Royal Humane Society

  Instituted 1774      Registered Charity Number 231469

 

recognising the bravery of people

 


 

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Thomas Bangert (Canada)

Stanhope Medal 2004

Thomas BangertOne summerís evening in July 2004 Thomas Bangert was driving his truck along Highway 547 towards Southern Alberta. Suddenly another truck, carrying fuel, was coming straight towards him. They hit head on and both vehicles burst into flames.

40-year old Bangert managed to escape from his truck through the right-hand side of the shattered windscreen. The driver of the other truck was trapped in his burning cab. 

The remains of Bangert's truck Despite his state of shock, Bangert ran over to the lorry and tried to break the side window to reach him. But the flames were too fierce and too high. He then ran to the passengerís side and broke the glass. The driver was able to crawl through the truck towards Bangert, who pulled him clear. Both men collapsed to the ground.

As they staggered to their feet, they clung on to each other Ė to extinguish their burning clothing. Seconds later, the fuel truck exploded.

The rescued man suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and was airlifted to hospital; Bangert was also treated in hospital for cuts, bruises and minor burns.

Thomas Bangert with Rudy Berghuys, President of the Royal Canadian Humane Assocation

In September 2004 Thomas Bangert was awarded the Royal Canadian Humane Associationís Silver Medal for his remarkable bravery and selflessness in rescuing the other driver.  He is seen (left) with Rudy Burghuys, the Association's President. 

Three months later, Bangert was chosen from an international field as the recipient of the Royal Humane Societyís Stanhope Medal for the outstanding act of bravery of 2004.

Bangert later said of his actions: 'It just happened. I did it because I had to.'

 

 

 

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