WA cop wins National Police Bravery Award

AAP: A West Australian policewoman who saved the lives of two young girls has won the inaugural National Police Bravery Award.

An off-duty policewoman who rescued two girls from their father after he set one of them on fire and doused the other in petrol at their Perth home has won the inaugural National Police Bravery Award.

Senior Constable Stephanie Bochorsky was lounging in her pyjamas at home when she heard a woman scream for help, so she rushed to her neighbour's Doubleview home in August 2015.

Edward John Herbert, who was naked and in a drug-induced psychosis, had set his three-year-old daughter on fire and also doused her autistic seven-year-old sister with petrol.

During Herbert's trial, Snr Const Bochorsky fought back tears as she described seeing the younger girl in her cot with "her whole head on fire".

The officer covered the girl in a blanket to put out the flames and also dragged the older girl out of bed then bolted.

Snr Const Bochorsky said it was a night she would never forget.

"My immediate reaction was to run towards them. I didn't think," she told 6PR radio on Thursday.

"He (Herbert) looked possessed."

Months later, Snr Const Bochorsky still suffers nightmares and flashbacks.

"It was hard to comprehend what I saw."

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton presented the bravery award to Snr Const Bochorsky in Canberra.

"Her heroism was truly exceptional. Without a thought for herself, she confronted a dangerous man in a dangerous situation and rescued those little girls from almost certain death," he said.

"Stephanie’s actions epitomise the very best of policing - bravery, compassion, professionalism and a commitment to duty."

As Snr Const Bochorsky observed parliament on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Snr Const Bochorsky found herself "in the midst of violence and cruelty".

"You said that the rescue was the easy part, it was what came after that, which was difficult - your memories of the night, the scene set into your mind, the ongoing communication with these poor kids, those wakeful moments of reflection," he said.

"Two precious little girls owe you their lives (and) Australia owes you its thanks."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was difficult to comprehend the terror and evil of that night.

Herbert, who had shouted that aliens were going to get him and claimed "the werewolf is coming" before he attacked his daughters, was found guilty of several offences and sentenced to 17 years in jail.

Last month, fellow neighbour Daniel McMillan received a bravery medal for running into the burning home to help.

Mr McMillan hit Herbert with a fire extinguisher after he lunged with a filleting knife.

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