When Nanaimo RCMP Constables Keihin Herault and Nick Fleming arrived to a call about a distraught, suicidal female on Feb. 7, the officers expected to show up, talk to her for a bit and then convince her to check herself into the hospital.
Instead, Herault and Fleming arrived to find the 53-year-old woman in her backyard with a cord around her neck, pushing a stepladder from under her feet as the officers approached.
Herault rushed in, kicked down the gate and cut the cord, causing the woman to fall to the ground. He then worked with Fleming to frantically remove the cord from around the woman's neck, allowing her to get her breath back and saving her life.
The woman eventually received the treatment she needed to recover.
The two officers were honoured for their life-saving efforts at Tuesday's annual Vancouver Island District RCMP awards ceremony for outstanding service along with 43 other Island officers.
Herault and Fleming were presented with an Officer in Charge Certificate of Appreciation during a morning awards ceremony at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256. Fleming said it was his first award and that it felt nice to be recognized.
"I like to think that Const.
Herault was the real hero in this situation. I was kind of the assistant, if you will," he said.
"It was very clear that this person had the intention to take her own life, and we intervened right when it was happening. A lot of times when we deal with people with mental health issues or illnesses, we don't see it. It's not that obvious."
Including Herault and Fleming, 15 Nanaimo officers were presented with awards at a 10 a.m. ceremony. Three Nanaimo officers received 20-Year Long Service Medals, three received 25-Year Bronze Clasps, two received 30-Year Silver Clasps and one received a 35-Year Gold Clasp.
Three Nanaimo officers received St. John Life-Saving Awards and Corp. Norm Smith received a special honour for an extensive history of volunteer work with a Commanding Officer's Commendation. A second awards ceremony took place in the afternoon, honouring 25 more officers from across Vancouver Island.
Among them was a civilian nurse from Comox Valley who successfully convinced a suicidal man with a loaded gun to surrender to police.
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