44 officers recognised for de Havilland search
POLICE, fire and ambulance officers behind Operation Kilo Montana, a search, recovery and investigation mission for the 1934 de Havilland aircraft that crashed in Imbil last year, were recognised by the state police service at an official medal presentation at Gympie RSL on Wednesday.
Forty-four officers were recognised for their services at the presentation, including 26 officers who were recognised for their work on Operation Kilo Montana, which began after the plane crashed in dense bushland near Imbil on October 1, killing all five people on board.
Among the 26 officers was retired Sergeant Vic Timpan, who assisted in conducting the mission throughout his last week on the job.
Now retired, Sgt Tipman was shift supervisor at the time reports of the missing plane were made to Gympie police station and said it was his local knowledge of the crash site that helped emergency teams reach the destination deep within dense bushland.
"I'm quite familiar with the terrain and the property owner," he said.
Also recognised with the Assistant Commissioner's Certificate of Appreciation was the property owner and the Redcliffe District police chaplain, Ian Todd.
Gympie Superintendent Chris Sang said the investigation and recovery mission continued for more than five days in "extremely challenging circumstances".
Also recognised for their heroic efforts during the 2010-2011 Queensland floods were Senior Constables Daven Richards and Steve Carter who rescued an elderly man stranded in his car in a flooded Kilkivan creek on January 7, 2011.
The same day the pair attended a bus trapped in floodwater. Supt Sang said Snr Const Richards swam through floodwater to reach the bus in an attempt to rescue passengers one by one, however he was hampered by the current. The pair then arranged for an SES boat to rescue the passengers.