Three Nanaimo RCMP constables are among police officers from across B.C. who have been recognized for valour and meritorious service for actions above and beyond the call of duty.
The awards were presented at the 37th annual Police Honours Night held at Government House in Victoria, Nov. 22, when 54 officers and a reserve constable from RCMP and municipal police departments across the province were recognized.
Constables Cydney MacNeill, Kayle Ramsay and Linsey Warren entered a burning apartment building to search for and evacuate residents.
The incident happened in January 2017 when an early morning car fire caught the exterior wall of an apartment block ablaze at Willow Grove Estates, in Nanaimo’s Harewood neighbourhood, and started to burn into the interior and roof of the building as residents slept.
“The smoke from the car fire torched the exterior of the building and was migrating into the building,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
Fire alarms in the building sounded and residents were evacuating from the lower two storeys of the building.
“Constables MacNeill, Ramsay and Warren went in,” O’Brien said. “They went door-to-door and they got as many people out as possible. In fact, the smoke was getting thick and their supervisors were telling them to get out of the building … and they carried on.”
The officers came upon one suite and kicked the door in.
“They found an elderly gentleman who was confined to his bed. He couldn’t get out,” O’Brien said. “Kayle ended up carrying the guy out of the building.”
All three officers suffered various levels of smoke inhalation and were treated at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
“All three of them went so far above and beyond what’s expected of them in a situation like that,” O’Brien said.
Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, presented the awards.
All honourees are selected by a committee comprised of representatives from the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Police Services Division.