Thomas, 6, and Ashlee Maria, 7, show their pride in their dad and step mum, Snr Const Phillip Maria and Snr Const Amanda Crouch, after yesterday’s police awards.
Thomas, 6, and Ashlee Maria, 7, show their pride in their dad and step mum, Snr Const Phillip Maria and Snr Const Amanda Crouch, after yesterday’s police awards. Jacklyn Wagner

Flood hero awarded

WHEN Snr Const Phillip Maria responded to a call for help during the May 2009 floods, he probably wasn’t thinking his actions would earn him a citation.

His concern was for two Nimbin residents trapped and clinging to trees in a swollen river.

After wading waist deep into the water, Snr Const Maria and Const Mark Puglisi managed to save them.

The two officers were among more than 30 of the Richmond Local Area Command’s finest recognised at the Police Awards at the Lismore Turf Club yesterday.

Along with emergency service personnel and members of the community, local police received medals, citations and commendations for acts of bravery, professionalism and skill in the line of duty.

Richmond LAC commander Supt Bruce Lyons and Acting Northern Region commander Supt Geoff McKechnie said it was important to recognise the work of police in the community.

“There have been some fantastic lifesaving efforts performed,” Supt McKechnie said.

Snr Const Maria’s partner, Snr Const Amanda Crouch, also received a citation for helping evacuate Lismore Caravan Park residents during the floods.

“It’s a proud moment to be recognised for our actions,” Snr Const Maria said.

He said that his award was destined for the ‘pool room’, but his son Thomas, 6, has other ideas. “I want to take it to school,” he said.


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