Three Ashcroft RCMP detachment constables and a Central Interior Traffic Services (CITS) constable have received Awards of Valour at the 38th annual Police Honours Night at Government House in Victoria. They are among 114 law enforcement members who were recognized for their bravery and dedication.
Constables Daniel Caston (CTIS), Cortney Hodges, Lee Taylor, and Nicholas Theoret rescued 12 motorists, including a young child, who were trapped by several mudslides along Highway 99 on Aug. 11, 2018. Peter Shearer of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement joined the four constables in responding to calls from stranded motorists, as well as six people trapped in their house by a mudslide following heavy rains.
The five walked in four kilometres to the site over several mudslides, carrying ropes and life jackets, and were able to bring everyone out safely.
The four RCMP constables were nominated for the Award of Valour by Ashcroft RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Kathleen Fitzgerald.
“There were people trapped in a home, several people trapped in cars, and a group of motorcyclists trapped between slides,” Fitzgerald told the Journal last year. “The [five of them] not only went above and beyond, they performed heroically under extreme conditions.”
At the Nov. 21 Police Honours Night, 30 officers received the Award of Valour, the highest award for a police officer in B.C.. The award recognizes officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect others from harm.
“It takes a special kind of person to serve in law enforcement, those who know the dangers and challenges of their profession but remain committed to serve with pride and never shy away from their duty,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Tonight’s honourees are examples of that commitment in action and on behalf of all British Columbians, we thank officers just like them all across the province for their immeasurable contributions to public safety.”
Lt. Gov. Janet Austin and Farnworth presented awards to officers of all ranks from municipal departments and the RCMP for their bravery in life-saving incidents, their devotion above and beyond the call of duty, and their work to make B.C.’s communities safer.
“Those recognized tonight have demonstrated exemplary courage and conviction,” Austin said. “It is an honour to hear the stories of these brave men and women, who serve British Columbians often at the risk of their own lives. We thank them for their service and acknowledge all who support them to do such impactful work for the province.”