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Special honour for hero firefighter

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25 Feb 2015
MFB Firefighter Andrew Wood has been awarded a Victoria Police Citizen Commendation for his heroic efforts to save police officers injured in an explosion in Middle Park last year.

Mr Wood was part of a crew from Port Melbourne Fire Station that was called to Middle Park on Saturday 4 January last year to help police gain access to an apartment where a man had been threatening self-harm.

Firefighters gained entry to the second floor flat via the balcony and as the police (First Constable Emma Quick, Constable Varli Blake and Sergeant Tony Scully) entered through the front door a large explosion occurred.

Mr Wood and two police officers were able to escape via the front door; however one of the police officers had been blown out of another door and onto a balcony where she lay injured.

Mr Wood again climbed the ladder he had initially used to get into the flat and found a female constable seriously injured. Despite serious burns of his own, Mr Wood ignored the pain and helped carry the constable down the ladder where she received first aid from neighbours who had witnessed the blast.

At the time, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay and Acting Premier Peter Ryan praised the efforts of Andrew Wood, calling him a hero and an inspiration to all Victorians.

Andrew Wood is currently completing a 12 month exchange in Canada. Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ken Brown accepted the award on Andrew's behalf.

Due to the burns he sustained in the explosion he was recently invited along as a special guest and speaker to the annual British Columbia Burn Camp.

“Young children who have been burnt are sponsored to attend the camp each year for a week and I was asked to attend to act as support for the children and discuss my own personal circumstances,” he said.  “The program itself was a very moving experience for both myself, the children and the staff involved.”

The citation states:

In recognition of his actions following an explosion at Middle Park on 4th January 2014 in which he, three police members and another person suffered serious injuries. Despite his injuries he assisted an injured and disorientated police member who was trapped on the balcony; administering first aid in addition he ensured that first aid administered by other people was appropriate and continually maintained until the arrival of Ambulance Victoria.

Above: Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright with ACFO Ken Brown accepting the award.


Above: Firefigher Andrew Wood on exchange in Canada.

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