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The Ontario Medal For Police Bravery

Archived Backgrounder

The Ontario Medal For Police Bravery

Backgrounder

Ministry of the Solicitor General

The Ontario Medal for Police Bravery was created in 1975 and is awarded
annually.

Ontario Medal for Police Bravery Recipients:

Constables Jennifer Anderson and Mark Tan
Toronto Police Service

On Sunday, December 10, 2006, at around 3 p.m., five boys were on their
way to play a game of soccer at a field near a large water reservoir partly
covered with ice in the area of Morningside Avenue and Old Finch Avenue in
Toronto. One of the boys ventured on the ice when it gave way, plunging him
into the frigid water. One of his friends rushed to rescue him but the icy
surface broke beneath him and he also fell into the water. Nearby, a man
witnessed the incident from his backyard and called 911. Minutes later,
Constable Jennifer Anderson and Constable Mark Tan arrived at the reservoir
with other members of the emergency rescue. Scanning the scene, only one of
the two boys was still visible. Both officers started to cross the ice but it
gave way and they slid into the frigid water. Still able to stand, they used
their hands to break the ice, as they kept moving towards the boys. Suddenly
both Constable Anderson and Constable Tan stepped off a twenty-foot drop and
became fully submerged in the water. They resurfaced, and undeterred, began
swimming towards the boys who had now slipped below the surface. Both officers
dove several times attempting to rescue the boys but they were unable to find
them due to the murky conditions of the water. Tragically, the boys did not
survive the incident. Now suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia, the
officers needed assistance from their colleagues as they tried to return to
shore. Constables Anderson and Tan were transported to hospital and treated
for cuts, abrasions, hypothermia and shock.

Constable Patrick Benoit
Kingston Police

For Constable Patrick Benoit, the call of duty extends to off duty hours.
While driving on Highway 401 near Kingston around 10:15 p.m. on March 29th of
this year, he noticed a tractor-trailer weaving slightly in the right lane.
Constable Benoit had just taken the Highway 38 exit off ramp when he heard a
loud metal-on-metal noise behind him. The tractor-trailer had just struck a
large communications tower and ended up on a 30-foot high outcropping of the
Canadian Shield. The entire front of the truck was engulfed in flames when
Constable Benoit reached the crash site. He spotted the truck driver standing
on top of the 30-foot rock face.

The man seemed to be dazed and in shock and was standing dangerously close
to the flames, at risk of falling down the steep cliff in the dark. Fearing
for the truck driver's safety, Constable Benoit began scaling the rock face.
After climbing approximately 20 feet, a rock dislodged and he fell back to the
ground sustaining a cut to his hand. Undaunted, he got back up and reached the
top of the rock face. He grabbed the driver and moved him away from the flames
and the edge of the cliff just moments before the truck exploded. While
off-duty and without any equipment or assistance, Constable Benoit braved
extreme danger to save the truck driver's life.

Constable Jason Griffiths
York Regional Police

Responding to an intrusion alarm on October 17, 2005, York Regional police
officers observed a suspicious vehicle near the premises. When the officers
attempted to stop the vehicle, it fled the scene and was involved in a
collision moments later. While fleeing on foot, one man was arrested while the
two others ran away. Constable Jason Griffiths managed to corner one of the
suspects behind an industrial unit. When confronted, the man taunted him,
brandished a knife in his hand and dared the constable to shoot him. Constable
Griffiths drew his weapon and ordered the man to drop the knife. Instead, the
suspect threatened to cut his throat and stated that he already had attempted
to kill another police officer. Another constable arrived on the scene and
tried to subdue the suspect but the man raised his knife and attacked him. To
save the other officer's life, Constable Griffiths discharged his firearm,
fatally wounding the suspect.

Provincial Constable Darrell Wagner
Ontario Provincial Police, Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment

Around 8:45 p.m., on July 22, 2007, Provincial Constable Darrell Wagner
responded to a call for help by a stranded boater on the Ottawa River in the
Whitewater Region. The officer found the fisherman in a sunken boat stuck at
the edge of deadly rapids and jagged rocks. Securing the assistance of a
friend with a personal watercraft, Constable Wagner ventured to see if the
fisherman was still alive. Darkness had shrouded the scene and visibility was
reduced. Constable Wagner attempted a rope rescue. The fisherman managed to
grab it but was unable to hold onto the wet rope. He was swept into the
ferocious rapids and crashed into a rock where he was now holding on for his
life. Retrieving an inflatable tube from a nearby residence, Constable Wagner
attempted several rope rescues from the abandoned boat unsuccessfully. By this
time, the fisherman had been in the water for a couple of hours and was
exhausted from fighting the rapids. Without regard for his own safety,
Constable Wagner dove into the water with the inflatable tube, grabbed the
fisherman and rode the rapids to safe water where they were rescued. Both men
were treated for hypothermia and minor cuts and bruises. Through his quick
thinking and selfless act of bravery, Constable Wagner saved this man's life.

Sergeant Bryant Wood
Port Hope Police Service

Just before 5 a.m., on September 9, 2007, a man called 911 to report a
house fire on Sherbourne Street in Port Hope, indicating people were still
inside. Sergeant Bryant Wood arrived on scene first and witnessed that the
building was already fully engulfed in flames from the ground to the roof.
Through the dense smoke, some people were observed inside and appeared
incoherent. A girl and a woman were quickly pulled from a window by Sergeant
Wood and another officer and pushed to safety. A man yelled that another woman
was still inside searching for her cat. With the fire quickly worsening,
Sergeant Wood decided to enter the unit and did a room-to-room search. He
finally located the woman, picked her up and carried her into the living room
where he pushed her outside through an open window. The second floor now fully
ablaze, he finally exited to safety suffering smoke inhalation. Sergeant Wood
put his life on the line and saved this woman's life.

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