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NSW Fire Brigades Officer to receive Bravery Medal

Published: 29th August 2007

A NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) firefighter is to receive Australia's third highest bravery award for saving a three-year-old boy from a house fire.

Carlos Henry, a Station Officer based at Silverwater Fire Station, is to be awarded the Australian Bravery Medal for rescuing Tyler Jameson from the second floor of a blazing townhouse in Kingswood.

Station Officer Henry, who is from Jamisontown, performed his heroic act whilst on annual leave and without the protective clothing or breathing apparatus normally worn by firefighters.

Announcing the award the Governor General Major General Michael Jeffery said: "By his actions, Mr Henry displayed considerable bravery.  National bravery awards recognises the heroic actions of those amongst us, who have placed the safety and lives of others before their own. We are privileged to have such role models in our society, and it is an honour to be able to recognise their acts of selfless bravery and thank them publicly for their brave actions."

Station Officer Henry has already received the NSW Fire Brigades Medal of Conspicuous Bravery - the highest award for a firefighter - from NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins for his actions. This medal has been awarded only 25 times since the award was established in 1932.

Commissioner Mullins said: "I have already had the pleasure of presenting Station Officer Henry with the Medal for Conspicuous Bravery and it is great to see that his bravery has now been recognised outside of the NSW Fire Brigades at a national level.

"Being awarded the Bravery Medal is a fitting tribute to his selfless actions at this fire, particularly his determination to rescue Tyler under extreme conditions and without any protective equipment."

Station Officer Henry will be awarded the Bravery Medal by The Governor of NSW Professor Marie Bashir at a ceremony at Government House on Thursday, 20 September 2007. 


Background

At 8:30am on Wednesday, 26 July 2006, while off duty, Station Officer Carlos Henry was dropping his children at school when he saw smoke coming from the windows of a nearby townhouse in Park Avenue, Kingswood.

Station Officer Henry immediately rushed to the scene and together with two passing NSW Police Officers, Constable Mathew McDougall and Constable Kyle Rodger, attempted to enter the townhouse through the front door to rescue a child who they were told was trapped in a first-floor bedroom.

Intense heat and smoke had already driven the child's father, David Jameson, from the residence with burns to his face and hands. The intense heat inside the burning townhouse also forced Station Officer Henry and the police to retreat. 

As they tried unsuccessfully to climb the stairs, Station Officer Henry and Constable McDougall then climbed onto the roof beneath a window to the bedroom where the child was believed to be trapped.

Constable McDougall broke the window with his baton and, despite not knowing the structural stability of the room and without any concern for his own safety, Station Officer Henry climbed through the window to search for the child.

Under extreme conditions, including intense heat and a collapsing ceiling, Station Officer Henry conducted a search of the smoke-filled room in total darkness and located the unconscious child, Tyler Jameson, in a corner.

Station Officer Henry then carried Tyler back to the window and passed him to Constable McDougall who was waiting on the roof. The escalating fire then forced Station Officer Henry to jump to safety from the window and roof.

Another Police Officer, Sergeant Jonathon Cornelius, and an off duty nurse Faith Daubney then started to resuscitate Tyler, who was blue, and was not breathing. 

Tyler has since made a full recovery.