A GARDA has won two first-class commendations for showing “exceptional courage and bravery” for his role in dealing with two separate incidents on successive days.
Garda Bob Fitzsimons tackled an armed raider with the help of a reserve garda, Mark Spain, and arrested him at the scene in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, on September 8, 2012.
The following day, he jumped into a car that was on fire after a head-on collision with another vehicle and rescued the female driver, who was trapped and unconscious.
Gda Fitzsimons (39), who is based in Nenagh but is from Foynes, Co Limerick, was presented with awards for his heroic acts at a special ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore.
This is the first time a garda has won two special awards at a ceremony for separate incidents.
Gda Spain (32), from Kilruane, Nenagh, also created history by winning an award as a member of the Garda Reserve.
He has since become a full-time garda and is based in Drogheda, Co Louth.
Gda Fitzsimons told the Irish Independent he had no aftereffects from the gun incident but the following night, after the rescue from the blazing car, he watched the All-Ireland hurling final on TV.
“I enjoyed the match. But later that night I couldn’t remember who won it. The shock must have hit me. Apart from that, I had no ill-effects”, he said.
“I didn’t become gung-ho in either incident. I weighed up the options and considered the risk to my life before I acted.”