Stunning footage has emerged of two police officers and other rescue workers fighting to save a drowning farmer trapped in a grain silo.
John Lawson, 78, from Baralaba in Queensland, fell into the silo on February 23 this year and began to sink rapidly.
Police rushed to the scene and frantically shoveled away the grain as it quickly devoured the farmer.
For an hour and a half, officers shielded Mr. Lawson from the sun while constantly checking to make sure he was comfortable and making sure he could breathe.
Sergeant Wylie Steel and Senior Constable Callam Moriarty remained by the farmer’s side while rescue workers cut into the side of the silo to create an escape route.
On Friday the two officers and a paramedic were awarded the Working Together Award for the Queensland Police Everyday Hero Awards in Brisbane.
Stunning footage showed the moment rescue teams and police tried to free 78-year-old John Lawson from Baralaba in Queensland after he fell into a grain silo on February 23 this year
Two officers and a paramedic were awarded the Queensland Police Everyday Hero Awards’ Working Together Award in Brisbane on Friday for their efforts in freeing Mr Lawson
In the footage, Mr Lawson’s swollen hand can be seen resting on the grain as one of the officers shovels piles of grain away from his face to create an air passage.
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Because the area around Mr. Lawson’s head was hollowed out, police were able to relieve the pressure on his body.
“Take a breath, keep going,” an officer tells him.
“We’re fine, look at this. ‘We’re winning here, buddy!’
The two officers stood by John throughout the ordeal, while numerous others circled the silo and worked to free him.
At some point, a harness was wrapped around John and rescuers attempted to pull him from the grain once his upper body was free.
After this proved unsuccessful, others cut a hole in the side of the silo, allowing the grain to flow out quickly.
Once freed, Mr Lawson was placed on a stretcher and carted out of the hole and into a waiting rescue vehicle.
Sergeant Wylie Steel, Senior Constable Callam Moriarty and a Queensland Ambulance paramedic were recognized for their bravery in the silo.
Mr Lawson was stuck in the silo for an hour and a half while more than a dozen rescue workers tried various techniques to get him out
Senior Constable Callam Moriarty (pictured) was recognized for his bravery on the day and said he was “humbled” and just happy to help
Twenty-two volunteers and career police officers were nominated for the award for their outstanding contributions to the community.
Mr Moriarty said the award was unexpected and “incredibly humbling”.
“I’m very grateful for what we can do in a small town, especially being able to spend time connecting with the community,” he said.
“The local mine closed, people came down the road with tractors and others closed their businesses that day to help us.”
“Just being able to walk down the street and still talk to John and see how he’s doing, that’s what it’s all about.”
Mr Lawson escaped with only a minor leg injury and recovered quickly at Rockhampton Hospital.
He said he became trapped after standing on the silo trying to loosen the grain after rain stuck it together.
After he poked it with a metal rod, it gave in and quickly swallowed him before his servant called the police.
“I have emptied thousands of silos and grown a lot of grain and never had a problem, but the situation was a little different,” he says ABC said by the time.