THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Ontario’s Lt. Governor General recognized police and firefighters for their bravery today.
Four Thunder Bay Police Service officers received the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery.
Cst. Brian Gilbert and Cst. Brooke Pilley were recognized for their heroic efforts during a water rescue incident on Sept. 17, 2017.
Cst. James Lorentz and Cst. Marshall Moore received honours for a separate water rescue that occurred on Sept. 30, 2017.
The officers officially received their medals during a late afternoon virtual ceremony on Friday, April 22.
The Ontario Medal for Police Bravery was created in 1975 and is awarded annually to honour police officers who have gone above and beyond to protect and serve their community.
BACKGROUND (Cst. Moore and Cst. Lorentz)
In the afternoon hours of Sept. 30, 2017, police were dispatched to reports of a body floating in the river behind the Thunder Centre on Fort William Road.
When police arrived, Cst. Marshall Moore and Cst. James Lorentz observed a female about 25 feet from the shoreline. She appeared to be unresponsive.
A second individual was spotted slashing in the water about 10 feet from the shore. When this male made it back to the shore, he informed officers of his attempt to assist the woman who was unresponsive.
Officers entered the waterway and swam toward the woman. During the rescue attempt, the woman regained consciousness and began to resist the officers’ rescue efforts. Despite this, the officers were able to work together and bring her safely to shore.
The woman was taken to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for further treatment.
Thanks to the officers’ efforts the woman survived.
BACKGROUND (Cst. Pilley and Cst. Gilbert)
In the evening hours of Sept. 27, Thunder Bay Police Service officers were dispatched to the bridge on May and William Streets following reports of a male who had entered the water.
When police arrived on scene they could not immediately see a person in the waterway, leading to fears that the individual may have went under.
A short time later a body was observed in the water. Police observed the body floating, motionless and facedown near the middle of the river.
Cst. Brooke Pilley and Cst. Brian Gilbert both entered the water and swam toward the body of the male. The victim appeared to have no vital signs when officers reached him.
A rope bag was thrown to the officers in the water by other emergency first responders at the scene. Fellow officers and firefighters then assisted in pulling the officers and victim toward the shore.
The male was resuscitated and then transported to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for further treatment.
Thanks to the officers’ efforts, the male survived.