Officers’ acts commended
On the evening of January 3, 2016, Const. Jeremy Forster dived into the water at Koombana Bay after hearing a woman’s screams for help.
Const. Forster did not think twice as he followed his partner, First Class Const. Kurt McKain, into the cold and dark water.
The brave pair managed to locate the distressed woman about 250m from shore where she had become unconscious and submerged.
The woman was pulled to safety, taken back to shore and Const. Forster started resuscitation.
Sen. Const. Jake Carruthers was part of the second response team to arrive and he quickly stepped in to help.
The woman was taken to hospital and later released thanks to the heroic actions of a team of local cops.
Const. Forster and Sen. Const. Carruthers were both recognised for their brave actions at a special police medal ceremony hosted by Assistant Commissioner for regional WA Murray Smalpage in Bunbury on Thursday.
Const. Forster received a Commissioner’s Special Commendation with his actions described as having “exceeded that expected of your duty”.
“You don’t really think about it, you don’t run into a situation like that thinking I’m going to get a medal out of this,” Const. Forster said on receiving the commendation.
“It just doesn’t happen that way, you get in there, you get the job done and consider what the outcome is afterwards.”
Sen. Const. Carruthers was recognised with a Certificate of Outstanding Performance for his “commitment, tenacity and dedication to duty”.
“There’s a lot of things that get done without any sort of recognition, not that that’s what we’re here for and that’s not why we joined the job,” Sen. Const. Carruthers said.
“But there’s certainly a lot of things that ourselves and other officers do every single day that don’t get recognised – so getting this is sort of for those duties as well.”
The ceremony also saw a number of other South West police and staff recognised for their service, including Insp. Mick Hayes who received a WA Police Service Medal for 30 years.
Outgoing Bunbury officer Stephanie Smith was recognised with a WA Police Statement of Service after she left the force earlier this year following nearly 29 years on the beat.
Assistant Commissioner Smalpage said some of the awards were rare and it was “crucial” that officers were recognised.
“Rescuing a person that’s drowning ... the circumstances are exceptional and the officers put themselves at great peril to do those activities to help those people,” he said.
“From my point of view, they are extremely valuable awards and they are in recognition of how highly we think of the activities of those officers who are doing an outstanding job.
“Many of my colleagues we look at these awards and say ‘the police are just doing their job’ – well no, they’re not just doing their job, they’ve gone over and above and they’ve actually put themselves at great peril, they’ve put their own lives on the line to help other people in need.
“They really, for me, make me extremely proud of the true values of policing that we’re out there every day, every night, helping our community when they’re in need the most.”
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