Nova Scotians have a long history of helping others, even in the face of danger.
Today, Nov. 20, Premier Stephen McNeil presented Medals of Bravery to seven deserving Nova Scotians who have continued this tradition.
“I am in awe of the courage shown by these seven Nova Scotians,” said Premier McNeil. “These men acted bravely and selflessly when people needed them most. Pulling strangers from a burning vehicle, climbing up on the roof of a neighbor’s burning house, and the unimaginable, searching a sunken vessel for survivors.
The Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery is an opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate their heroic actions.”
This year’s Medal of Bravery recipients are:
— Aidan Brunn, Martins River and Patrick May, Maplewood: On March 29, Aidan Brunn and Patrick May encountered a head on collision between a pickup truck and a car that had caught fire. Mr. Brunn, the first person on the scene, stopped and pulled the unconscious driver out of the burning vehicle. Upon arriving at the scene, Mr. May helped rescue the passenger whose clothing had also caught fire. Through their quick actions, the passenger of the vehicle was saved.
— Robert Henderson, Springhill: On Nov. 20, 2012, Robert Henderson woke to see his neighbour’s house on fire and his neigbour in her second-storey bedroom window afraid to escape. The house was engulfed in thick smoke, preventing first responders from entering the home. The emergency personnel were able to boost Mr. Henderson onto the porch roof where he persuaded his neighbour to climb down the ladder before leaving the burning home himself.
— Donald Mahaney, Barrington Passage, Thomas Hennigar, Clark’s Harbour, Thomas Nickerson, Clyde River, and Gary Thurber, Doctor’s Cove: On February 23, under extreme weather conditions, Donald Mahaney led a four-person dive team to search the hull of the Miss Ally, a Woods Harbour fishing vessel, which had capsized during a severe winter storm in the Atlantic Ocean. Their 30 hour mission resulted in locating the Miss Ally, and discovering that the wheelhouse of the boat had been destroyed. The divers were able to stabilize the vessel and dive under the boat. Unfortunately the crew members were not found, however the brave measures taken by Mr. Mahaney, Mr. Hennigar, Mr. Nickerson and Mr. Thurber provided the families with some answers as to what happened on that tragic February night.
“As we recognize these brave individuals today, we also honour the lives that even heroic efforts were unable to save,” said Premier McNeil. “The men who died tragically were no doubt heroes within their own families and we hope their families find some comfort knowing fellow Nova Scotians risked their lives to try to spare them the pain they now bear.”
Fifteen Nova Scotians have received the Medal of Bravery since it began in 2008. These medals are given to people who have risked their lives or safety to help others.
Recipients were selected by an advisory panel chaired by Vice Admiral Duncan Miller (retired). The panel includes the deputy minister of Justice, the provincial fire marshal, president of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police, the director of operations from the Emergency Management Office, the deputy commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, and community members Paul Pettipas and Ann MacLean.
For more information, visit novascotia.ca/bravery/