Two southeast Saskatchewan residents are among the first people in the province to receive the Saskatchewan Premier’s Commendation Awards.
Estevan Police Service Constable Steven Enns and Oxbow resident Shelley Baldwin were presented with the awards on April 8.
It's the latest recognition for Enns, who rescued a family of four from a burning house on Sixth Street in Estevan while on duty in May of 2012. The family would have perished without Enns' actions.
Last year, Enns was presented with the Award of Valour from the Saskatchewan Association of Police Chiefs; and with the Carnegie Award, which is handed out by the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
He was the only person in the province to receive the Award of Valour last year, and one of 22 selected from across North America for the Carnegie Award.
Baldwin, meanwhile, is the founder of a community sewing initiative, the Little Dresses Project. More than 4,700 dresses have been sewn for children in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. Little Dresses started as an effort to sew 25 dresses for African children.
She launched Little Dresses a few years ago after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer; she wanted to clear out fabrics from her house before she passed away. Baldwin had previously been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Enns, Baldwin and the other award recipients were recognized for serving the province, their communities and, in a few cases, complete strangers.
”It’s been said that true heroism is when the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate,” Premier Brad Wall said in a press release.
“Today, we recognize outstanding Saskatchewan citizens who can rightly be described as heroes. Through extraordinary acts of bravery and dedicated public service, they have answered the call to action, putting aside concerns about their own safety and well-being to save lives and comfort others.
“This award is a small payment on the debt we owe these individuals, who represent the best of Saskatchewan and serve as an inspiration for us all.”
The other recipients include residents of Regina, Meadow Lake and the Flying Dust First Nation; and staff and students from Luther High School in Regina for their actions after an armed teenager entered the school in 2008.