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HomeNewsProvince Honours Police Officers And Firefighters For Outstanding Acts Of Courage

Province Honours Police Officers And Firefighters For Outstanding Acts Of Courage

ONTARIO-The province has awarded the 2023 Medals for Bravery which include a firefighter from Napanee and a Captain from Brock Township.

The Ontario Medal for Police Bravery was created in 1975 and recognizes acts of extraordinary courage and bravery performed by members of Ontario’s police services.

The Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery was created in 1976 and honours firefighters who have gone above and beyond to protect and serve their communities.

The 2023 recipients of the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery and the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery include:

Constable Trevor Taylor of Brantford Police Services

On March 19, 2023, members of the Brantford Police Service responded to a report of a woman jumping off a bridge into the Grand River. Despite harsh weather conditions and strong currents, Constable Trevor Taylor bravely plunged into the icy water but could not reach her. Undeterred, he continued tracking her until she was caught on something downstream. Ignoring his safety, he dove in again, successfully pulling her to safety with the help of another officer. Despite the freezing weather and dangerous current, Constable Taylor’s selfless and fearless actions were instrumental in locating and attempting to save the woman.

Constable Lance Broderick and Constable Dan Pinkney of the Halton Regional Police; Detective Sergeant Sara Beck and Detective Robert Di Ianni of the Hamilton Police Service

On September 12, 2022, tragedy struck when Toronto Police Constable Andrew Hong was shot and killed at a coffee shop during a break from his police motorcycle training course. The assailant carjacked a vehicle, shooting and critically injuring the driver. He fled to an auto repair shop where he shot three more people, killing two. Then he traveled to Hamilton, where Hamilton Police Services’ Detective Sergeant Sara Beck and Detective Robert Di Ianni confronted him at the Hamilton Cemetery. The assailant opened fire and they rushed to find cover and secure the situation. Halton Regional Police Service Tactical Rescue Unit officers Constable Lance Broderick and Constable Dan Pinkney heard the gunfight and immediately rushed to help. Together, the four officers subdued the suspect, preventing further harm, and administered first aid until emergency medical services arrived. The officers displayed immense bravery in confronting the suspect whose deadly rampage claimed three lives, including a Toronto police officer.

Constable Matthew Tavano of the Niagara Regional Police Service

On January 12, 2023, Constable Matthew Tavano responded to a call about a chemical facility fire in St. Catharines. Despite ongoing explosions and uncertainty about the danger, he located a severely burned employee near the flames. Remaining calm and using himself as a ladder, Constable Tavano helped the injured man escape the locked compound and stayed by his side until paramedics arrived. Despite his exposure to dangerous toxins, Constable Tavano remained steadfast in his commitment to the victim’s well-being, accompanying him to the hospital. Constable Tavano risked his life attempting to save another in the face of extreme danger.

Police Constable Vyacheslav Biryukov of the Toronto Police Service

On May 28, 2022, Police Constable Vyacheslav Biryukov responded to a routine call in Toronto that quickly escalated into a life-threatening situation. As tensions mounted, the distraught individual threatened to leap from the narrow ledge of the 11th-floor balcony. Undeterred by the height and the man’s erratic behaviour, Constable Biryukov attempted to defuse the situation. When the man nearly went over the edge, Constable Biryukov acted swiftly, grasping the man around the torso. Despite feeling his own feet leave the ground as he teetered over the railing, Constable Biryukov chose to hold on and risk his safety to prevent a tragic outcome. With the assistance of his fellow officers, they managed to pull the man to safety. Constable Biryukov showed exceptional courage in rescuing a highly vulnerable person in extremely dangerous circumstances.

Constable Jason Causton and Constable Chris Robb of the Waterloo Regional Police Service

On February 26, 2022, Constables Jason Causton and Chris Robb responded to a chaotic scene at a shelter near Waterloo. A suspect was driving recklessly, endangering staff and bystanders. As the police officers stepped in to help, the suspect got out of the car, pulled a knife, and resisted arrest. Constable Robb bravely intervened but the man stabbed him in the thigh. Constable Causton then stepped forward and the suspect slashed his mouth. The suspect continued to threaten bystanders and officers. Undeterred by their injuries, Constables Robb and Causton collaborated with their fellow police officers to subdue the assailant and ensure the safety of those around them.

Sergeant Matt Capel-Cure of the Windsor Police Service

On June 3, 2023, Sergeant Matt Capel-Cure arrived on scene where a vehicle had crashed into a house in the Town of Amherstburg. The collision caused a fire that was fueled by a ruptured gas line. With the flames spreading rapidly, Sergeant Capel-Cure saw a critically injured man between the burning house and the vehicle. He swiftly collaborated with a bystander to rescue the injured driver from the dangerous situation. Despite the intense heat and risk, they successfully extracted the driver, ensuring his safety until emergency medical services arrived. Sergeant Capel-Cure’s quick action in rescuing the severely injured driver showed his exceptional courage, bravery, and dedication to keeping others safe.

