It's a tough job

16:00, Nov 12 2012
Rodney Awards
STRONG SUPPORT: About 150 police, family, friends, and members of the community attended the Rodney Area Medal and Awards Ceremony in the Orewa Bridge Club on Thursday.

An horrific scene confronted constables Michael Boston and Steve Nicoll as they arrived at a Waimauku home.

The two responded to an emergency call but were unsuccessful trying to revive a middle-aged man and his toddler, despite performing resuscitation on them for more than 25 minutes.

Sergeant Michael Rickards, the senior police officer on duty at Kumeu, took control of the situation, directing staff and assisting with resuscitation as well. He also led follow-up procedures, including contacting Victim Support and ensuring the welfare of staff.

Rodney Awards
FAMILY TIES: Orewa Sergeant Greg Foster with his wife, Warkworth Detective Julie Foster, and their children Kane, 6, and Ben, 4. Mrs Foster received a 14-year Long Service and Good Conduct Award

The tragedy happened just as the Kumeu Rotary Christmas Parade was starting last December and saw many of the emergency services involved in the parade rush to the scene.

All three officers received Area Commander's Certificates of Appreciation in a police award ceremony in Orewa last Thursday before about 150 fellow staff, dignitaries, families and community members. Many were teary-eyed after hearing about the incident.

Also mentioned were Bruce and Evorie Charles of Waimauku, who responded to screams for help, calling police and pulling the child from a vehicle.


Senior Constable Neil Winterbottom from Highway patrol and Constable Vicki Parker received Mentioned in Dispatches certificates for their roles too.

"Your efforts were significant and your assistance is acknowledged and appreciated," Rodney Area Commander Inspector Scott Webb says in presenting their awards.

Many other police were acknowledged for their significant impact on the community and for life-saving interventions at the Rodney Area Medal and Awards Ceremony in the Orewa Bridge Club.

Mr Webb says the support from families of police is important, and deserving of acknowledgement too.

"‘The bravery, extra effort and guts from staff in our area make me proud to be working here," he says.

Waitemata District Commander Superintendent Bill Searle agrees, saying family members own half of the awards.

A new award was given to recognise the outstanding and heroic deeds of police following the devastating Christchurch earthquake on February 22, last year.

Honours given for earthquake work

Thirteen people were acknowledged for their contributions with Canterbury Earthquake Citations.

Waitemata District Commander Superintendent Bill Searle says he received a call requesting support in the aftermath.

"Thirty staff from Waitemata forming the first contingent to go were ready within a few hours. It will definitely be one of those times that you will look back on in the future and remember," Mr Searle says.

Three thousand and 600 police officers nationwide were awarded the quake citations, along with St John Ambulance and Fire Service staff.

Rodney police recognised for their efforts in Canterbury include Sergeant Mark Ovington, Sergeant Chris Walker, Senior Constable Neil Winterbottom, Senior Constables Richard Williams, Brett Hanly, Michael Brown, Vicky Parker, Michael Collins, Nicola Paterson, Rebecca Major, Shanon Robertson, Jock Van Doormaal and forensic dentist Dr Warren Bell.

Other honours were given for long service and good conduct. These included Sergeant Brett Henshaw for 21 years service, Detective Julie Foster, Senior Constable Chris Jujnovich, Constable Neil Calder and Nicole Hilton for 14 years.

Area Commander's Certificates of Appreciation went to Detective Kevin Blackman in his work as acting officer in charge of the Rodney CIB, Sergeant Mark Ovington for his work as officer in charge of the Whangaparaoa police station and inquiry section.

Senior Constable Greg Smith was rewarded for his help in February after a child slipped away from a mother's care in an Orewa street.

Five Police Community Partnership Awards were presented. Chad Golding from New Zealand Customs Drug Detector Dog section received an award for their support of the Orewa Police Youth Education Service in delivering DARE programmes helping youth develop life skills.

The Wellsford Volunteer Fire Service was recognised for voluntary assistance provided to Wellsford police and the community.

Tribute was paid to Peter Anderson and Garry Christini from New World Orewa, along with Richard Bayes from Bayes Buses, for s donations to Hibiscus Coast Blue Light initiatives for youth.

Rodney Times