Second RCMP officer receives award for saving man from fire

A Hobbema police officer received a bravery award from Alberta’s lieutenant-governor this week for risking his life to rescue a man during a house fire on the Samson townsite.

A Hobbema police officer received a bravery award from Alberta’s lieutenant-governor this week for risking his life to rescue a man during a house fire on the Samson townsite.

RCMP Const. Pernell Cardinal of the Hobbema detachment was commended for entering a burning home in April 2010 in response to muffled sounds from within the residence.

He entered the home with Const. David Lee, who received the same award at last year’s presentation. According to an RCMP spokesman, the awards are given according to member availability.

“They don’t necessarily get them together.”

Although the burning home was filled with smoke, Pernell searched with Lee until they found a person lying on a mattress in the bedroom. The mattress was smouldering and partially burned, close to igniting.

Conroy Cabry, 21, was awakened by the officers and safely led out of the house without injury.

Pernell and Lee continued to thoroughly search the residence and attempted to extinguish the flames until the fire department arrived.

The officers were later treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.

Pernell was among three Alberta RCMP officers who received the latest Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Bravery, which recognizes courage in the face of dangerous circumstances, beyond those commonly encountered in police work.

Donald Ethell, lieutenant-governor of Alberta, joined Deputy Commissioner Dale McGowan, commanding officer of K Division RCMP in Edmonton, in making the award presentations.

“A lot of the good work our employees do flies under the radar,” said McGowan. The Edmonton ceremony is a chance to “celebrate their bravery and dedication to duty in service to their fellow Albertans.”

In March, two other Hobbema RCMP officers were awarded for bravery in Ottawa by the Governor General of Canada.

Cpl. Andrew Ashton and Const. Christopher Wells were commended for smashing windows to enter a burning house on Christmas Day 2007 to rescue a suicidal woman, who was already unconscious when they found her. She survived due to their intervention.