|L – R: Fire Chief Ken Uzeloc, Ian (Bob) Hope, D’Arcy Hare|
“Bob and I didn't even speak to each other about what we were going to do, we just leapt into action,” said D’Arcy Hare, a transit peace officer who spotted a woman in trouble in the Bow River near the Langevin Bridge with his colleague Ian (Bob) Hope this winter.
They called dispatch, requesting emergency services to their location before parking and making their way down the riverbank.
It was about -5 C that day, but with the wind chill felt much colder. The two men were both worried that if the woman went under the water, she would not survive.
Through snow to pull woman from the river
They scrambled down the riverbank towards the ice-covered water, and carefully made their way to the woman who was at the edge of the river and ice ledge.
“We each took a hold of her wrists and dragged her out of the water,” said Hare.
By the time the men reached the shore with the woman, emergency services were there. They recalled the woman was conscious, but as is common with hypothermia, she was not able to speak coherently. Thanks to their efforts and those of emergency services, the woman was treated for hypothermia and later released.
Rescued woman and went back to work
“We thanked all of the emergency responders, brushed off the ice and snow and went back to work - well to be honest we went for a coffee for me and tea for Bob, to warm up. We then went back to work for the rest of our shift.”
To recognize their bravery, the two men were presented with the Medal of Bravery, the highest honour of the Fire Department Recognition Luncheon. The honour is bestowed on individuals who proactively intervene in a life saving situation, or risk personal injury to save another individual at a Fire Department-attended incident.
You can nominate someone for the award too
Members of the public can nominate worthy firefighters or citizens for recognition by contacting 311. Nominations are reviewed by the Calgary Fire Department.
“I am humbled to be recognized. I don't feel like I did something extraordinary,” explained Hope. “I would hope that anyone would do the same to save another person's life.”
For more information on the Calgary Fire Department visit calgary.ca/fire.
Submitted by Bridget Cox, Calgary Fire Department