Mr. Speaker, on March 9, a daring rescue took place on Kempenfelt Bay. Twenty-seven fishermen, including a 12-year-old boy, were sent adrift after a two kilometre piece of ice had broken from shore.
The OPP chopper began by airlifting a man to hospital who had crashed his ATV on the ice in a failed attempt to reach shore. In spite of dangerous conditions, an emergency team of Barrie firefighters made their way onto the ice. Their biggest challenge was to try and stay out of the water themselves. They could have easily been swept under the ice or crushed in-between the massive slabs.
I am happy to report that the rescue was a success. There were no fatalities and only one injury. The rescue involved some 20 firefighters, 15 police officers and 12 Simcoe county paramedics.
I am especially proud of the five Barrie firefighters nominated for the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery. This award was established in 1976 and only 195 people have ever received it.
I rise today to salute Captain Keefer Hood and firefighters John Cargoe, Matt Monkman, Scott Ellis and Ben LaRoux for their bravery, valour and courage.