Zoran Ivkovic named Toronto’s Police Officer of the Year

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The Toronto Region Board of Trade hosted a luncheon for the recipients of the 2015 Police Officer(s) of the Month awards on Tuesday.

A total of 14 “officers of the month” were honoured for their part in making Toronto one of the safest cities in the world.

The 2015 Police Officer(s) of the Year was announced as P.C. Zoran Ivkovic of 22 Division, for his heroic actions in saving the life of a child during a dangerous house fire. He demonstrated outstanding bravery, professionalism and dedication to duty. The professional manner with which he has conducted himself is worthy of substantial recognition, not only by his peers but also the Toronto Police Service and the community in which he proudly serves.

On March 31, 2015, screams rang out from onlookers who saw thick black smoke and flames coming from the balcony of a low-rise apartment building. Constable Zoran Ivkovic was the first to arrive on scene and was told by witnesses there were children trapped inside the burning apartment. He ran up to the second floor.

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In the hallway, Constable Ivkovic was met with heavy, billowing, black smoke. It was stinging his eyes and his chest burned, as his lungs began to fill. He dropped to the floor and began to crawl on his stomach towards the end of the hallway, banging on apartment doors as he passed them so that he could warn the occupants to get out. As he crawled further down the hallway, he could feel the heat getting stronger as his exposed skin began to sting.

With unwavering determination, Constable Ivkovic arrived at the last apartment, now fully engulfed in flames. Despite becoming dizzy and weakened from the lack of oxygen and extreme heat, he somehow managed to force the door open, enough to gain access to the apartment. A wall of orange flames confronted him at the door and rolled across the ceiling. Constable Ivkovic called out to anyone who might still have been in the apartment. He could hear a slight moan coming from the right side of the apartment. Using his flashlight, he saw what appeared to be a human figure. As he reached out and touched the figure, he realized it was a boy who had been severely burned. With extreme care, Constable Ivkovic picked up the boy and cradled him, shielding him from the flames as he ran out of the apartment. He ran as fast as he could out of the building. As he exited the building, Constable Ivkovic ran towards the firefighters who had recently arrived on scene.

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Firefighters immediately began to treat the boy for severe burns and smoke inhalation.  The officer, without hesitation, put his own life at risk in an attempt to rescue the boy. He is to be commended for his bravery and professionalism.

Platform guests included Ms. Janet De Silva, President & CEO, the Toronto Region Board of Trade; Mr. Christopher Worth, Chair, Police Officer of the Year Committee; Mr. Andrew Pringle, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board; and Chief Mark Saunders. – CINEWS/TPS

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