Royal Humane Society of NZ Silver Medal Citations
Citations – Strictly embargoed until 2.45pm, 5
To receive the Royal Humane Society of New Zealand Silver Medal
On Friday 22nd May 2015, Mandeep Singh entered the AWI International Education Group building in Queen Street, armed with 5 knives, with the intent of killing his wife, Parmita Rani and a male friend, Parminder Singh.
Mandeep Singh waited for them in the lobby of the
institute. As Parmita Rani and Parminder Singh entered the
lobby, Mandeep Singh approached them and stabbed Ms Rani in
her chest. The knife penetrated her chest bone, severing an
artery and her airways. Mandeep Singh stabbed Ms Rani twice
more and she died at the scene.
Zane Paki, who had been contracted to carry out some painting at the school, saw Mandeep Singh attacking Parminder Singh and disarmed and apprehended him. Mr Paki took Mandeep Singh away from the watching crowd until the police arrived. When Mandeep Singh began brandishing another knife, Mr Paki took it from him and kept him restrained and under control until the Police arrived.
Mr Paki put his life at serious risk in order to protect Parminder Singh, and his actions undoubtedly helped to prevent a second homicide. He showed incredible bravery and prevented further tragedy.
On Saturday 25 March 2017 Bruce Imrie was driving with his wife, Maureen on the estuary road in Sumner, Christchurch when he drove through the barrier and into the estuary. The first people to reach the scene were three British doctors, who all worked at Christchurch Central Hospital.
Dr Oliver Beaumont and Dr Rory Clarke jumped into the water. Their friend Dr Tara Kubba remained on shore and called emergency services.
The car was floating in strong currents, taking on water, and moving quickly towards the sea. Dr Beaumont made it to the car first and spoke with the two elderly occupants. He instructed them to remove their seat belts, before he attempted to open the car door.
Mr Beaumont used considerable strength to open the driver’s door against the pressure of the surrounding water. The car sank rapidly when the door was opened. He managed to extract Mr Imrie from and the car, who was assisted to the shore by Dr Clarke. Dr Beaumont dived under to try and save Mrs Imrie. The depth of the water around this area was some four to six metres.
Unfortunately Mrs Imrie drowned in the car, and the body and the vehicle were not located until the following day.
Mr Imrie survived due to the actions of Dr
Beaumont and Dr Clarke, who put themselves at considerable
personal risk to conduct a rescue in very challenging and
On 7th May 2016, Terry Lockley lost consciousness while he was driving his car, and the vehicle drove through wooden bollards into the Waikato River.
Mr Nan Xia and Mr Junao Zhang, who were at the nearby Mobil Service Station, saw what had happened. They ran to the river and Mr Zhang swam to the driver’s door of the car while Mr Xia swam to the passenger’s door. They tried to direct the car to a shallow area nearby, but the current pushed the vehicle a further 150 metres north. The front of the car soon began to sink in deep water.
Mr Xia freed Mrs Lockley, who made her own way to the river bank and was assisted by members of the public. Mr Xia swam to the driver’s door to assist Mr Zhang.
Despite all their efforts, the car sank completely in about two metres of water. The submerged vehicle and the body of Mr Lockley were recovered by the Police Dive squad later that evening.
The river was moving swiftly due to an outgoing tide, and had Mr Zhang and Mr Xia not been there, Mrs Lockley would have lost her life. Mr Zhang and Mr Xia risked their lives and could have been sucked down with the car when it sank. Both men showed immense bravery and courage in trying to save Mr Lockley’s life.
On 23rd January 2016, Grant Wooding witnessed the immediate aftermath of a serious road crash at Peel Forest, Geraldine. Mr Wooding, who at his mother’s house, suddenly heard a loud bang.
Mr Wooding told his mother to call 111 and ask for all emergency services. He then drove to the accident site, where he discovered a seriously injured and unconscious driver inside a burning motor vehicle. Despite the flames and obvious danger, Mr Wooding rescued the driver, using his bare hands to suppress the flames around the driver’s feet. Once the driver was extricated, Mr Wooding commenced advanced first aid.
