Burnaby (B.C.) firefighters honored their former colleague, Carnegie Hero Mark Oscar Tuura of New Westminster, B.C., at the department’s Nov. 2, 2019 Burnaby Firefighters Badge Ceremony and Retirees dinner. Pictured are Tuura, second from left, and, from left, firefighters Miles Richie, Paul Rushton, and Scott Alleyn. Chief Training Officer Bob Rossignol and Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley presented the Carnegie Medal to Tuura at the annual event that Rossignol described as a “gala event rich in tradition with … more than 200 attendees.”
Tuura was awarded the Carnegie Medal in December 2018 after he saved an unidentified man from drowning in the Fraser River three years earlier. Tuura climbed down a 15-foot-long chain in search of flotation devices on boats docked at the river. Unable to find one, he ran along the pier to keep pace with the man being carried downstream. He quickly climbed down another chain to a boom log, jumped into the 50-degree water, and swam to the man, who was by then unconscious. Firefighters arrived and assisted the men from the water.
Tuura told the Hero Fund that he was willing to wait nearly a year to be presented the Carnegie Medal because he really wanted his former fire department to have a role in the presentation.