Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #11-118
August 4, 2011


Commissioner of Yukon presents Award for Bravery to Whitehorse resident

WHITEHORSE—The Commissioner’s Award for Bravery will be presented to Trevor Smith at the Westmark Whitehorse on Saturday, August 6 for his actions in saving the life of a fellow claim staker on November 15, 2009.

“I am proud to present this award to a very deserving Yukoner,” Commissioner Doug Phillips said. “This young man’s life was saved as a direct result of Trevor acting quickly and decisively, putting his own life at risk.”

During a claim staking operation 160 kilometres north of Mayo, an avalanche was triggered that buried one of the stakers. Trevor convinced the helicopter pilot to set him down and proceeded to search for the staker. Approximately 15 minutes after the avalanche, Trevor noticed two inches of a radio antenna sticking out of the snow. He dug furiously to reach the man’s head, which was under three feet of snow. The man was not breathing. Trevor continued to dig until the weight of snow was off of the man’s back. After another five to 10 minutes, the man started to breathe. Trevor radioed the pilot of the helicopter and the man was airlifted to the nursing station in Mayo.

“Trevor distinguished himself by acting with bravery and great strength of character in a very dangerous situation,” Phillips added.

The Commissioner’s Award for Bravery recognizes individuals who have responded with great effort, at considerable personal risk in hazardous circumstances, to save or safeguard, or attempt to save or safeguard, the life of one or more persons. The last Award for Bravery was presented in 2008.

For more information, visit the Commissioner of Yukon website. 



Cathy Cheeseman
Commissioner’s Office
Stefanie Richardson
Communications, Executive Council Office