FORT MACMURRAY – Crimebeat – On February 24, 2012, Cpl. Andrew Ashton of the Wood Buffalo RCMP was awarded a Medal of Bravery at Rideau Hall in Ottawa by the Governor General of Canada. His act of heroism stemmed from an incident that took place in Hobbema, Alberta, on December 25, 2007. Cpl. Ashton and another police officer rescued a woman from a burning house.
After responding to a distress call concerning a suicidal woman, the constables noticed smoke escaping through the soffits of her residence. Cpl. Ashton kicked open the door and entered, but was forced out by a wall of smoke and intense heat. With the help of other police officers, they smashed the windows on the main floor as flames rapidly engulfed the interior. Cpl. Ashton again crawled through the front door and made his way upstairs while the other police officer climbed through one of the second-floor windows. They located the unconscious victim and passed her through the window to members waiting outside.
The woman survived, in great part, thanks to the perseverance displayed by the officers that day. The Wood Buffalo Detachment would also like to recognize Cpl. Ashton’s efforts and commend him on his heroism.