COMMENDATION: David Wilton and Sarah Paul both received a Royal Life Saving Society NSW certificate of commendation at an awards ceremony in Sydney on Friday. Photo: MICHELLE PAUL
WHEN Sarah Paul received a Royal Life Saving Society NSW Commendation award in Sydney on Friday, she was sure her father was watching down on her.
Ms Paul was presented with the award from NSW Governor David Hurley, “for showing outstanding skills and courage in what was a very traumatic and distressing situation,” attempting to save the life of her father, Kynan Paul, without hesitation.
Ms Paul, a nurse from Orange, was bestowed with the commendation alongside Mr Paul’s friend David Wilton.
The award came as a complete surprise to a modest Ms Paul, who never expected her actions would be recognised in such a public way.
“It’s just an honour to get a commendation,” she said.
“It means a lot to me for people to have thought of me in the work I did to try and save my dad.”
While Ms Paul said Friday’s ceremony was a bittersweet moment, she reiterated she was “very honoured” to have been nominated for the award and said it was also a way to honour her father’s life.
“It’s great to honour his life,” she said.
It was the morning of May 22, 2010, when tragedy began to unfold at the Paul family home at Clifton Grove.
Mr Paul, 45, was operating an earth compacting machine while he and Mr Wilton were working outside preparing a slab for a shed to be built.
The machine Mr Paul was operating fell into a four-metre hole beside the shed site where a water tank was to be installed.
As Mr Paul tried to get free, he fell forward and was crushed under the weight of the roller.
Mr Wilton ran inside to raise the alarm with Ms Paul, who was at home studying for her paramedic and nursing degree, which she was completing at Charles Sturt University.
Ms Paul rushed to her father’s aid, her knowledge and training taking over as she began CPR.
Mr Wilton rang emergency services, taking over CPR so Ms Paul could speak to the operator.
Even when the ambulance arrived, Ms Paul continued to assist in the treatment of her father, who died at the scene.
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