Napanee firefighter awarded Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery

Greater Napanee firefighter Mackenzie Grosvenor with his girlfriend, Elisa Robidoux, after he received the province’s highest honour, the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery, last week. Submitted photo.

Greater Napanee firefighter Mackenzie Grosvenor received the province’s highest honour, the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery, last week, but he says he shares that award with someone special.

Grosvenor was one of dozens of firefighters and police officers awarded medals of bravery by Ontario Lieutenant-Governor Edith Dumont on Monday, Jun. 17, 2024, at a ceremony in Toronto.

Grosvenor gives partial credit for the award to his girlfriend, Elisa Robidoux. Just after midnight on October 28, 2023, he explains, he was asleep at Robidoux’s home in Amherstview when she awakened him, saying she had heard “a loud bang outside. So we got up and looked outside, and there was a car on fire.”

Immediately, the pair rushed out to find what Grosvenor describes as “a head-on collision, two-vehicle car accident.”

“We started helping the one injured driver. We didn’t know the other driver was still in the vehicle that was on fire,” Grosvenor said. “So when we found that out, myself and one of the other neighbours ended up going over to pull him out.”

The driver had severe injuries, but was still alive as they waited for medical assistance to arrive. Grosvenor describes the waiting: “It was only 10 minutes or so, but it felt like 10 hours.”

Loyalist Fire & Rescue Fire and paramedics arrived on the scene and took over.

A release from the Ministry of the Solicitor General reads, “Firefighter Grosvenor’s quick and selfless actions undoubtedly saved a life that night.”

Grosvenor says he is honoured to receive the award. “It’s very nice to be recognized. We don’t do it to be recognized, but when we get the recognition, it’s very nice.”

But he also makes sure to give credit to Robidoux, saying, “Without her hearing the accident, who knows what the outcome would have been? She deserves some credit for this.”

Grosvenor explains that, in a stroke of fate, the man he saved happened to be a family friend of Robidoux’s. They visited him when he was in the hospital and have all kept in touch since.

Local Member of Provincial Parliament Ric Bresee said it was “wonderful to be present” alongside Grosvenor’s “proud parents, his girlfriend, and Napanee Fire Chief Shawn Armstrong” for the award ceremony, calling it “a well-deserved recognition.”

“The courage these exceptional police officers and firefighters have displayed is truly remarkable,” said Lt.-Gov. Dumont. “Each one of the recipients has gone well above and beyond their duties, and we are proud to recognize the impact of their selfless service on their communities and our province.”

All of the recipients of the 2023 Ontario Medals for Police and Firefighter Bravery are recognized for heroic acts, including the following:

  • subduing an armed assailant on a deadly rampage
  • removing drivers from burning vehicles
  • rescuing a child who was at risk of being stabbed
  • entering a collapsed building to rescue people trapped in the debris

“Ontario is fortunate to be home to the best police officers and firefighters in the country,” said Solicitor-General Michael Kerzner.

“Recognizing these individuals with medals for bravery is a privilege and a great honour. Their work is an inspiration to us all. On behalf of the people of Ontario, I thank them for their dedication to their communities and extraordinary acts of heroism.”

The Greater Napanee Town Council intends to recognize Grosvenor in person at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2024, at 7 p.m. Residents may attend council meetings in person at Napanee Town Hall, 124 John Street, or watch the livestream on the Town’s YouTube channel.

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