THUNDER BAY, ON ----- February 8, 2013 – Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is pleased to announce that rookie fire fighter Randy McOrmond was awarded the Canadian Star of Courage today in Ottawa for a life-saving, extreme rescue he performed as a Sergeant with the Canadian Armed Forces in Nunavut in 2009.
The Star of Courage is the second highest award for bravery within the Canadian system of honours. Sergeant McOrmond was part of a search and rescue team that rescued a teenager who had been separated from his hunting party near Coral Harbour, Nunavut. The teen was discovered during an air search drifting towards Hudson’s Bay on a large pan of unstable ice. McOrmand and others on his team parachuted onto a nearby ice floe and made their way to the severely hypothermic victim by jumping from pieces of moving ice and crawling through the slushy snow.
Sergeant McOrmond’s team provided emergency medical attention to the victim and kept a watch on two polar bears less than 50 meters away while waiting for a rescue boat. The victim survived thanks to the courageous efforts of McOrmond and his team.
Sergeant McOrmond only recently became a fire fighter on Dec. 1, 2012 following successful completion of training and graduation from Thunder Bay Fire Rescue’s recruitment program. A 26-year veteran with the Canadian Armed Forces, he received an honourable discharge on Oct. 8 to begin training to pursue a second career with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue on Oct. 9.
“This medal is quite an honour,” said McOrmond. “When you’re doing your job, you don’t think about any recognition; I’m just glad I could help. It is also an honour to be able to bring my military experience to the Fire Rescue Service and begin the next chapter.”
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is proud to congratulate their new fire fighter on this prestigious honour and welcomes the search and rescue expertise he brings to the local Fire Rescue Service.