Friday, January 24, 2014

Citizen Bravery Recognized by Calgary Fire Department

Calgary Fire Chief Bruce Burrell, with Mark Robson (father of recipient Matthew Robson), Natalie Wright and Calgary Battalion Chief John Cherweniuk at the Fire Chief’s Recognition Luncheon on January 22, 2014. 

Calgarians can feel safe, not only because of the great work of our first responders, but also because of the many courageous and caring citizens in our city. On Wednesday, January 22, 2014, Calgary’s Fire Chief Bruce Burrell hosted the Fire Chief’s Recognition Luncheon in honour of 28 Calgarians who demonstrated outstanding bravery in an emergency situation.

“Whether they alerted residents to impending danger, pulled victims from car crashes and fires, or administered first aid, their involvement was critical in providing compassionate care before our Fire crews and other first responders could arrive,” said Fire Chief Bruce Burrell about the recipients. “Because of their intervention, our crews were able to get vital information and help the victims as quickly as possible.”

All award nominations were reviewed by a committee and then approved by Chief Burrell for recognition in one of three categories; appreciation, recognition and commendation. CFD members who nominated outstanding citizens joined Chief Burrell in presenting the recipients with a certificate and a CFD commemorative coin or a medal, depending upon the level of recognition awarded. 

“It is an absolute honour to be recognized for something like this,” said Natalie Wright. She and Matthew Robson, who was unable to attend the event, were recognized for their brave actions in June 2011 after they witnessed a crash where a vehicle lost control, rolled down an embankment and caught fire.

Natalie, who first noticed the vehicle while she was driving, called her friend Matthew, who was also in another vehicle not far behind her. He stopped, got out of his car and proceeded to jump a fence and swim across an irrigation canal to get to the driver. When he finally reached the victim of the crash, he administered first aid and was able to keep the man stable until emergency responders arrived.  

One Calgary firefighter, Captain Rouge Ashmead, was included among the recipients and was recognized alongside radio personality Dave Rutherford for pulling a driver out of a vehicle as it caught fire in October 2013. Captain Ashmead and Rutherford were honoured at the commendation level.

A full list of the award recipients can be found in the CFD news release.

For more information on the Calgary Fire Department, please visit

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