Con­sta­ble earns ex­em­plary ser­vice award


It’s the kind of thing peo­ple see on tele­vi­sion all the time.

A fire breaks out at a home and some­one — a fire­fighter, para­medic or po­lice of­fi­cer — rushes in to save a life.

Un­like most peo­ple, Brant­ford po­lice Const. Jeremy Mor­ton has rushed into a burn­ing build­ing. In fact, he did it four times last Jan. 1.

“It’s kind of sur­real,” Mor­ton said Thurs­day of en­ter­ing a burn­ing build­ing.

“When you see it on tele­vi­sion, there’s al­ways a lot of smoke, maybe some flames but you can still see the per­son go­ing into the build­ing.

“It’s not re­ally like that for real. It was pitch black and I couldn’t see a thing.”

Mor­ton re­called the ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter be­ing pre­sented with an ex­em­plary ser­vice award at a Brant­ford po­lice ser­vices board meet­ing.

“It’s nice to get rec­og­nized but, re­ally, I just hap­pened to be on duty that day,” Mor­ton said. “We have a lot of great peo­ple in this ser­vice and any­one of them would have done the same thing that day.”

He was on duty try­ing to catch speed­ers on King Ge­orge Road when a mo­torist came by to tell him about a house fire on Brant Road.

Mor­ton was the first to ar­rive and was told that a res­i­dent was still in­side.

He went into the home, called out but, when he didn’t get a reply, re­turned to his cruiser to get a fire ex­tin­guisher.

Mor­ton went into the home again and went up to an up­per bed­room. He emp­tied the fire ex­tin­guisher but couldn’t douse the flames and had to re­treat.

Brant County OPP of­fi­cers ar­rived and en­tered the home with Mor­ton but were turned back by the in­ten­sity of the flames. Ad­di­tional of­fi­cers ar­rived and Mor­ton, for the fourth time, went into the home.

It was later learned the res­i­dent was in a trailer at the rear of the prop­erty.

Mor­ton and the two OPP of­fi­cers – Const. Chris Thomp­son and Const. Paul Drake — were taken to Brant­ford Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment of smoke in­hala­tion.

“It’s kind of like hav­ing a sore throat,” Mor­ton said of suf­fer­ing from smoke in­hala­tion.

The po­lice ser­vices board on Thurs­day also rec­og­nized Norm Bar­rieau, a re­tired Brant­ford aux­il­iary po­lice staff sergeant.

Bar­rieau’s con­tri­bu­tion to the po­lice ser­vice spans four decades, dur­ing which he helped bol­ster the ranks of the sworn po­lice of­fi­cers at nu­mer­ous com­mu­nity events, in­clud­ing char­ity runs, ground searches and pa­rades.

“He con­nected eas­ily with the pub­lic and rep­re­sented all of us with pro­fes­sion­al­ism and pride,” Chief Ge­off Nelson said. “He also men­tored many aux­il­iary re­cruits who went on to be­come reg­u­lar sworn of­fi­cers.

“On be­half of ev­ery­one thank you for your self­less ded­i­ca­tion to our ser­vice and our com­mu­nity.”

Bar­rieau, a re­tired cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer who worked at the Brant­ford jail, now works part-time at the Chil­dren’s Safety Vil­lage on El­gin Street.

He said that the best part of be­ing an aux­il­iary of­fi­cer is the op­por­tu­nity to give back to the com­mu­nity.

BRIAN THOMP­SON Brant­ford Po­lice Chief Ge­off Nelson (left) stands with Const. Jeremy Mor­ton and re­tired aux­il­iary staff sergeant Norm Bar­rieau, who were hon­oured on Thurs­day by the Brant­ford po­lice ser­vices board, in­clud­ing Bren­dan Ryan and chair Deb Cock­er­ill.

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