A police officer who tackled and detained a man who had threatened to set fire to himself, a woman and a house at Casino was among six NSW police officers honoured today.

In June 2005, Senior Constable Michael McCormack entered a Casino house after a man had doused himself and a female in petrol and whilst lighting a cigarette threatened to set fire to himself.

Senior Constable McCormack tackled and restrained the man, removed the cigarette lighter from the man’s reach and stubbed out the lit cigarette.

Today he was awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct from His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery, Governor General of Australia and Chancellor of the Order of Australia.

“It is an honour to have such heroic and selfless police officers as members of the NSW Police Force, serving and protecting our community,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.

“The six police officers being awarded Australian Bravery Medals today have gone above and beyond their call of duty, and placed their own lives at risk whilst serving the community and ensuring the safety of others.”

NSW police officers being awarded for their bravery are:

AUSTRALIAN BRAVERY MEDALS
· Constable David Crawford who, whilst off-duty, aided with the rescue of a man from a burning vehicle at Padstow Heights on 2 October 2006. Constable Crawford attempted to extinguish the blaze and climbed into the burning vehicle to help free the man before on-duty police arrived. Once the man was freed, he aided other police officers in dragging the man to safety.
· Senior Constable Paul Smith who aided with the rescue of a man from a burning vehicle at Padstow Heights on 2 October 2006. Senior Constable Smith attempted to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher before squeezing into the cabin and making several attempts to retrieve the driver from the burning cabin. Once the man was free, Senior Constable Smith helped drag the man to safety.
· Senior Constable Paul Thompson who aided with the rescue of a man from a burning vehicle at Padstow Heights on 2 October 2006. Senior Constable Thompson, with the help of a bystander, prised open the driver’s door before reaching through the cabin to grab the driver who was on fire. He, together with his colleague, made several attempts to dislodge the trapped driver before freeing the man and dragging him to safety.

COMMENDATION FOR BRAVE CONDUCT

· Senior Constable David Brooker who, whilst off-duty, blocked the path of a man who he saw threaten another man with a firearm and steal a bag at Woolgoolga on 19 February 2007. He tackled the armed man and detained him until on-duty police arrived at the scene.
· Senior Constable Michael McCormack who tackled and detained a man who had threatened to set fire to himself and a house at Casino on 30 June 2005. Senior Constable McCormack entered a house after a man had doused himself and another female in petrol and whilst lighting a cigarette threatened to set fire to himself. Senior Constable McCormack tackled and restrained the man, removed the cigarette lighter from the man’s reach and stubbed out the lit cigarette
· Constable Robert Sasagi who, whilst off-duty, disarmed an offender following a stabbing incident on a NSW passenger train on 22 October 2004. Constable Sasagi noticed a heated exchange on a NSW train in the vestibule area before hearing a man scream and clutching a bloodied arm. Constable Sasagi approached a woman brandishing a knife, lunched forward and grabbed the woman’s wrist. He disarmed the woman and managed to detain her until on-duty police arrived.