P.A. man to be honoured for bravery

A Prince Albert man will receive one of the highest honours in the country for his valiant efforts saving a life in 2013.

Ronald Minter of Prince Albert and Const. Elmer Russell of the Saskatchewan RCMP are receiving the Medal of Bravery, which recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

On May 31, 2013, Minter and Russell teamed up to rescue a man from his burning vehicle in Saskatoon.

The driver was intoxicated and fleeing police.

According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Russell was following an impaired driver speeding north on Hwy. 11. During the pursuit, the driver struck and killed conservation officer Justin Knackstedt, who was assisting the RCMP.

The SUV rolled off of an overpass, landed on its roof and caught fire, with the driver trapped inside.

Despite heavy smoke and the risk of an explosion, Russell continued trying to reach the driver. Minter joined Russell as they broke a window to free the man.

The man was hanging upside down in his seat inside the SUV.

They released him from his seat belt, but his legs were still trapped underneath the steering wheel. The two men raced against time, tugging the man free and dragging him to safety.

Both men were previously awarded with the Royal Canadian Humane Association Bravery Awards silver medal.

Minter and Russell will be honoured during a June 5 ceremony by Governor General Julie Payette, one of 43 people receiving honours.

In addition to the decorations for bravery, the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Meritorious Service Decorations and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers will be handed out.

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972 to recognize those who risk their own lives or choose to defy their survival instinct to save someone whose life is in danger.