Daniel Morrison was recognized for his bravery in fighting off a bear that was attacking a coworker.
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As Daniel Morrison ran through the forest to help a coworker as she was being attacked by a bear, he could hear her screaming.
Working as a research technician for the Ministry of Natural Resources outside of Armstrong on Oct. 4, 2011, Morrison was contacted by his female coworker, working 450 metres away, over the radio.
When there was no answer to his response, he took off through the forest and drew his hunting knife.
“I felt I needed to do whatever I could. I was definitely driven to help and do what I could,” he said Tuesday at the Italian Cultural Centre where he was being recognized for his courageous actions at the OPP North West Region 2012 Award Ceremony.
When Morrison arrived on the scene last fall, the woman was being mauled by a bear.
“As I approached the bear, it removed itself from her and spun around, at which point I located myself between her and the bear and had a bit of an encounter with that bear,” Morrison said.
Morrison fought the bear off, but it continued to circle the two MNR employees for about 90 minutes; Morrison had been able to send a distress signal and soon after the bear left the area, Provincial Const. Randy Gosse and Conservation Officer Ross Johnston arrived to help.
Gosse and Johnston administered first-aid to the victim and she was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital. She had sustained serious injuries to her arms, shoulders and one leg.
The bear was later captured and destroyed.
“It’s a bit of a shocking scene to see somebody who’s been mauled by a bear, but she held herself together very well. It was amazing to see the strength she had and the person she is to be able to work through the situation,” said Morrison.
Morrison had spent more than 12 years working in the bush and had extensive bear training, but never had an experience like that before this incident.
He was given the Commissioner’s Citation for Bravery and along with Gosse and Johnston the Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving. Several other officers and civilians were recognized with awards for their heroism in multiple incidents that occurred throughout Northwestern Ontario.
“I appreciate the recognition for what happened and I appreciate the partnerships and all the other people who came out to truly help save her life,” said Morrison. “If anyone hadn’t shown up that had, it would have been a different story.”
OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis said it’s important to recognize great work and there are some remarkable stories of the police and public working together to do the right thing.
“I think what (the awards) really do is show the wonderful relationship that exists between the public and the OPP in terms of trying to keep communities safe,” he said.
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