Three first responders from the Comox Valley received recognition Tuesday from the provincial government for saving the life of Baby Grant Weaver last January from the Puntledge River.
At a ceremony in Victoria, Courtenay firefighters Margaret Hamilton and Chris Murdock received commendations from the Office of the Fire Commissioner, along with RCMP Const. Steve Trevor, for their extraordinary efforts that exceed the call of duty.
A fourth commendation was forwarded to Const. Mike Wheeler, who assisted during the incident but has since been posted to the East Coast, explained Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex.
The responders rescued seven-month-old Grant from the Puntledge near the Condensory Bridge Jan. 30, 2015.
Grant’s mother, 26-year-old Veronika Sophie Weaver, perished during the incident. It remains unclear as to how the two wound up in the river.
Grant was in critical condition; he was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital then airlifted to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
Grant and his father Doug Weaver have relocated to Victoria.
The provincial commendation is a way of recognizing individuals who make outstanding contributions to fire safety in B.C.
The commendation can be awarded to members of the public as well as the fire service. The quartet was awarded Mayor’s Commendations from the City of Courtenay for their achievements last March.
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Bardonnex noted a fifth provincial commendation was given to Helen Anne Goulet – a 72-year-old Courtenay resident who pulled her 89-year-old friend from a burning home.
Last January, Goulet entered the home on Rachel Road, off Powerhouse Road, after she heard screams. She entered through a back door to find her friend on the floor of her kitchen. The 89-year-old female was burnt and collapsed inside the building, while Goulet received burns and suffered from severe smoke inhalation.