'Heroes' awarded for bravery in Woodman Avenue blast
LONDON, ONT. -- Those who assisted in the moments after the Woodman Avenue explosion on Aug. 14, 2019, have been honoured by the London Police Service.
In a short virtual ceremony Chief Steve Williams, Dr. Javeed Sukhera, police board chair, and London Mayor Ed Holder congratulated members of the police force, fire department, EMS and the public.
All their “quick action saved lives,” Williams stated, reiterating he’d wished he could thank everyone in person.
“Heroes are an appropriate term for the men and women we have honoured here today.”
Holder and leadership representatives from Middlesex-London Paramedic Services and the London Fire Department echoed those comments.
While the latter two emergency services were formally recognized, the police force awarded citations and certificates to its members and citizens.
The following officers received Certificates of Valour:
- Sergeant William Tennant
- Constable Waseem Deep
- Constable Dylan McRae
- Constable Riley Morrow
- Constable Jordan Richardson
- Constable Jordan Thomas
The following members of London police received Citations of the Chief of Police:
- Sergeant Derek Spence (Retired)
- Jennifer Carrothers
- Matt Drake
- Arlene Fuller
- Tracy Schade
- Sarah Schwindt
- Tawnie Sim
- Jamie Spencer
The following citizens received London Police Board Citation:
- Brian Bertelsen
- Theo Christoff
- Laura Earle
- Andrea Ladd
- Eric Merkel
- Chris Patterson
- Michael Peckham
- Mario Jaime Ramirez
Most of the citizens awarded risked their own lives in the moments before and after the blast to come to the aid of others.
The explosion damaged or destroyed upwards of 30 homes in the Old East Village neighbourhood.
While many were recognized, a police spokesperson stated none of the honourees wished to speak in acceptance of the award.
As last week’s victim impacts statements in the court case relating to the blast attest, most still find revisiting what happened too upsetting to recount.