Ontario Provincial Police recognize lifesaving actions, commitment to the community
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout OPP and Pickle Lake OPP hosted an awards presentation on Jan. 31 to recognize selfless acts and contributions of citizens and officers in their communities.
Presenting the awards at the Legion in Sioux Lookout was OPP North West Region Chief Superintendent/Regional Commander Bryan MacKillop.
Natasha Perreault was recognized with a Commissioner’s Citation for Life Saving and a St John Ambulance Life Saving Certificate for her actions on Sept. 30, 2021.
Perreault witnessed an assault taking place in the area of Tim Hortons in Sioux Lookout and intervened in the altercation to prevent the assault from continuing. She remained with one of the victims, an injured male, providing first aid.
Police shared, “Upon learning the ambulance was going to be 30 minutes before they could attend, and the fact that the victim was deteriorating rapidly, Ms. Perreault assisted with transferring the man to the box of a nearby pickup truck and then supported him in the rear of a truck as he was taken to hospital for treatment. Once at the hospital, the man’s condition was listed as critical, and he was later airlifted to Thunder Bay for further treatment.”
Zach Gabrie (who was not in attendance for the presentation) was recognized with a Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving for rescuing a young child from drowning in North Caribou Lake First Nation on June 23, 2020.
A Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery was awarded to Leandra McKay and Chanelle Skunk for their actions on Jan. 25, 2021 in Pickle Lake.
Police shared that, “Leandra, who was only 8 years old at the time, bravely alerted Chanelle to a violent incident and asked for help. Chanelle took immediate action and courageously intervened to assist another child.”
A Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery was awarded to Provincial Constable Adam Rudd (now with the Niagara OPP detachment) for his actions on May 5, 2021, in Sioux Lookout, when police shared, “Without regard for his own safety, (Rudd) assisted residents to evacuate an apartment complex that was on fire. The fire was spreading quickly, PC Rudd’s actions directly led to everyone being evacuated safely.”
Also receiving a Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery were Provincial Constable Curtis Robb, Fire Captain Greg Olson and Sergeant Kevin Young (all from Sioux Lookout) for their lifesaving efforts on Nov. 19, 2020 responding to a residential fire.
Police shared, “Police and Fire were dispatched to a house fire where residents were still inside. PC Robb and Sgt Young used their police vehicle to remove two young children who were trapped inside a second storey bedroom. A third child remained inside the room. Without hesitation, Captain Olson ran into the burning house and rescued the child who was in critical condition. As a result of the brave, and quick action all three children were saved.”
A Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery was also awarded to Provincial Constable Jacob Neufeld of the Sioux Lookout OPP detachment for his actions on Sept. 19, 2021. Police shared, Neufeld, “who at the time was an auxiliary officer in Lanark County… assisted to stop a runaway vessel after the occupants were ejected. As a result of his actions, no further injuries were sustained.”
Recognized for 20-year Exemplary Service Medals were Sioux Lookout OPP members Provincial Constable Natalia Gauthier, Sergeant Jean Duguay, Sergeant Kevin Young, and Sergeant Andrew Simpson (who was not in attendance for the presentation).
Commissioner’s Commendations were presented to Sioux Lookout OPP members Detective Constable Haley Collinson (who was also recognized with the Eric Nystedt Fitness Award), Provincial Constable Lucas Wolfe and Detective Constable Mathew Evans.
OPP Values Challenge Coins were presented to the detachment’s Administrative Clerks, Karen Golec, Deb Roy, Charlene Brown, Jacqueline Pavis, and Jarret Falkingham.
MacKillop shared following the presentations, “It’s an incredible opportunity to recognize local people that are helping and working with not only our fire department but also the OPP members that you saw here today.”
He described recipients as heroic, brave, and thanked them for going above and beyond.
“Our officers that have the 20 year commitment to the community, a community like this, which is a duration posting, to have over 20 years of service, is rare but is a testament to the great living environment that exists here in Sioux Lookout. Our members want to be here and they want to stay here.”
He added, “Lives were saved by the people that were recognized today. I couldn’t be more impressed and more pleased with their commitment to the community.”
Perreault said of her lifesaving actions, “I would do it all over again. I’m just happy I could help.”
Olson said of his actions, “Just doing what you’re trained to do.”
Young said, “It was great to be recognized. It was a team effort of course… we just had to do what we had to do.”