, that the ice had given out beneath a snowmobile and sled, causing a woman and her elderly father to plunge into the water. The men quickly grabbed an axe and a rope and ran to the scene. They then tied their rope to the sled's rope and pulled the sled along the firm surface to the edge of the hole. The man was then able to lift himself onto the ice and crawl to the rescuers, with the woman following behind. The victims were then brought safely to shore.

William Edward Lance Matthews, M.B.
Mansfield, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On March 16, 2009, Lance Matthews rescued an elderly woman from a burning house, in Mulmer Township, Ontario. When Mr. Matthews noticed smoke coming from a neighbour's house, he called 911 and drove to the scene. Upon arrival, he saw the raging fire and broke down the locked door with a tool to gain access inside. Through the thick, black smoke, he found the unconscious woman halfway up the stairs. He picked up her up and carried the badly burned victim a safe distance from the house. He then tried to re-enter the house to rescue the woman's disabled husband, but was unable to do so because of the blaze. Sadly, neither victim survived.

Ross P. Moore, M.B.
Dwight, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On March 15, 2007, Ross Moore rescued a man whose snowmobile had broken through the thin ice of the Oxtongue River, in Dwight, Ontario. From his home, Mr. Moore heard a cry for help and quickly made his way to the river. A young man was clinging to the edge of the ice and fighting the strong current. Without any hesitation, Mr. Moore crouched down onto the ice and approached the victim. He removed his sweatshirt and extended one of its sleeves to the man. The ice was cracking all around them as Mr. Moore pulled the man out. He walked the hypothermic victim back to his home until help arrived.

Geneviève Otis-Leduc, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On June 24, 2009, Geneviève Otis-Leduc placed herself at considerable risk to rescue two friends from a possible drowning in the Batiscan River, in Notre-Dame-de-Montauban, Quebec. Ms. Otis-Leduc and her friends had been celebrating Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day when two of them decided to dive into a waterfall. The two friends wound up in turbulent waters, in the middle of the river. One of them suffered an asthma attack, panicked and grabbed onto the other. Ms. Otis-Leduc made her way to them and grabbed the friend who had difficulty breathing. She brought him safely to shore and then swam back to her second friend who, weighed down by his clothing, was in danger of drowning. Although the victim unintentionally pushed her many times below the surface, Ms. Otis-Leduc succeeded in pulling him safely to shore. Her perseverance and brave actions enabled her to save her two friends.

Alexandre Phaneuf, M.B.
Laval, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On May 26, 2009, Alexandre Phaneuf jumped into the freezing waters of the Rivière des Prairies to save the life of a suicidal woman, in Laval, Quebec. While crossing a bridge, Mr. Phaneuf noticed several onlookers peering over the side. When asked, they explained that a young woman had jumped off the bridge. Mr. Phaneuf, an experienced lifeguard, immediately went to the water's edge, where he saw the victim floating some distance away. He swam toward the victim, who kept drifting farther and farther away. Fighting against the strong current, he finally reached the woman. He spoke calmly to her and safely towed her back to the riverbank.

Jean-François Renault, M.B.
Mirabel, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On April 29, 2009, Jean-François Renault risked his life to help a man who had fallen from the roof of a house and was being strangled by his safety harness, in Mirabel, Quebec. The victim had been installing solar panels when he lost his footing and fell. During the fall, the harness slipped up and tightened around his throat. Mr. Renault quickly climbed a ladder onto another roof beneath the victim and lifted him onto his shoulders. The man then regained consciousness and became very agitated, trying to remove his harness. The erratic movement threatened to cause Mr. Renault to lose his balance, but despite his precarious position, he was able to maintain control until help arrived.

Tyler Glenn Sampson, M.B. (posthumous)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Medal of Bravery

On August 14, 2005, 25-year-old Tyler Sampson lost his life trying to help a friend who was being attacked by an intruder, in Glen Haven, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. Staying overnight at his friend's home after a party, Mr. Sampson went to sleep in an upstairs bedroom while his friend, a quadriplegic, slept on the main floor. The intruder, who lived nearby and had been at the party earlier, returned to the house, carrying a knife. He made his way to the main-floor bedroom and attacked the sleeping man. Mr. Sampson, awakened by his friend's screams, ran to help him. Unarmed, he confronted the attacker, bravely fought with him and sustained multiple stab wounds. Sadly, both Mr. Sampson and his friend died from their injuries in the hours that followed the attack.

Madden Sarver, M.B.
100 Mile House, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On January 30, 2009, Madden Sarver rescued his severely injured brother after their helicopter had crashed in a remote mountainous area near Grande Cache, Alberta. The brothers had run into bad weather and could not maintain course. Mr. Sarver pulled his brother out of the wreckage and brought him a safe distance away. He then collected all the survival gear and clothing to keep his brother warm. Mr. Sarver set up a makeshift shelter, gathered wood, and built a fire. He then trekked several kilometres through deep snow to a logging road, where a search helicopter, unable to reach the crash site, had landed. Seventeen hours after the crash, Mr. Sarver led paramedics to the victim, who was then carried to the awaiting helicopter. Thanks to Mr. Sarver's determination, the victim survived.

Constable Daniel Tétreault, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec
Medal of Bravery

On August 24, 2008, Constable Daniel Tétreault, of the City of Montréal Police, rescued two men from a possible drowning in the St. Lawrence River, in Lasalle, Quebec. Constable Tétreault was on patrol in the area with his partner when they noticed two men at a distance, struggling with their personal watercraft. They declined the officers' offer to help, but soon found themselves caught in the current and pulled towards the rapids. Constable Tétreault grabbed a life ring attached to a short length of rope, swam out to the victims and threw the rope to them. The men clung desperately to the lifeline, as Constable Tétreault struggled against the strong current to pull them ashore. The tired men then lost hold of the rope. Despite being completely exhausted from his efforts, the rescuer grabbed a second life ring thrown to him by another officer and made his way back to the victims. This time, the men were able to hold on while other police officers pulled the three of them to shore.

Philbert Truong, M.B. (posthumous)
Victoria, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On July 19, 2008, 20-year-old Phil Truong lost his life trying to protect a friend during an altercation outside a night club, in Victoria, British Columbia. During the evening, a man unknown to them engaged in a brief verbal dispute with Mr. Truong's friend. After the club had closed, the same man, accompanied by an accomplice carrying a gun, confronted Mr. Truong's friend. A brief altercation ensued, during which the gunman drew his weapon. Mr. Truong moved in front of his friend to protect him and was shot in the chest; he died instantly.

Kathryn Whittaker, M.B.
Ottawa, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On July 13, 2007, Kathryn Whittaker, captain of the sail-training vessel Fair Jeanne, risked her life to rescue her crew and 20 cadets when their engine caught fire on Lake Ontario. About an hour after dropping anchor, thick smoke was observed coming from the engine room. After finding the source of the smoke, Captain Whittaker was unable to extinguish the flames. She then shut the door to the engine room to starve the flames of oxygen, but the smoke continued to billow out. She commanded the crew to shut off the engine and to gather up on deck. Captain Whittaker went down to the charthouse through the thick, black smoke to retrieve a hand-held GPS. She dispatched a mayday call on the VHF radio, and provided the vessel's exact location. Shortly afterwards, several search-and-rescue teams and firefighting craft arrived on the scene; all those aboard the Fair Jeanne were saved.

FACT SHEET ON THE DECORATIONS FOR BRAVERY

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

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