Who Is Your Public Hero?

Community Partnerships and Engagement Unit
For the first time, members of the public can nominate police, fire and emergency medical service personnel for the Public Heroes Awards to be presented on April 23 at the Japanese Cultural Association centre.

The awards – administered by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) – recognize cops, firefighters and paramedics for their outstanding work.

The nomination website is publicheroes.org

“These awards are just one way of honouring the excellent work of our police officers, paramedics and firefighters,” said IDI executive vice-president M. Fatih Yegul at the media launch at Toronto police headquarters on Jan. 20. “Many of them put their holidays on hold during the last Christmas holidays to help out during the ice storm.”

Previous winners include Consts. Lance Verdoold, Johnny Bobbili, Sharon Kent, Mike Manzke and Sgt. Ryan Russell, who was honoured posthumously in 2012. Bobbili and S/Supt. Richard Richards Stubbings are on the selection panel.

A man at a podium
M. Fatih Yegul speaks at the press conference Photo: Ron Fanfair

Deputy Chief Peter Sloly welcomed the attendees to the launch.

“This is becoming a bit of tradition for us where we have a great community partner who is willing to step up, and quite frankly, honour our emergency service providers who step forward not just in the line of duty but go beyond the call of duty in what they are doing,” he said. “It’s one thing to be recognized by your supervisors, but another to be honoured by your peers. In policing and emergency services, it’s yet another thing to be recognized by the public and this is what this is all about.”

As part of the launch ceremony, awards were presented to four young people aspiring to become police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Sloly made the presentation to 23-year-old Norica Labadie who intends to join the Service.

Since moving to Humewood House which offers support to young mothers, Labadie has mobilized residents to become a strong, safe and united community.

She volunteers with 31 Division Community Police Liaison Committee and is a member of the Service’s Survivor Girl and recreational outreach outtripping program.

“I had always wanted to become a nurse but my interaction with Const. Jennifer Nantais, who is with the Survivor Girl program, has opened my eyes to the difference one can make as a police officer and I want to be a member of the Toronto Service,” Labadie added.

Other award recipients were Jessica Harris, Robert Ligas and Hannah Elkington.

Two men in EMS uniform stand against a white backdrop. One man is holding a plaque
EMS Deputy Chief Frank Hurlehey and Robert Lucas Photo: Ron Fanfair

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