Island officers receive St. John’s Award for lifesaving attempts

NORTH BAY—The North East Region of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) presented many awards to honour citizens and OPP members, both uniform and civilian, who have demonstrated acts of bravery, lifesaving, community service and exemplary performance of duty at an October 28 ceremony held in North Bay. Length of service was also recognized. The award recipients included several OPP members from the Manitoulin Island detachment.

Among those receiving awards included the OPP’s Constable Robert Manley, Constable Patricia Smith and Sergeant Michael Patterson, who received an OPP Commissioner’s letter and St. John Award for their lifesaving attempts in the case of a drowning victim earlier this year.

The OPP citation explains, “on June 29, 2016 the three officers responded to a report of a drowning victim on Tobacco Lake in Gordon Township, Ontario. The woman was not a swimmer and had waded out into the water with a pool noodle to keep afloat. After a few minutes, her friend observed her slumped over the noodle with her face in the water.”

“A bystander rushed into the water and began to perform artificial resuscitation,” reads the OPP citation. “Sergeant Patterson arrived on scene and entered the water. He brought the woman to shore and checked for a pulse before initiating CPR. Constable Smith relieved Sergeant Patterson of chest compressions (on the victim). Constable Manley located the ambulance and directed them to the scene before continuing chest compressions in the ambulance en route to the hospital.”

“Today, we honour the efforts of these officers when attempting to save the woman’s life,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes in making the presentation.

The awards were presented by the OPP commissioner and Chief Superintendent Fern Labelle.

During the ceremonies, police exemplary service medals for 20 year’s service were presented to Sergeant Michael Patterson and Detective Constable Stephen Redmond.

A Police Exemplary Service Medal 1st Bar for 30 years service was presented to former Manitoulin OPP officer Daniel Esposto, Constable David Millette (retired) and current Manitoulin OPP Staff Sergeant-Detachment Commander Kevin Webb.

The Quarter Century Club award (25 year service pin) was presented to provincial constable Randy Dedman.