INSPIRATIONAL: Gympie's senior constable Sonny Mayo and constable Jeremy Gardiol at the crash site where they risked their lives to pull a man from a burning car in June last year. Heroes such at constables Mayo and Gardiol are the kind of inspirations the Pride of Australia Awards are looking for.
INSPIRATIONAL: Gympie's senior constable Sonny Mayo and constable Jeremy Gardiol at the crash site where they risked their lives to pull a man from a burning car in June last year. Heroes such at constables Mayo and Gardiol are the kind of inspirations the Pride of Australia Awards are looking for. Frances Klein

FREE STORY: Holding out for a hero, Gympie?

JUST Friday, total strangers intervened to save the life of a Dalby man seconds before his ute burst into flames in a horror smash at Kilkivan.

Seconds from death

Examples like this pepper the history of the Gympie region.

It's during times of adversity and challenge, of small castastrophe and major disaster when unsung heroes in the community rally to rebuild their communities and change lives through their courage and acts of charity.

This year, you'll get the chance to nominate a local champion for the 15th Pride of Australia Awards.

News Corp Australia, publisher of The Gympie Times, with the support of Seven News and Australia Post, is calling on readers to nominate the unsung heroes in their community for this year's campaign.

Two such nominees could be Gympie police officers Jeremy Gardiol and Sonny Mayo who were instrumental in rescuing an elderly man from a burning car in June last year.

The bonnet had caught fire on a rolled vehicle, while the man was still inside, just before the officers arrived at the emergency.

Frantic actions followed to retrieve the man, who was groggy with shock.

Bashing the skyward-facing passenger window in was the only way they could communicate with him to cover himself as they began to bash through the windscreen with a police baton.

"I must have hit it 30 times to get a hole in the windscreen,” said Const Mayo, who also tried to kick the glass in as the flames were rising.

Beside him, a passerby ripped at the glass with his bare hands to clear the way as the officers dragged the driver through the windscreen.

"By the time we dragged him four metres, the flames were (as high as) a third of the way up the power pole,” Const Mayo said at the time.

You can nominate anyone in your community who has inspired you through their dedication, initiative, courage or acts of charity.

Nominations for the Pride of Australia Awards close on October 21 so nominate a local hero today at prideofaustralia.com.au.