John Prokop, right, was presented with a Carnegie Medal by North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring on Wednesday for his heroic actions on July 8, 2016, when he stepped in to help RCMP Const. Matt Baines, left, who was being assaulted by a man he was trying to apprehend. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Cowichan’s Prokop receives Carnegie Medal for heroic actions

Hopes it will inspire others

John Prokop said his Carnegie Medal for heroism will be publicly displayed in his pool hall, James Street Billiards in Duncan, as an inspiration for others to help people when in need.

Prokop was presented with his Carnegie Medal, which recognizes outstanding acts of selfless heroism, by North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring at Wednesday’s council meeting, and choked up when he recounted the incident in Duncan on July 8, 2016, when he stepped in to help RCMP Const. Matt Baines who was being assaulted by a man he was trying to apprehend.


“I knew someone had to help him,” Prokop said as he recalled many other people just standing around watching and taking videos of the fight.

“I didn’t know what I was getting involved with, but I jumped in and did what I could. This is a once in a lifetime achievement and I’m proud to receive it. My son T.J. and my father Morris are here today and I’d like to say that this is who we are; it runs through our bloodline.”

Prokop, 49, is just one of two Canadians to be awarded a prestigious Carnegie Medal for heroism in 2018, as well as one of only 1,000 Canadians who have received the medal from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission since it was first introduced in 1904.


Prokop said he didn’t even know what a Carnegie Medal was before he found out he was to be awarded one.

“I don’t even know who nominated me,” he said as council members and Baines applauded him.

“The RCMP do an outstanding job in this community and that’s not recognized enough. This medal is as much Matt Baines’s as it is mine. I hope this inspires people to do good things for others because there’s not enough of that out there.”

Siebring said it was a privilege to present Prokop with his medal.

“I’m honoured and proud to have a hero like John Prokop in the community, and in the room with us right now,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The Tube Shack breaks world record on Cowichan River

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

Options presented for blue-green algae problem in Quamichan Lake

North Cowichan looking for solutions for the deadly algae

Firearm threat in Duncan leads to quick police response

Man taken to hospital without incident

Sangha denied bail in Cowichan confinement case

Sangha’s trial begins in Duncan on Jan.6

Duncan woman shares experiences abroad with Doctors Without Borders

Julia Saurazas works with Doctors Without Borders

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read