DRAMA SCENE: A policeman bravely pulled a man from this upside-down car despite petrol leaking around them.
DRAMA SCENE: A policeman bravely pulled a man from this upside-down car despite petrol leaking around them. Barry Leddicoat

Cop who risked life at fuel-soaked crash honoured

A SUNSHINE Coast police officer who risked his own life to rescue a man from a fuel-soaked vehicle at Maroochydore has been recognised nationally for his bravery.

Senior Constable Darryl Campbell was one of two Queensland officers honoured with Australian Bravery Decorations on Monday.

Snr Constable Campbell was presented with a Bravery Medal and Senior Constable Drew Lewis from the Public Safety Response Team was presented with a Commendation for Brave Conduct.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said both officers had put their own safety aside to protect and serve the people of Queensland.

In April 2011, Snr Const Campbell was first on the scene to a single vehicle traffic crash on Maroochydore Road, Maroochydore.

The car had rolled and remained on its roof and a seriously injured man was trapped inside, with fuel leaking throughout the cabin of the car.  

Snr Const. Campbell entered the vehicle and despite being soaked with fuel, he continued to support the driver who had regained consciousness, until ambulance officers arrived.

He helped remove the driver from the vehicle.

"I tried to find his pulse and get him to communicate with me and that was when I started smelling the fuel and I could see liquid dripping everywhere," he told the Daily in September last year when he won a state award.

Senior Constable Darryl Campbell after receiving a bravery award for risking his life to pull a motorist from a vehicle. Photo Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily
Senior Constable Darryl Campbell after receiving a bravery award for risking his life to pull a motorist from a vehicle. Photo Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily Darryn Smith

The car's battery was still live and the risk of the car blowing up had everyone at the scene on edge.

A paramedic demanded Snr Const Campbell get out of the car and save himself, but he refused.

"I was scared but I had a job to do and I had to give this guy a chance to survive," he said.

Drew Lewis honoured for bravery in hostage drama

Senior Constable Drew Lewis assisted in the apprehension of an offender armed with a sawn-off rifle in Upper Mount Gravatt in June 2012.

The man had broken into a residence and taken four people hostage within the house. Snr Const. Lewis forced entry into the house and sighted the offender, however to keep the hostages safe, his team withdrew.

A short while later, the man came out of the house, threatening the hostages before two managed to run back into the house.

While being threatened by the armed man, Snr Const. Lewis broke cover to turn people away from the scene. The man was arrested by police a short while later.

Commissioner Ian Stewart said bravery decorations give recognition to the stand-out actions of these police officers as they performed their duty.

"These officers risked their personal safety in high-pressure situations. While they were two very different situations, they both displayed immense courage as they attempted to save lives and maintain community safety," Commissioner Stewart said.

The officers' awards have been approved by Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia on the 39th Anniversary of the Australian Honours System.

There are four levels of bravery awards, the Cross of Valour, the Star of Courage, the Bravery Medal, the Commendation for Brave Conduct and the Group Bravery Citation.



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