THREE Warrnambool police officers have been awarded for distinguished service in a Warrnambool cliff rescue, the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland floods.
- Scroll down for video interviews with two officers.
Divisional superintendent Don Downes said special medals and certificates helped bring community attention to sacrifices made by police officers and challenges they faced when trying to protect the community.
Leading Senior Constable Mick Little received a divisional commendation for his efforts in descending steep, fragile cliffs to a fatally-injured woman on a ledge at Thunder Point on August 12, 2012.
Yesterday he recalled the day when he had just returned from a car smash scene at The Sisters and was told of an incident at the picturesque Thunder Point.
“I ran to an area where a young lass said her father had gone down to help a lady who had fallen,” he said. “A police dog handler happened to be in the area and we went down to help the ambulance officer perform CPR. Unfortunately she did not recover.
“I also got some gear for the ambulance guy who had climbed down also.
“There were times as I climbed down that the cliff face started to give way and I didn’t think I’d be able to get up again.
“Other emergency service personnel also put their lives at risk.”
Leading Senior Constable Little, who is in the crime scene services department, said it was nice to be acknowledged with an award, but there were many other police officers who did commendable work which was not recognised.
A humanitarian overseas service medal was awarded to Sergeant Callum McKinnon for his involvement in recovery efforts after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
He was with the operations response unit in Melbourne at the time and recalled getting a phone call the day after the devastating quake which killed 185 people.
“The call came out of the blue telling me to prepare for deployment to New Zealand where there was a lot of devastation,” Sergeant McKinnon said.
“When I arrived I found an entire city evacuated with no other people than rescue teams — it was like a war zone, the damage was phenomenal.
Sergeant McKinnon was stationed in Christchurch for two weeks working 10 to 12-hour days with two days off.
Tremors were a regular occurrence as they slept in university accommodation units.
Senior Constable Fiona Reid received a Queensland Police Service citation for her work in recovery efforts after the December 2010 Queensland flood disaster which killed 38 people.
Senior Constable Reid was not available for interview yesterday.