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Bravery in Rochester

Bravery in Rochester

Image Source: Foxhole Medals Facebook page

A Rochester resident has been acknowledged for his bravery

The Australia Bravery Awards recognised courage, selflessness and sacrifice.

Yesterday 74 were decorated with the honour, including Rochester's Lyle Ernest Collins.

Mr Collins received a Bravery Medal for his actions last year, when he went to the assistance of a man being attacked by a swarm of bees.

On the 6th of February, 2018, Mr Collins was helping his neighbour remove an old fence post from his rural property.

Using a tractor a tractor to pull the post onto a nearby road, they accidentally disrupted a large wild-bee hive.

The bees became aggressive and swarmed into the air, and quickly flew towards Mr Collins' older neighbour.

He was quickly covered by a thick layer of bees on his face, arms and body.

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Mr Collins, who was in the cab of the tractor, told his neighbour to run but the man could not hear him.

Bees began entering the cab of the tractor, forcing Mr Collins to get out.

As he did, bees were stinging him.

Mr Collins then ran to his neighbour's house 400 metres away, to grab items to protect him from the bees.

He quickly returned to his neighbour, who had fallen to the ground and was covered by constantly stinging bees.

While being stung himself, Mr Collins used towels to remove the bees from his neighbour and then covered him with a sheet.

Mr Collins then sprayed the bees with insecticide, which made them more agitated.

Mr Collins was then able to drag his neighbour away from the area.

Later, emergency services arrived on the scene and both men were taken to hospital to be treated for their
extensive bee sting injuries.

Mr Collins received his award from the Governor-General yesterday.

"Australian Bravery Awards recognise and celebrate Australians who, faced with a dangerous or perilous situation, think not of themselves or their own safety but about
others," the Governor-General said.

"These individuals deserve our admiration – they are an inspiration and examples of the sort of selfless sacrifice that we can all aspire to."

The Australian Bravery Decorations are part of the Australian Honours System, and recognise acts of bravery in other than warlike situations, by people who put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others.

"The Australian Honours System allows us as a nation to recognise and celebrate ordinary people who, in either a moment of peril or over a sustained period, do extraordinary things," the Governor-General said.

Nominations are considered by the Australian Bravery Decorations Council, which is an independent advisory body that meets twice a year to consider nominations and make recommendations to the Governor-General for awards.

The Council, chaired by Dr Penny Flett AO, also recommends the level of awards.

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