This region’s dedicated long-serving peace officers and its citizen heroes were recognized Thursday at an RCMP ceremony in Campbell River.
Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the Commanding Officer of “E” Division, recognized the service and bravery of 38 RCMP officers, auxiliary constables and citizens who received awards ranging from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal to Certificates of Appreciation and the prestigious Commendation for Bravery.
Bravery awards went to a life-saving Campbell River trio, Const. Ryan Pullin, Mitch Flanagan and William Wasyliw who were involved in the successful ocean rescue of three boaters in February 2010.
Const. Alicia Beverage said: “Const. Pullen responded to a 911 call regarding several people whose boat had capsized off Willow Point. He discovered that three men without life jackets were approximately 200 metres offshore calling for help as they struggled to stay afloat. He realized immediately that because of the cold water and air temperature the three would become hypothermic very quickly and were in danger of drowning. Locating a 12-foot skiff Const. Pullen, with the help of William Wasyliw, rowed out to (the) rescue … Mr. Flanagan saw what was unfolding and brought his own boat to the rescue.”
Beverage said the actions of the three represented the highest traditions of the RCMP and the highest standards of a Canadian citizen.
Deputy Commissioner Callens said the awards are meant to celebrate significant achievements and long careers of exemplary service. He applauded “the selfless acts of bravery and service” being honoured. “It gives me an opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to families and others who support the men and women of the RCMP. It is clear to me as it is to all of us in the force that our jobs would be much more difficult if we did not rely on the support of our families and friends.
“When one thinks of the duty of policing, a duty of the highest honour and at times the greatest challenge, we cannot help but think of personal and professional commitment, dedication to duty and dedication to communities.”
Two BC Ferries crew members on the Queen of Burnaby, Kory Daoust and Stephanie Pap, were also recognized with Certificates of Appreciation for their attempts to rescue a young drowning victim off Comox in 2009. Both Daoust and Pap said they would have felt better about receiving the recognition had the teenager survived. “I don’t think we did enough to deserve an award, but it was important to be here today and we are appreciative of the honour,” Pap said.
Thirteen officers and auxiliary members received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal including Campbell River Staff Sergeant Troy Beauregard.