For three Nelson police officers, entering a burning building to rescue its occupant is just another day on the job but in a ceremony on Friday, the trio was celebrated and given bravery awards.
Constable Aisea Lata, Constable Hamish Wybrow and Sergeant Brett Currie all put their lives on the line in the early hours of September 20, 2015, at a property on Atawhai Dr.
Constable Lata was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal for rescuing a man from a burning building and returning for a second time to ensure no one else was inside.
Constable Hamish Wybrow was also presented with a Bronze Medal for assisting with the man’s rescue, and for his repeated efforts to re-enter the fully ablaze building.
Sergeant Brett Currie was presented with the Certificate of Merit for creating a safe zone for the fire service, and for entering the building to discharge a fire extinguisher as part of his valiant efforts to put out the fire.
The Royal Humane Society of New Zealand presented the three NZ Bravery Awards in a ceremony at the Council Chamber.
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, who presented the awards, says it was a real honour and privilege.
“Being asked to risk your life to save a stranger’s is not something we expect to face, and it is testament to the selflessness of these police officers that they didn’t hesitate to help when faced with a life and death situation,” says Rachel.
“Today’s awards ceremony has been about recognising the spirit of courage and selflessness; it’s about human endeavour to help others before ourselves.
“I hope that we can all be inspired by your courage to live our own lives with compassion and bravery, whatever situations in which we find ourselves,” she says.