Governor General presents medal to ranger instructor
Warrant Officer Mark Kendall is presented the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General David Johnston.
Warrant Officer Mark Kendall from the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group was presented the Meritorious Service Medal for saving the life of a distraught woman in northern Ontario.
In January 2011, in a remote First Nation community, Nishnawbe-Aski Police received a call about a distraught woman on the river. The woman who was determined to end her life was near an area of the river where fast moving currents make the ice extremely unstable. After failing to reason with the woman, and lacking the necessary equipment to attempt a rescue, the police instructed everyone involved to pull back for their safety.
Kendall, who was in the community as a Junior Canadian Ranger instructor, donned an ice water rescue suit while local rangers secured his safety line. After trying unsuccessfully to reason with the young woman, he saw an opportunity when she attempted to move to a more dangerous part of the river. Kendall quickly tackled and held on to her while police and rangers pulled them both back to safety.
At a recent ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, the Governor General, David Johnston presented Kendall with the Meritorious Service Medal.
The citation in part said, “Warrant Officer Kendall’s quick thinking brought great credit to the Canadian Rangers and to the Canadian Armed Forces.”
“It felt very good to be recognized,” Kendall said. “Every time I go north, I think about that young lady on the ice. I am really grateful that my rangers were there to back me up in case I got into any trouble.”
“For years we provided our ranger instructors with ice water rescue training,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, commanding officer for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. “I am thankful that this training has paid off as there is one person who is alive today because of the Warrant Officer Kendall actions.”
Since joining the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves in June 1993, Kendall has been involved with domestic emergencies such as the Red River flood in 1997 and the Ice Storm of 1998. Kendall also did a tour in Afghanistan.
For the past three years he has been working as an instructor for the Junior Canadian Rangers in northern Ontario. Kendall has moved to northern Ontario to work full time as an educational consultant in 20 First Nation schools but he will still contribute to the Junior Canadian Rangers as a part-time reserve force instructor.
There are about 550 Canadian Rangers and 700 Junior Canadian Rangers located across 23 northern Ontario communities.
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