The Governor-General, Lt Gen Sir Jerry Mateparae, has presented four Christchurch Police officers and one former officer with bravery awards for their actions following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
Acting Senior Sergeant Michael Brooklands, Constables Shane Cowles and Michael Kneebone, Sergeant Danny Johanson, and former Constable Daniel Lee each received the New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM) in an investiture ceremony at the Transitional Cathedral in Christchurch this morning.
They were all involved in the immediate rescue effort after the 6.3 earthquake struck the city on February 22, 2011.
Acting Senior Sergeant Brooklands, Constables Cowles and Kneebone and former Constable Lee saved at least six people from the collapsed and burning Canterbury Television Building.
The officers’ lives were at particular risk during the first hour of the rescues as the building’s lift tower was disintegrating with each aftershock.
Sergeant Johanson joined a firefighter and two civilian doctors in a rescue operation for a badly-injured man who was trapped in the Pyne Gould Corporation Building and in danger of bleeding to death.
Working in a confined space and with aftershocks threatening the area he was in, Sergeant Johanson assisted in the amputation of the man’s legs, allowing him to be freed.
The man survived.
The officers were supported by their families with Police Commissioner Mike Bush and Canterbury District Commander Gary Knowles also in attendance.