By MWO John Pereira, 17 Wing Fire Chief
When you’re a Fire Fighter, your sense of vigilance is always at a heightened state whether you are on duty or just carrying out regular day to day activities. MCpl Jonathan Boudreau (then Cpl) from 17 Wing Winnipeg Mission Support Squadron’s (MSS) Fire Hall found this out first hand on 2 Jul 16 on what seemed like a normal summer day while returning from Annual Leave from Ontario to Winnipeg. While he was travelling Westbound on Highway 17 in Baker Creek, ON, he observed an RV overturning on its side while travelling in the opposite direction. MCpl Boudreau carried out an immediate U-turn to provide assistance to the occupants.
Foreseeing motor vehicle and traffic hazards such as onboard propane and opposing traffic, MCpl Boudreau immediately climbed onto the driver side that was facing up and pleaded with occupants to exit the vehicle. When this could not be performed by the occupants, he successfully forced the door open after multiple attempts. After both occupants were safely extracted and then escorted to a safe location, he commenced with medical assessment. Occupants were conscious but in a relatively high state of shock from the ordeal.
Not one to leave a patient behind, MCpl Boudreau remained with the vehicle occupants, used his own cellular telephone and did not leave the incident, until the OPP arrived on scene an hour after the incident. Testimony from both OPP official and the occupants indicated that MCpl Boudreau remained calm, collected and very professional when interacting with both entities throughout, providing a calming effect to the vehicle occupants. OPP testimony went further on
To praise MCpl Boudreau for assisting for his interaction with the occupants to reduce the medical shock of the ordeal and also his actions in safely directing traffic until OPP authorities arrived an hour later.
As a result of these actions, MCpl Boudreau was awarded the Wing Commander’s Commendation at 17 Wing on 12 Oct 16. The National Defence Fire Service and Canadian Military Engineering Branch are proud to have MCpl Jonathan Boudreau amongst their brethren and congratulate him on this outstanding achievement.