Bravery Awards

Some people don\’t get it, do they?

Helen Reynolds, a health and safety officer with Lancashire Constabulary, said that the current phrase, which praises officers for acting “with no thought to his or her safety” should be toned down.

She suggested changing the words to "fully recognising the risks to their own safety".

Speaking at the conference of the Association of Police Health and Safety Advisers in Cardiff, she said: "We need to recognise the bravery of these officers but we also need to emphasise the importance of keeping them safe.

"Safety does not prevent them from doing brave acts."

Bravery is, by definition, doing things that risk your own safety to achieve some other goal.

12 thoughts on “Bravery Awards”

  1. She is completely wrong. Most people who do brave things don’t even think about their own safety, they just act. If they did pause to think they proably wouldn’t act, or would act with more caution.

  2. Right here (Philly), not long ago, an off-duty city firefighter was dismissed for having dived into the Schulkyll River to (successfully) rescue a drowning man. There was a court case— don’t remember the outcome.

    Also would remind that, long before entering politics, Ronald Reagan held the record for the number of individual drowning victims saved—a total of 77 over the time he was employed as a lifeguard.

  3. The suggested new wording is actually better: the old one implies that the officer merely didn’t think about anything, while the new one implies that they understood the risks and did the rescue anyway. That’s more heroic, surely?

  4. The words ‘For Valour’ are inscribed upon the Victoria Cross. Should this now be qualified in the interests of health and safety?

  5. I once met someone who had done something very valiant, at extreme risk to himself.

    His take on it, was that he felt afraid of what he was about to do. But he also felt very afraid of the consequences of not taking the action he took. He called it the balance of fear, but he was being very modest and taciturn.

  6. The funny thing is that while this woman is talking about the importance of safety, the phrasing she uses highlights the bravery of the act in question more, for the reasons john b has given.

  7. pedant2007:

    I’d guess you’re right about that. It’s Dutch, I guess, which is slightly anomalous, because there’s no great, well-known Dutch history (as there is in NYC and up the Hudson) in this area of which I’m aware (which probably has more to do with my awareness than anything else).

    I may be partial–but I’m of the opinion that place names are one of the greatest natural resources with which the US has been favored and one in which we enjoy the incomparably greatest comparative advantage.

    Can’t tell you why that should be but my snap theory is that: 1.) euphony is the key; and, 2.) we had greater choice available in the early discovery and pioneering days. In general, origin choice was determined primarily by who was doing the naming, whether English (and who might be Welsh or Scots, etc.), French, Spanish, Dutch, German.

    But, in one respect, all these folks seemed to agree with one another, in that when it came to naming (especially natural features), their respective cultures’ offerings paled (no pun intended) in comparison with those of the American Indian (er-“Native Americans”—I’m of the distinct opinion that the presumably derogatory “Injun” carries far more honorific weight than does the PC neologism). Each of those immigrant tribes’ numerous cultural leaders came rather quickly to the same opinion: that, in that naming department, the red man’s culture had at least as much to offer—and maybe somewhat more—than their own. Thus, we’ve got more Injun names than we do Injuns.

    Maybe our (figurative) forefathers knew the Injuns themselves wouldn’t survive and the most fitting tribute to their memory–that they’d ever been here at all–would be some of their beautiful names–applied to the things most surely to survive. On the other hand, maybe it was just laziness—why bother thinking up new names, when you can just take ’em, along with the places they describe? Sounds practical, at least. If the Injuns had thought to have copyrighted ’em all, they wouldn’t have had to wait for casinos.

    And now, since I got off on the Injun topic, Ive got an Injun story right out of history which’ll amuse (though I’ve told it here before).

    When the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, how did the people coming ashore manage to communicate with the natives gathered on the beach? The answer is—very easily. One of the
    greeting party (because that’s what it was) walked up to them with his right hand extended for a handshake and said “Howdy” (actually he may have actually said “Hello”). “They call me Sam.” He’d a smattering of English (and Portugese, Spanish, and French and likely others, having spent most of his life sailing the world on Portugese ships.) Lucky break for the Puritans; maybe not quite so for their hosts.

    How to reconcile these majestic names with the universal perception of the settlers—of whatever persuasion—that the Injuns typified Hobbes’ assessment of human life: “nasty, brutish, and short.” Or how to reconcile with the widespread depiction as taciturn, virtually monosyllabic? Dunno again–a mystery.

    Just in my own area, we have Rappahannock, Wissahickon, Pocono, Allegheny, Susquehanna,
    Juniata, Kittatinny, Raritan, Monongahela, and there are Massachussetts, Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Dakota, Utah, Iroquois, Algonquin, Cherokee, Navajo, Comanche, Narraganssett, Arapahoe,
    Oconoluftee, Suwanee, Sequoia (Sequoyah), Tennessee, Alabama, Ticonderoga, Tallahatchee, Tallahassee, Alaska, Saskatchewan, Santee, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconson, Okachobee, Oklahoma, Ogalala,
    Genesee, Pensacola, Appalachin, and, I’m sure, many others that don’t come quickly to mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *