Bravery award: courage in face of fire

Brave brothers: Damien and Jacob Berry have been recognised for their life-saving efforts when they were awarded Commendation for Brave Conduct, one of the Australian bravery decorations. Picture: Helen Nezdropa

Brave brothers: Damien and Jacob Berry have been recognised for their life-saving efforts when they were awarded Commendation for Brave Conduct, one of the Australian bravery decorations. Picture: Helen Nezdropa

MOST people would run in the opposite direction if they saw a petrol station on fire. 

   But brothers Damien and Jacob Berry risked their lives to help save a woman and extinguish a petrol bowser fire following an unsuccessful robbery. 

   More than two years ago, the pair had been driving home after dinner when they saw the fire at the petrol station on the corner of High and Worth streets.     ‘‘We were turning onto Union Lane [in Penrith] when I heard a loud pop,’’ Jacob, of Cambridge Park, said. 

   ‘‘I turned around and I saw a fire and I told Damien to stop. 

   ‘‘Damien stopped and I jumped out of the car as it was slowing down and I went inside to help this woman who was behind the kiosk. 

   ‘‘She was hysterical — crying, shaking and had her hands on her face.  

   ‘‘Damien grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the flames.’’ 

   Jacob, now 18, said the brothers didn’t stop to think about the consequences. 

   ‘‘The reason we weren’t terrified was because of our volunteer firefighter training,’’ he said. ‘‘We have been trained to deal with those types of situations and our dad had worked as a firefighter for more than 20 years. 

   ‘‘We just knew what to do and flicked into action.’’

   Damien, a volunteer firefighter at Orchid Hills, agreed. 

   ‘‘If you see something like that your first reaction is to help out,’’ the St Marys resident said.  ‘‘If I can help someone, then I will.’’

   For their courage, the brothers have been awarded Commendation for Brave Conduct, one of the Australian bravery decorations announced on Monday, August 18. 

   Jacob said it was nice to be recognised. 

   Damien, 21, agreed in part.     ‘‘It is always good to be acknowledged — especially the good things,’’ he said.

   ‘‘But personally, I don’t feel it warrants a bravery award because the only reason I did it was because it was the right thing to do and any person in my situation would do the same.’’

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