Bravery recognised


A teenager who plucked two young children to safety from a pond in West Lothian is among three recipients of a prestigious bravery award.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Love plunged into the water near his Livingston home to rescue the brother and sister in May 2010.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today presented Aaron, who had been out cycling at the time of the incident, with a St Andrew's Award medal at a ceremony in Bute House, Edinburgh. Also honoured were Leah Grant, nine, and Paisley PC David Adam.

Leah assisted her mum, Grace, after she suffered a sudden seizure at their Linlithgow home in November 2009. Aged just seven at the time, Leah calmly checked her mum was still breathing and dialled 999 for help, staying on the line and providing information that allowed emergency services to treat her Mum immediately.

PC Adam, 21, disarmed a man who threatened to blow up a tenement by igniting a gas source in his home. PC Adam arrested the man before evacuating the building after discovering the suspect had broken a gas pipe.

The three St Andrew's Award winners were chosen from 30 brave individuals recognised at the Brave@Heart reception hosted by the First Minister at Edinburgh Castle in October.

Ms Sturgeon said today:

"It is a privilege and incredibly humbling to meet three exceptionally courageous young people whose concern for others and actions in the face of danger are an inspiration to us all.

"Aaron, Leah and David had already been selected by an independent panel to receive a Brave@Heart Award for their exceptional bravery. Their efforts are now being recognised at the first separate St Andrew's Award ceremony, which is an appropriate way of giving their acts of courage the recognition they deserve.

"It is fitting that, as we look forward to St Andrew's Day - an opportunity to celebrate achievements in Scotland - we can recognise three remarkable young people who are a real credit to their families and friends."

The Brave@Heart Award and St Andrew's Award were introduced in 2010 to replace the First Minister's Commendation for Meritorious Conduct and the annual Scotland's Heroes First Minister's reception as the official Scottish Government recognition for bravery.

Nominations for a Brave@Heart Award can be submitted by blue light services and rescue organisations and considered by an independent panel.

From the Brave@Heart winners, a validation panel - consisting of representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), the Chief Fire Officer Association Scotland (CFOAS) and the Scottish Ambulance Service, chaired by Professor David Alexander of the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research at Robert Gordon University - recommends individuals to receive the St Andrew's Award.