Two jail employees receive bravery awards

As first reported in last Thursday’s Daily Bulletin, Fort Frances Jail employees Larry Tucker and Shane McDonald received Awards for Exceptional Bravery—and praise from the minister of Correctional Services—for their actions during the 19-hour standoff here back in June.
“I’m not supposed to say too much because of the investigation but I’m quite honoured. I was surprised to get it,” McDonald said last week.
McDonald, a corrections officer at the jail, and Tucker, the operational manager, received the awards during a ceremony last Wednesday at the Bell Cairn Staff Development Centre in Hamilton.
“On behalf of the people of Fort Frances, I am pleased to congratulate Shane McDonald and Larry Tucker for their courage and expertise in handling this difficult situation,” said Correctional Services minister Rob Sampson.
McDonald successfully fended off a prisoner attack to alert fellow correctional officers before barricading himself in a room for safety.
Tucker, meanwhile, managed to barricade himself in an office from where he called police. And although he had a chance to get out of the building, he chose to stay to help his fellow officers.
In related news, charges still have not been laid as the investigation continues into the standoff which began on the evening of June 29 when two prisoners at the jail refused to take orders from staff.
The incident escalated into a hostage-taking situation. Negotiators, the OPP’s Emergency Response Team, and the Tactics and Rescue Unit all were called in before the prisoners finally surrendered peacefully to police the following afternoon.
McDonald and Tucker were among eight people who received a bravery award for their actions at Ontario correctional facilities. Awards also were given out for Humanitarian Service, Contribution to the Field of Corrections, and Volunteer Service.
Rev. Garth Roberts and his wife, Margaret, were among the recipients of Volunteer Service awards for their efforts at the Kenora Jail.
“There are many employees and volunteers within the Ministry of Correctional Services whose dedication and personal commitment to safeguarding our communities goes above and beyond the call of duty,” said Sampson.
“I am honoured to recognize these individuals for their courage and caring,” he added.