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r iconic Austra
Army September 12, 2013
I half carried,
him out his front
door and to the
hauled him to
– Sgt Dean Briese,
Bravery Medal recipient
safety and ensured both occupants
were seen by medical staff before
he too had to be checked over at the
He suffered smoke inhalation
causing breathing difficulties for a
few days and burns on his feet from
“Water pipes had burst and there
was water on the floor so the steam
had burnt me,” he said.
Sgt Briese said he was embar-
rassed and slightly overwhelmed at
receiving the award.
“I am not really the kind of guy
that wants to be standing up here at
all,” he said.
“I don’t think I did anything any-
one else wouldn’t have done if they
had been there.
“I don’t think I really thought
about it, I was just focused on getting
the job done.”
LS Helen Frank
SGT Dean Briese, of Sig Pl 5RAR,
has been recognised with a Bravery
Medal for his swift action in rescu-
ing a man from a burning house at
Bryce announced the award to Sgt
Briese, one of 21 people honoured,
at the Australian Bravery Awards on
“The national bravery awards
recognise the heroic actions of those
among us who have placed the safety
and lives of others before their own,”
Ms Bryce said.
“We are privileged to have such
role models in our society, and it is an
honour to be able to recognise their
acts of selfless bravery and thank
them publicly for their brave actions.”
Early on September 15, 2012,
Sgt Briese was walking home from a
friend’s house when he saw a strange
glow on the horizon.
“I decided to walk the long way
around the block to see what it was,”
Sgt Briese said.
“As I rounded the corner of the
block, I saw smoke and embers com-
ing from the roof of the house two
doors up the street from my place.
“When I got to the door, I opened
it and yelled to see if anyone was
inside but got no reply.”
Sgt Briese said he was certain
that the occupant of the house, a
workmate, was home so he began to
search the building.
“I worked my way down the hall
towards the master bedroom, where I
found him,” he said.
“I was yelling at him to help me
get him out of the house as it was on
Sgt Briese said the man was
barely responsive so he cleared a path
to the front door and went back to get
“I half carried, half dragged
him out his front door and to the
driveway,” he said.
“From there, I ran down to my
house and woke my partner up and
got her to run the shower and hauled
him into it.”
After getting the rescued man into
the shower, Sgt Briese headed back
to the burning house to look for other
occupants as he knew his workmate
had children who sometimes stayed
He said he didn’t have to think
twice about re-entering the burning
building when he thought more lives
might be at risk.
“I searched the rooms for any-
one else but only found his dog,” Sgt
He carried the beloved pet to
Sgt Dean Briese has been recognised for running into a burning house to save a soldier and his dog
Braving the flames
Rescuing a fellow soldier: Bravery Medal recipient Sgt Dean Briese, of 5RAR, pulled a man from a burning house in Puckapunyal during his last posting.
Photo by WO2 Neil Ruskin
TWENTY-one Bravery Medals were approved this
year, along with 31 commendations for brave con-
duct and 10 group bravery citations.
Australian Bravery Decorations recognise acts
of bravery by members of the community who
selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the
lives or property of others.
Bravery or courage differs from fortitude in a
crisis situation. Bravery is a deliberate choice to go
from a place of safety to danger or remain in a peril-
ous position to provide help.
Australian Bravery Decorations date from the
establishment of the Australian honours system in
February 1975. The Group Bravery Citation was
added in 1990.
There are five levels of decoration:
Cross of Valour (CV)
Star of Courage (SC)
Bravery Medal (BM)
Commendation for Brave Conduct
Group Bravery Citation
Anyone may nominate any other person for a
The nomination may be for a brave act by an
Australian citizen in Australia or overseas. A deco-
ration may be awarded to a person who is not an
Australian citizen for either an act done in Australia
or for an act which, though done outside Australia,
merits recognition as an act in the interest of
Bravery decorations may be made posthumously.
There is no set timeframe for announcing brav-
ery awards. There are two announcements each
year in April and August.
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