Woman honoured with Bravery Award for saving husband from fire

7 November 2017

RLSSWA Board Member James Sheridan, Colleen Clark and Governor Kerry Sanderson AOIn winter 2016 Colleen Clark’s husband Greg was lighting the log fire in their family home when his arm caught alight, along with the petrol can that he was holding. Shocked, Greg tripped over in apanic and lay on the floor, burning.

Without thinking, Colleen threw herself on him to smother the flames. In doing so, her dress caught alight, engulfing her in flames. Triple zero was called for both the fire brigade and the ambulance service as there were now two issues: a house on fire and two individuals requiring medical attention.

“I didn’t think about it,” Colleen recalls. “I couldn’t roll Greg over to smother the flames, so I just threw myself on him.”

Colleen received burns to 28% of her body, and spent over 8 weeks in The Burns Unit of Fiona Stanley Hospital, receiving skin grafts, painful treatments and a stint in Intensive Care. Greg was also burnt, but not as badly as Colleen, spending a week in hospital.

Although on the road to recovery, Colleen has been left with life-changing injuries from saving her husband’s life. She’s been unable to work as a mobile book-keeper, and her home took nine months to be made liveable again.

Colleen was recently awarded with a Bravery Commendation during the Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards at Government House. She says it was an honour to receive the recognition. “I’m slowly getting better, but it feels good to have been honoured with a Bravery Award. Although some have said it should be called my stupidity award!”

Find a full list of our 2017 Bravery Award winners at the link below.

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