Hero & Goat: Rescued Babies from Fire & Intimidated a Safety Inspector


SAFETY HERO OF THE WEEK: Matt and Simon Gallant: Rescued Babies from Fire

Shortly after Matt and Simon Gallant sat down for dinner on Jan. 4, the smoke alarm on the third floor sounded. Smoke alarms commonly go off at their 3 level apartment building in Surrey. But when they heard screams, they knew something was up.

The screams came from outside. It was their third floor neighbour. She was clutching her 3-year-old child. But her twin 20-month-old baby girls were still trapped upstairs. Matt, age 28 and Simon, age 25, made 2 forays into the smoking apartment. In the third attempt, Simon located the room where the babies were. Fighting back the smoke and heat, they managed to scope up both sisters and get them out to safety.

Sadly, one of the babies passed away a few days later. But her sister survived.

Matt and Simon Gallant. Did ever a last name better fit its recipient?

But the Gallants don’t see themselves as heroes. “We just wanted to make sure they were okay,” explained Matt.

SAFETY GOATSS OF THE WEEK: Reginald Durmus & Serhat Aslan: Intimidated a Safety Inspector

Construction company director Reginald Durmus and his employee Serhat Aslan pleaded guilty to threatening a WorkSafeBC inspector. The incidents occurred during 2 separate visits by inspectors to a Pascoe Vale construction site.

During the first visit, the lone inspector was greeted with torrents of verbal abuse. During the next day’s follow-up, Mr. Durmus menaced the 2 officials by tapping a large piece of lumber he clutched in his hand. He then grabbed the inspector and forcibly removed him from the site.

Mr. Aslan contributed to the festivities by producing a Stanley knife and continuously flicking it open and shut for effect.

Both men were fined $2,000, sentenced to 6 months’ in jail (the prison sentence was suspended) and suspended for 2 years. Mr. Durmus was fined an additional $1,500 for his part in the first incident.

Hurling verbal abuse and brandishing a piece of lumber or knife in a threatening way is despicable enough. But when the behaviour is directed at a government safety official trying to do his job, it takes on a whole new level of stupidity.