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Issued: Friday 5 August 2016
A Broken Hill correctional officer who rushed to the aid of a fellow officer who was being assaulted by an inmate has been given an award for his bravery.
Craig Matten was presented with the Commissioner's Commendation for Brave Conduct in a special ceremony at Wellington Correctional Centre, in the state's Central West, today.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant, Minister for Corrections David Elliott and Commissioner Peter Severin visited the centre to present the awards.
In January this year, officer Matten managed to pull an inmate off his colleague but the inmate then attacked Mr Matten, punching him repeatedly in the head and face, even when he fell to the ground.
"I was just doing what I should do," Mr Matten said.
"You have to assist each other. It would have been no different if the roles were reversed on the day."
Commissioner's commendations were also given to officers Mathew Singleton, David Tonkin, Dale Bates and Jamie Scott who provided first aid to an injured motorcyclist while transporting inmates from Broken Hill to Cobar in February.
Minister Elliott said the community should be grateful for the courage shown by the correctional officers.
"Correctional officers are our last line of defence," Mr Elliott said.
"These officers showed unwavering professionalism under intense pressure both in the correctional environment and in the community."
Commissioner Severin praised the officers for their quick response and assistance in both incidents.
"All officers demonstrated commitment to duty," Mr Severin said.
"This camaraderie and teamwork highlights the great values instilled in Corrective Services staff."
A number of other bravery and service medals were also presented at the awards ceremony.