Jackson True was only five years old the night he saved his family from a fire.
Over one year later, Jackson says, "I still remember everything from that night but I wasn't scared."
On February 5, 2021, Jackson awoke at 4 a.m. to the smell of smoke in his family's home. His mother and younger sister were also asleep. Jackson's father, Mathew was away working in Elk Lake. Jackson alerted his family members and helped get everyone out of the home safely.
Mathew drove through a snowstorm knowing his family has escaped but unsure of the damage to their house on the outskirts of Sudbury. The home was equipped with functioning fire alarms but Jackson's actions and keen sense of smell saved the day. He detected the fire before the alarms even went off. The fire was so significant that the entire house was destroyed. The family had just taken occupancy six weeks prior.
Friday, during the North East Region Ontario Provincial Police Awards Ceremony, Jackson was awarded a Citation for Lifesaving, presented by OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique for his "lifesaving actions in waking his family to evacuate the home."
The North East Region Awards are part of a series of award ceremonies held by the OPP every year to recognize various people in each of its regions. Among those recognized are OPP uniformed and civilian members, as well as community members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement, dedication, perseverance, innovation and an overall commitment to the OPP and the communities they serve. Employees who have reached service milestones are also recognized. Find a full list of honourees below.
Carrique says Jackson's quick thinking and bravery are the types of acts that deserve recognition from the organization.
"I'm inspired by such a young child, knowing what to do, it's a credit to his parents," Carrique says. "I have an immense amount of respect and admiration for that boy. He showed so much courage and I'm hoping will see him in an OPP uniform one day."
The ceremony took place at the Davedi Club, Friday. Carrique was joined by Chief Superintendent Carson Pardy, Regional Commander of North East Region OPP attended to greet and distribute awards to all the recipients.
"Police officers put their lives on the line every single day to protect the quality of life we enjoy in this province," adds Carrique. "They are ordinary people that we are asking to do extraordinary things that other people are either unwilling or unable to do," and deserve our thanks.
The following members of the public and OPP members were recognized at the awards ceremony:
Police Exemplary Service Medal
This medal is a national award which signifies the completion of 20 years of full-time service with one or more recognized Canadian Police Services. The medal represents years of dedicated service to the public.
- PC Kevin Adams
- PC Peter Beaudry
- DC Bryan Bertoncello
- PC Luigi Bruni
- Sgt. Wayne Brunke
- D/Sgt. Ryan Coughlin
- S/Sgt. Carolle Dionne
- S/Sgt. Ryan Dougan
- DC Chris Dugas
- PC Raymond Fortin
- PC Christopher Furino
- Sgt. Bill Gardiner
- DC Yvan Godin
- DC Alexis Gysel
- Sgt. Andrew Hirst
- PC Steven Johnson
- Sgt. Derek Johnston
- A/S/Sgt. Jeffrey Lawson
- Sgt. John MacEwen
- Sgt. Pierre Mantha
- Insp. Michael Maville
- S/Sgt. Jeremy McDonald
- Sgt. Scott McKay
- S/Sgt. William McMullen
- PC Derry Mihell
- D/Sgt. Christopher Miller
- DC Brian Moore
- S/Sgt. Carrie Morgan
- PC Nicole Nicklasson
- Sgt. Keith Nicolle
- PC Sheldon Oram
- Sgt. Frank Pittui
- D/Sgt. Christopher Pritchard
- PC Neil Pryor
- Sgt. Major Brent Turner
- Sgt. Gilles Trottier
- Sgt. Shelley Van Erp
- S/Sgt. Helena Wall
Police Exemplary Service Medal First Bar
Police officers are eligible for a bar for each subsequent ten-year period of full-time exemplary service. The First Bar signifies 30 years of dedicated Canadian Police Service.
- Sgt. (Retired) Robert Forcier
- PC (Retired) Denis Gatien
- PC (Retired) Christine Gioia
- PC (Retired) Daniel Proulx
- Sgt. (Retired) Allan Kuzenko
- PC Richard Savard
20 Year OPP Civilian Service
This pin is awarded to civilian members who have completed 20 years of service with the OPP.
- Celine Bourgeois
- Karen Burns
- David Despot
- Denise Grondin-Chouinard
- Janice Hamilton
- Joelle Sneddon
30 Year OPP Civilian Service
This award is presented to civilian members who have completed 30 years of service with the OPP.
- Christine Schultz
- Ann Naveau (Retired)
- Ronald MacInnis
40 Year OPP Civilian Service
This award is presented to civilian members who have completed 40 years of service with the OPP.
- Robin Bradt
OPP Youth Foundation Award
The OPP Youth Foundation recognizes members of the OPP who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to provide assistance and mentorship to youth.
- PC Marie Ford
Eric Nystedt Memorial Fitness Award
This award recognized members who have shown themselves to be ambassadors in the areas of health, wellness, fitness and sport.
- PC Simon Gauthier
These awards are given to OPP members and citizens who have shown outstanding achievements through assisting the OPP, exemplary performance of duty, outstanding investigations, community service, or selfless actions.
- Robert Mathia — Assist OPP: Found a missing female who had fallen down an embankment. Mathia stayed with her and comforted her until other first responders could reach them by boat.
- PC Riley Bell — Exemplary Performance of Duty: Assisted with the successful apprehension of a male who was evading police and causing significand damage to property and vehicles while operating a front-end loader.
- PC John Hyrsky — Exemplary Performance of Duty: Assisted in the successful apprehension of a teen who had a firearm and was threatening to harm people.
Commissioner's Letter of Commendation and St. John Ambulance
The Commissioner's Letter recognizes an employee or citizen(s) that has gone beyond what an individual would be expected to do in a similar circumstance.
The St. John Ambulance Award recognizes individuals who have relieved pain and suffering, saved, or attempted to save a human life through the application of first aid.
- DC Daulton Crockett — Commissioner's Letter & St. John Ambulance Award: Was the first officer on the scene of a crash involving a truck and a motorcycle. Took charge of the scene and performed CPR on the motorcyclist until EMS arrived.
- PC Michael Greene — Commissioner's Letter & St. John Ambulance Award
- Sgt. Bradley Burton, PC Peter Beaudry, PC John Gallagher, Kimberly Barry, Peter Easton and Kara Sproule — Commissioner's Letter: Officers and Provincial Communication Centre members worked together to locate and rescue a female in distress who had wandered out onto the ice on Bay Lake before falling unconscious.
Commissioner's Citations for Lifesaving
The Citation for Lifesaving recognizes acts of lifesaving by a member of the community or the OPP. The Citation for Bravery recognizes recipients who exhibited extraordinary acts of courage in a situation of extreme or personal hazard. The Citation for Selfless Actions recognizes individuals who put others' needs ahead of their own.
- David De Abreu — Citation for Lifesaving & St. John Ambulance Award: Provided CPR and saved his father-in-law who had a medical emergency and collapsed.
- Ursula Hettmann — Citation for Lifesaving; Ruth Hill and Nathan Hill — Citation for Lifesaving: Saved a woman and her baby who were found in Lake Huron on a cold January day.
- Jackson True — Citation for Lifesaving
- Alec Daviau and Rene Rivers — Citation for Bravery & St. John Ambulance Award; Christopher Prest — Citation for Bravery; PC Matthew Ormsby and PC James Pigeau — Commissioner's Letter & St. John Ambulance Award; PC Sarah Ali — Commissioner's Letter: A seven-year-old girl fell into a fast-moving river. Civilians rescued the girl and both officers and civilians performed CPR until EMS arrived.