Day shift #1
I had a Reserve Constable (“R/Cst.”) out for the day shift and right out of the gate the shift gets called to a house fire, Delta Fire was already on scene and have a critically injured patient. My assignment was to setup a landing zone for the air ambulance in order to facilitate rapid transport. My reserve was part of the 2012 class and only has a handful of shifts under their belt so it was something new for them. We had a couple units with us to ensure the parking lot is shutdown and safe to land in but the majority of our shift was assisting with traffic control and the initial investigation into the house fire. We took continuity of the patient and once transferred into the helicopter we headed to Vancouver General Hospital.
Once the patient was identified we had platoon members notify the nearest family and they met us at hospital. Unfortunately the patient would succumb to their injuries and we notified the family with staff at the hospital. We had to go through some questions with the family to help determine the nature of the fire and then left them in the care of a hospital social worker to be beside their loved one for one last time.
We got back into our zone with just over half of the shift left and went right to work responding to a few routine calls and making some traffic stops so that my R/Cst. could get some practice speaking with violators. The last traffic stop of the day resulted in us prohibiting a driver and seizing a vehicle as they were driving while impaired. A shift with a tragic call but hopefully filled with good experience for a new R/Cst.
Day shift #2
The day kicked off with a dusting of snow and ice that seemingly caught the lower mainland off guard. I realize the weather forecast the morning before called for clear skies and below freezing temperatures, however early morning precipitation turned the roads into skating rinks before they could be salted/sanded. This had our entire shift responding to collision after collision. Several intersections had to be closed as hills led sliding cars into oncoming traffic. Everyone on our platoon responded to several collisions before roads were properly salted and sanded. We made use of twitter where we could to keep the media advised and it seemed to work out well with great response from @news1130traffic and @AM730traffic . Definitely a benefit to social media was being able to update the media while we were on scene or clearing a scene and hearing it on the air shortly after.
Shortly after noon a platoon mate arrested a person who had outstanding warrants for their arrest and was found to be breaching their conditions. I assisted and transported the person to cells, provided them with access to legal counsel and booked/lodged them while my platoon mate wrote the reports required.
Night shift #1
We had reports of an erratic driver that had been on the highway and came into our zone. I was able to locate the vehicle and stop it. The driver was impaired and had his family in the vehicle including young children that were improperly secured. It’s bad enough when someone choses to drive impaired by themselves and put the public at risk but I have a hard time, as a father, understanding someone choosing to put their children at risk.
After clearing from the impaired driver call I was conducting some traffic stops and just clearing from one as a vehicle with no rear license plate sped by me. I lost the vehicle for a brief period but then located it in a commercial area parked in a fenced in compound with the occupants getting out. After a brief investigation it was apparent that the group had broken into the lot and had histories of property crime and drugs. We arrested all 3 and the investigation is on going.
Night shift #2
We had a report of another possible impaired driver again. We were all on the hunt for it as the citizen was on the phone to 911 following and giving us the location. A platoon mate and I located the vehicle, stopped it and the driver was found to be impaired. I was the cover officer and another platoon mate arrived who was looking for more experience with the new instrument we use as qualified technicians so I cleared so he could take over as the qualified technician on the criminal charge. As I cleared we had a report of a suicidal person. While the rest of the zone was tied up with a few calls including the impaired driver, the Sergeant and I attended to the suicidal person call.
Unfortunately the person had made an attempt and had to be taken to hospital and apprehended under the Mental Health Act as a danger to themselves. Anyone who doesn’t believe depression is a real illness needs to spend some time with our Mental Health system and it’s consumers. The affect that depression has on people and their families is very real. I spent the better part of my shift at the hospital with the person in custody waiting to be seen by psychiatric staff.