One of Windsor’s finest - Constable Susan McCormick - has been awarded the top honor for acts of bravery by a law enforcement officer, specifically known as the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery.
In a service Thursday at Queen’s Park, McCormick was presented with her award by the Honorable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, along with nine other officers from across the province. The Lieutenant Governor declared, “The profound sense of bravery and duty exhibited by these recipients is an inspiration not only to their colleagues across the province but to all Ontarians.”
Constable McCormick was nominated for the award as a result of conduct deemed “exemplary “ during the rescue of a suicidal man from the Detroit River on November 25, 2011.
According to police record: "Constable McCormick and her partner were responding to a suicide attempt. A middle-aged man had jumped into the Detroit River. The man, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, had prevented an earlier rescue by pushing away a life preserver that had been thrown into the water. Constable McCormick immediately spotted the male drifting face down along a fast moving current, approximately 25 feet from a break wall.
"Constable McCormick quickly removed her equipment and plunged into the cold, dark river, grabbing a life preserver that her partner had thrown into the water. When Constable McCormick reached the victim he was without vital signs. She rolled him on his back, wrapped her right arm around his chest and held onto the life ring with her left. Constable McCormick and the lifeless victim were pulled to shore by her partner.
"The top of the break wall was four feet above the river's surface. It did not have a ladder or step, which made pulling the victim out of the water more difficult. Several officers helped pull the man above the break wall and over to the paramedics who were able to successfully resuscitate him. Constable McCormick showed signs of hypothermia and was treated and released by the Emergency Medical Services. It was noted by medical personnel and family members of the victim that had it not been for Constable McCormick's heroic actions that day, the man would have died."
“This is a very proud moment for Constable McCormick and the entire Windsor Police Service,” said Sgt. Matthew D’Asti on behalf of the humble McCormick (who declined an interview request from OurWindsor.ca). “Constable McCormick receiving this award for heroism and bravery is certainly well-deserved.”
Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, added “The recipients of this year’s medals have stared right into the face of danger so that lives could be saved and tragedy averted. They should wear their medals with pride.”
The Ontario Medal for Police Bravery is the province's highest honors in recognition of police officers whose actions demonstrate outstanding courage in service of their community. It is an annual award created in 1975. Recipients are chosen by an independent body of citizens from the firefighting and policing communities.