Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Christchurch bravery recognised

Christchurch bravery recognised

Monday, 23 June 2014 - 8:11am


New Zealand Police has welcomed the announcement that four officers and one former officer have received bravery awards for their actions following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Acting Senior Sergeant Michael Brooklands, Constables Shane Cowles and Michael Kneebone, former Constable Daniel Lee and Sergeant Danny Johanson have each been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM) in a special bravery honours list announced today.

The Christchurch officers were all involved in the immediate rescue effort after the 6.3 earthquake struck the city on February 22, 2011.

Acting Senior Sergeant Brooklands, Constables Cowles and Kneebone and former Constable Lee saved at least six people from the collapsed and burning Canterbury Television Building. The officers' lives were at particular risk during the first hour of the rescues as the building's lift tower was disintegrating with each aftershock.

Sergeant Johanson joined a firefighter and two civilian doctors in a rescue operation for a badly-injured man who was trapped in the Pyne Gould Corporation Building and in danger of bleeding to death. Working in a confined space and with aftershocks threatening the area he was in, Sergeant Johanson assisted in the amputation of the man's legs, allowing him to be freed. The man survived.

The two doctors and the firefighter have also been recognised in today's bravery honours.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush welcomed the recognition of the officers' actions.

"These officers put their own safety at risk to save the lives of others in dangerous, difficult and very distressing situations. They should all be very proud of what they did that day, as should everybody who responded to this tragedy."

Mr Bush said the officers were among the thousands of Police, emergency service staff and members of the public who responded in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and the thousands more who assisted in Christchurch during the national emergency.

"The way Police, other emergency services, Defence Force personnel and members of the public responded that day and in the days, weeks and months that followed was a credit to them all," Mr Bush said.

Several Police officers have previously received Royal Honours in New Year or Queen's Birthday lists for work which included their roles during the Christchurch earthquake and the national emergency that followed.

More than 3200 Police staff, Australian officers who were temporarily sworn in as New Zealand Police and some emergency workers and specialist recovery personnel were awarded Police Commissioner's citations for their work in Christchurch during the national emergency. They are among the more than 5000 Police staff and others who received Commissioner's Certificates of Appreciation for their work in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

The citations for the officers who have received bravery awards today follow.

The New Zealand Bravery Medal

BROOKLANDS, Acting Senior Sergeant Michael (Mike):
Sergeant Michael Brooklands (now Acting Senior Sergeant) was on duty in central Christchurch when the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck on 22 February 2011. He was one of the first Police officers to arrive at the collapsed Canterbury Television building, and took immediate command at the site. He contacted Police Communications and gave them a situation report, requesting Fire Service and other assistance. A fire had ignited in the lower levels of the building, complicating rescue efforts. Sergeant Brooklands worked with three other Police officers on the roof of the building to conduct several rescues amongst the rubble of the building’s lift tower. Their lives were at particular risk during the first hour when they were working under the precarious lift tower that was disintegrating with each aftershock. They were initially able to free a woman and two children. The Police officers then searched for audible tapping or voices and managed to pinpoint the locations of at least eight survivors. Where possible the officers dug down to the survivors they located and using stretchers sourced from the nearby Inland Revenue building, carried the survivors to waiting medical personnel. They heard a woman calling for help in the burning area of the building and made several attempts to reach her from outside the building, with only wet clothing wrapped around their heads to protect against the heat and smoke. This occurred before the Fire Service had arrived on the scene. Due to a brief change in wind direction they were able to climb down inside the building, reach the woman and pull her free. As well as climbing into the building and assisting with rescuing survivors, Sergeant Brooklands assumed control and deployment of staff at the site. He communicated clearly with the Police communications centre, identifying the site needs. He established a grid pattern for the building search and assigned staff to specific areas, as well as initiating the establishment of a triage and mortuary facility. Sergeant Brooklands remained the Police controller at the site until 3.00am the following morning.

The New Zealand Bravery Medal

COWLES, Constable Shane:
When the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February, Constable Shane Cowles was one of the first Police officers in attendance at the collapsed Canterbury Television building. A fire had ignited in the lower levels of the building, complicating rescue efforts. Constable Cowles worked with three other Police officers on the roof of the building to conduct several rescues amongst the rubble of the building’s lift tower. Their lives were at particular risk during the first hour when they were working under the precarious lift tower that was disintegrating with each aftershock. They were initially able to free a woman and two children. The Police officers then searched for audible tapping or voices and managed to pinpoint the locations of at least eight survivors. Where possible the officers dug down to the survivors they located and using stretchers sourced from the nearby Inland Revenue building carried the survivors to waiting medical personnel. They heard a woman calling for help in the burning area of the building and made several attempts to reach her from the outside of the building, with only wet clothing wrapped around their heads to protect against the heat and smoke. This occurred before the Fire Service had arrived on the scene. Due to a brief change in wind direction they were able to climb down inside the building, reach the woman and pull her free. The efforts of Shane Cowles and the other Police officers rescued at least six people from the CTV site.

