'We don't do boring': Gympie cops' brave rescue goes viral

THE heroic actions of two Gympie police officers who saved a man from a burning car on Wednesday made national headlines overnight.

But humble country cops Jeremy Gardiol and Sonny Mayo will tell you: "It's just our job".

Gympie police officers grab the attention of the nation before breakfast this morning on live television.
Gympie police officers grab the attention of the nation before breakfast this morning on live television. Contributed

Footage captured on police dash cam showed the highly-dangerous situation the officers flung themselves into when they arrived at Chapple St, where a man was trapped in his flipped car after rolling down a five-metre embankment.

 

The scene of the Chapple St emergency, where officers Jeremy Gardiol and Sonny Mayo are seen saving a man from a burning car.
The scene of the Chapple St emergency, where officers Jeremy Gardiol and Sonny Mayo are seen saving a man from a burning car. Contributed

As fumes filled the car and flames lapped the bonnet, the men frantically bashed and kicked through the windscreen for minutes to get to the 73-year-old Maryborough man.

And their actions did not go unrecognised, with the pair answering the call of a numerous media outlets yesterday including appearing live nation-wide on morning television show Sunrise.

MORE ON THE STORY HERE: Man pulled through windscreen as car engulfed in flames

While driven purely by instinct and duty, they said it didn't mean they weren't aware of the danger they were in.

"That's the first time I've felt my life was in imminent danger," Senior Constable Mayo said.

"We're definitely human and we've got family as well."

Gympie's senior constable Sonny Mayo and constable Jeremy Gardiol at the crash site where they risked their lives to pull a man from a burning car on Wednesday morning.
Gympie's senior constable Sonny Mayo and constable Jeremy Gardiol at the crash site where they risked their lives to pull a man from a burning car on Wednesday morning. Frances Klein

Fearing the car would explode any minute, the officers could have backed away from the threat.

"But then when you see him down there like a scared mouse inside; you think 'We're in this together'," Sen Constable Mayo said.

While they didn't ask to be in the spotlight they said the media attention has helped show the positive side to policing.

"A lot of time the public see the enforcement side of us, where we write tickets and they sometimes feel it's unjust," Constable Gardiol said.

"They rarely see the other side where we're helping people."

HERO HELPER: Alan Girdler
HERO HELPER: Alan Girdler Renee Pilcher

A third hero, retiree Alan Girdler, who saw the accident unfold, was already trying to help the man before the officers arrived.

He helped rip the glass from the car once the officers had punctured it, cutting his hands, but humbly had more to say about the police actions.

"That's their duty - but they still have to look after their own safety," he said.

"When you saw that flame coming out the side of the bonnet, we just had to get him out," he said.

Senior sergent Gregg Davey said he was extremely proud of his officers, who he would be seeking formal recognition for.

"Policing is a dynamic environment - it can go from zero to one hundred in the blink of eye," Sen Sergent Davey said.

"We don't do boring."

Gympie Times


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