Captain Jesse Beaudrow of the Brock Township Fire Department

On September 9, 2023, Captain Jesse Beaudrow came across a collision where a sedan and pick-up truck collided head-on and both vehicles were on fire. With quick thinking, he approached the vehicles to assess and provide emergency aid. Realizing the urgency, he used a fire extinguisher to slow the flames that were starting to engulf the pickup truck and rescued two occupants before it became fully ablaze. Despite the danger posed by the intense fire, the firefighter remained focused on saving lives. Unfortunately, he could not save the lone occupant of the sedan due to the intense flames. Captain Beaudrow’s swift actions saved two lives that day, demonstrating extraordinary bravery amidst perilous circumstances.

Captain Jeff Clayton of Brampton Fire and Emergency Services; Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Fairbarn (formerly Captain) and Firefighter Brandon DiMonte of Caledon Fire and Emergency Services

On April 24, 2023, there was a fiery crash involving two vehicles on Highway 10. Both cars were in flames with people trapped inside. Off-duty firefighters, Captain Jeff Clayton and Captain Jeff Fairbarn were able to rescue the driver from the first car just moments before it became fully engulfed. Moving to the second vehicle, they coordinated efforts with Firefighter Brandon DiMonte to free the trapped driver despite the growing flames. They successfully rescued both individuals from the blazing wreckage.

Firefighter Mackenzie Grosvenor of the Town of Greater Napanee Fire Department

Just after midnight on October 28, 2023, a car crash occurred on a residential street in Amherstview, causing one vehicle to catch fire. By chance, the collision happened right in front of a house where Firefighter Mackenzie Grosvenor was visiting while off-duty. Upon hearing the crash, he rushed outside and rescued the injured driver from the burning car. The driver had severe injuries but was still alive as they waited for medical assistance to arrive. Firefighter Grosvenor’s quick and selfless actions undoubtedly saved a life that night.

Police Constable Andrew Court and Police Constable Vesselin Ivanov of the Toronto Police Service; Firefighter Eric Hannah and Captain David Tschinkel of Toronto Fire Services

On August 13, 2022, Police Constables Andrew Court, Vesselin Ivanov, and another officer responded to a stabbing call in Scarborough, where a woman with a child had narrowly escaped her husband’s attack. With another child still inside, the officers attempted to enter but were unsuccessful. Recognizing the urgency to rescue the child inside, they asked Captain David Tschinkel and Firefighter Eric Hannah, who were attending another situation nearby, to perform a forcible entry. Upon entry, the husband charged the police constables and firefighters with a knife. The police acted decisively, shooting the suspect to protect everyone present. The man retreated briefly, then charged a second time. The police constables fired again, subduing the suspect who later succumbed to his injuries. The child was found safe and unharmed. The police constables and firefighters showed exceptional teamwork, and their swift and brave actions prevented further violence and ensured the safety of the child trapped inside the house.

Constable Blair Corsaut, Sergeant John Dance and Constable Brent Thomas of the London Police Service; First Class Firefighter Mark Archibald, Firefighter Patrick Bradley, Firefighter John D. Campbell, Senior Qualified Firefighter Jason Allen Carter, Firefighter Eric Conway, First Class Firefighter Erik Elmauer, Firefighter Adam Froats, Firefighter Kevin Funston, Captain Randy Geene, Firefighter Scott Givlin, Captain Todd Groves, Firefighter Ian Guy, Firefighter Connor Hanenburg, Firefighter Christopher Hare, First Class Firefighter Jason Patrick Kennedy, Firefighter James King, Firefighter Mitchell Knight, Captain Peter Lapkowski, Firefighter Marc Leveille, Captain Joseph Livingstone, Senior Qualified Firefighter Jason Lundy, Captain Derrick G. Martin, Senior Qualified Firefighter Jeff Montgomery, Firefighter Cole Nicholson, Captain Steven Prior, Firefighter Parmbir Rai, Senior Qualified Firefighter Michael W. Reed, Firefighter Brandon Rhea, Captain Justin Salt, Senior Qualified Firefighter Michael Sophocleous, First Class Firefighter Bradly Stallman, Firefighter Pat Stephenson, Firefighter Mitchell Thomas and Firefighter Scott Turkheim of the London Fire Department

On December 11, 2020, a call came in reporting a building collapse with people trapped inside. Emergency services, including crews from the London Fire Department, arrived on scene. The collapsed area was a pit of wet concrete, twisted metal and people trapped beneath debris. Despite the risk, Sergeant John Dance and Constables Blair Corsaut and Brent Thomas courageously entered the building to help. Aggressive rescue and medical operations began, with primary responders focused on freeing the survivors and helping the walking wounded. With unwavering courage, 39 firefighters toiled tirelessly, navigating treacherous conditions, while repeatedly putting themselves in harm’s way to save lives.

NOTE: Four members of the London Fire Department received the 2022 Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery. The remaining 35 firefighters are being invested this year.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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