The New Zealand Bravery Medal

JOHANSON, Sergeant Danny:
When the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February, Senior Constable Danny Johanson (now Sergeant) was deployed with a Police unit carrying advanced medical kits and specialist equipment into the inner-city area. The team used concrete cutting equipment at several sites and were at the forefront of several rescues at both the Pyne Gould Corporation and Canterbury Television buildings.
Senior Constable Johanson joined a firefighter and two civilian doctors in a rescue operation for a man who was trapped inside the PGC building. The man was in danger of bleeding to death with his legs pinned between a concrete pillar and a collapsed floor section. Senior Constable Johanson assisted with a complete double amputation of the man’s legs with a hacksaw and penknife. Inside the dark conditions of the collapsed building Senior Constable Johanson climbed into a confined area beside the trapped man, lying on a staircase with his feet above him in order to access the area to be operated on. The man was anesthetised with morphine and ketamine and tourniquets applied to both legs. The civilian doctor performing the amputation became fatigued and passed the hacksaw to Senior Constable Johanson, the second doctor and the firefighter who took turns in completing the operation. The man was loaded onto a tarpaulin and carried to ambulance staff waiting outside the building. Several aftershocks hit during the operation, threatening to compromise the area Senior Constable Johanson was working in. The man survived due to their efforts.

The New Zealand Bravery Medal

KNEEBONE, Constable Michael:
When the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February, Constable Michael Kneebone was one of the first Police officers in attendance at the collapsed Canterbury Television building. A fire had ignited in the lower levels of the building, complicating rescue efforts. Constable Kneebone worked with three other Police officers on the roof of the building to conduct several rescues amongst the rubble of the building’s lift tower. Their lives were at particular risk during the first hour when they were working under the precarious lift tower that was disintegrating with each aftershock. They were initially able to free a woman and two children. The Police officers then searched for audible tapping or voices and managed to pinpoint the locations of at least eight survivors. Where possible the officers dug down to the survivors they located and using stretchers sourced from the nearby Inland Revenue building carried the survivors to waiting medical personnel. They heard a woman calling for help in the burning area of the building and made several attempts to reach her from outside the building, with only wet clothing wrapped around their heads to protect against the heat and smoke. This occurred before the Fire Service had arrived on the scene. Due to a brief change in wind direction they were able to climb down inside the building, reach the woman and pull her free, but were engulfed by smoke and flames and unable to go further into the building to look for more survivors. The efforts of Michael Kneebone and the other Police officers rescued at least six people from the CTV site.

The New Zealand Bravery Medal

LEE, Mr Daniel:
When the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February, Mr Daniel Lee, formerly Constable Lee of the New Zealand Police, was one of the first Police officers in attendance at the collapsed Canterbury Television building. A fire had ignited in the lower levels of the building, complicating rescue efforts. Constable Lee worked with three other Police officers on the roof of the building to conduct several rescues amongst the rubble of the building’s lift tower. Their lives were at particular risk during the first hour when they were working under the precarious lift tower that was disintegrating with each aftershock. They were initially able to free a woman and two children. The Police officers then searched for audible tapping or voices and managed to pinpoint the locations of at least eight survivors. Where possible the officers dug down to the survivors they located and using stretchers sourced from the nearby Inland Revenue building carried the survivors to waiting medical personnel. They heard a woman calling for help in the burning area of the building and made several attempts to reach her from outside the building with only wet clothing wrapped around their heads to protect against the heat and smoke. This occurred before the Fire Service had arrived on the scene. Due to a brief change in wind direction they were able to climb down inside the building, reach the woman and pull her free, but were engulfed by smoke and flames and unable to go further into the building to look for more survivors. The efforts of Daniel Lee and the other Police officers rescued at least six people from the CTV site.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s
Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left. Even the victory by Labour’s Stuart Nash in Napier was the outcome of a strong showing by Conservative Party candidate Garth McVicar that split the centre-right vote... More>>

Election: National Win

With all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose.

Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party.

National ended the night on 48 percent, Labour 24.6 and the Greens 10. More>>

Overall Results | Live Results | Predictions |

ALSO:

.

 
 


Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news