John Prokop, owner of James Street Billiards in Duncan, will receive a Carnegie Medal for his heroic actions during an incident in the summer of 2016. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Vancouver Island man to receive Carnegie Medal for heroic actions

John Prokop went to the rescue of RCMP officer in 2016

John Thomas Prokop, owner of James Street Billiards in Duncan, will receive a rare and prestigious Carnegie Medal for his heroic actions during an incident in the summer of 2016.

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

Prokop, 49, who will receive his medal on April 3 from North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring, is just one of two Canadians to be awarded a Carnegie Medal for heroism this year, as well as one of only 1,000 Canadians who have received the medal since it was first introduced.

A total of 10,062 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s inception in 1904.

On July 8, 2016, Prokop helped to rescue a police officer from an assault in Duncan.

RELATED STORY: RCMP’S NORTH COWICHAN/DUNCAN DETACHMENT OFFICERS OVERWHELMED WITH ACCOLADES

During the incident, which occurred on a street in downtown Duncan, a police officer struggled to detain a man who violently resisted arrest and was reaching for the officer’s duty belt which held a holstered handgun.

Eventually the struggle continued on a church’s front porch, where the assailant put the officer in a headlock.

The nearly exhausted officer later stated that he had difficulty breathing during the incident.

Prokop ran to the scene and grasped the assailant, allowing the officer to escape the headlock.

All three fell to the church steps, and the officer held the assailant in a headlock while Prokop pinned the assailant’s legs until backup officers arrived.

The officer recovered from soreness to his throat and neck, while Prokop scraped his arm and face but did not require medical attention.

Prokop was also honoured by the RCMP in 2017 for his actions that day in an award ceremony in Victoria.

RELATED STORY: RCMP HONOUR THEIR OWN AND ONE COWICHAN CIVILIAN FOR HEROIC ACTS

The awards ceremony, in which Prokop received a commendation for his quick actions, highlighted exemplary work done by police officers and civilians alike when faced with challenging situations.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Prokop said when asked about receiving the Carnegie Medal.

“It’s surreal to be honoured for doing the humanely right thing to do in that situation. It all happened so fast it seemed like a blink of an eye, but I was glad I could make a difference.”

Prokop said he also received a $5,000 U.S. grant from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, which he used to pay off his credit cards.

“I was also informed that the commission will pay for my tuition, books and fees if I choose to go back to school,” he said.

“I was thinking on upgrading my drivers’ licence so I could drive a charter bus, or something similar, after my days at the pool hall are over.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

New signage and logos accompany plans for the area’s future

Former Canadian Chief Justice talks shop in Sidney

Beverly McLachlin served 28 years on the Supreme Court of Canada, including 17 as Chief Justice.

Police arrest two men on Gorge Road East

Traffic has resumed in the area

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Sooke athletes win gold at 55+ Games

Myrtle Acton, 86, leads way with three first place finishes

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

Most Read