A few minutes later, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. Medical student Thomas Martin, who stopped to help, stated that he witnessed the vehicle exploding and saw flames reaching as high as the tops of large trees nearby. Mr Wooding continued to carry out first aid on the victim, who was in shock and had suffered extreme burns and trauma.
Mr Wooding responded immediately, without assistance, to extract a severely injured and unconscious driver from a badly damaged, burning vehicle. Although trained as a nurse and paramedic, the circumstances as presented to Mr Wooding put him at a high risk of injury or death. The driver of the vehicle would almost certainly have died had Mr Wooding not responded in the timely, brave way that he did.
On the 27th May 2017, a Goma Air cargo plane crashed near Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla, in Nepal. The plane had a crew of three: pilot, co-pilot and flight attendant.
An Air Dynasty medical team, consisting of Captain Andrew Gutsell, a specialist mountain helicopter pilot; Alyssa Lowe, an Emergency Nurse; and Andrew Roy, an Advanced Flight Paramedic, was quick to react.
Mr Roy scaled down the side of a cliff to the plane’s fuselage, followed by Ms Lowe, who was carrying a large bag full of medical equipment and a portable stretcher down the slippery side of the cliff. Mr Roy quickly organised a group of Nepali Army and Police officers to evacuate the critically injured flight attendant, who was escorted to Lukla Hospital. The pilot had died on impact but the co-pilot was still alive.
Some 400 or so local civilians and others had arrived at the crash site. Mr Roy and Mr Gutsell, who were inside the plane, convinced the civilians to stop hacking at the exposed metal in an attempt to free the casualties inside, as this was causing heavy sparking and risked tipping the plane from its wedged position on the side of the cliff. There was a large quantity of aviation fuel and hydraulic fluid around the crash site and Mr Gutsell also removed the oxygen bottles from the aircraft, as they posed a very high risk of detonation.
It took an hour to remove metal panels which were surrounded by live electrical wires and adjacent fuel lines. Mr Gutsell had to extinguish fire in the cockpit after leaking hydraulic lines caught alight. Eventually the co-pilot was able to be pulled up through the cockpit cabin.
Mr Roy and Ms Lowe provided immediate life-saving medical treatment to the co-pilot on the side of the runway, aided by two Australian nurses. En-route to the hospital Mr Roy maintained the co-pilot’s airway and provided manual ventilation.
The highest level of trauma care was provided to the co-pilot, with every medical intervention possible being applied. However, his injuries were not survivable.
The team went on to provide continuous attendance, treatment, and pain management for the critically-injured flight attendant, until the weather cleared enough to allow her evacuation to the major hospital in Kathmandu the following morning. She would not have survived the night without this vital care.
After a 17-hour sleepless marathon, providing every resource within their power to the crash victims, the team re-set and went straight back to work providing rescue and medical services to numerous other patients.
The team risked injury traversing unstable and extremely narrow dirt paths down the cliff. In Ms Lowe’s case, she did so while carrying equipment in both hands.
They also potentially saved dozens more lives by controlling the crash scene, providing crowd control, and mitigating hazards to prevent a catastrophic post-crash fire and ensuing explosion. The courage and bravery shown by these three individuals is remarkable.
On 30 June 2016, Sergeant Billy-Ray Slight and Constable Aaron Wilkins were tasked with arresting two men who were wanted for various offences. During the pursuit, the two offenders abandoned their car, jumping into the swollen Hutt River.
One of the men injured his leg and hurt his head, making getting out of the river near impossible. Sergeant Slight and Constable Wilkins, who were on different banks of the river, both noticed the difficulty the man was in and independently decided to jump in to help rescue the man.
Sergeant Slight and Constable Wilkins were able to calm him and help him out of the water, where he was treated by medics for his injuries. By then, the strong current had carried the group some 250 metres down the river.
If Sergeant Slight and Constable Wilkins had not come to his aid, it is most likely that the man would have been swept out into the harbour where a rescue would have been more difficult and may not have resulted in a recovery.