Gateway Gazette

CPS Chief’s Awards: Award of Excellence in Mental Health Intervention

On June 6, 2019 the Chief’s Awards Gala will take place to honour sworn and civilian members of the service who performed exemplary acts of courage and commitment to their community.

In the lead up to the Gala, we are sharing with you some of these extraordinary stories.

Our second award story describes acts of perseverance, compassion and resourcefulness in saving the life of a young man.

In June 2018, a woman received text messages from a friend that included photos of him sitting in a bathtub with cuts to his arm. Constables Blake Springman, Domenic Imperato and two unnamed members were dispatched to a home in N.W Calgary to check on the welfare of the man.

They knocked on the door and were met by the man’s mother, unaware of what was happening with her son. She told officers he was having a long bath.

Recognizing the urgency, the officers went upstairs to the bathroom where they could hear a faint gurgling noise. The members found a small bamboo pole nearby and used it to pick the bathroom lock. The officers entered the bathroom and found the man in the bathtub in a pool of blood and water. They called EMS, believing the man was in life-threatening condition due to the amount of blood loss. Const. Springman, with no time to don gloves, reached into the blood and water to try and locate the point of blood loss.

At this point, the man’s mother realized what was happening and became hysterical. Members worked to calm her while preventing her from entering the bathroom and interfering with the officer’s attempts to save the young man’s life.

In addition to the cuts on the man’s arm, the officers found a string tied tightly around his neck causing his airway to be restricted. They applied a tourniquet to stop the blood loss and carefully cut the string. They also located and secured the edged weapon the man had used to inflict the injuries.

The members lifted the man from the bathtub, laid him down, and covered him in towels to keep him warm. They comforted him while waiting for EMS to arrive.

EMS arrived, and the man was transported to hospital where he made a full recovery. A month later, members returned to the family’s home to check in with them. The mother said her son was doing well but wasn’t home at the time, so he left his contact information.

Two days later, two of the officers met the man for coffee to answer any questions he had about what had happened. As a result of the impact these officers had on him, the man got a tattoo on his arm that says, “life is worth living”. The man plans to pursue a career as an EMT and shared with the officers that his life was not only saved but changed direction, thanks to them.

Without a doubt the officers saved this man’s life. For their perseverance, compassion and resourcefulness the four members are acknowledged with the Award of Excellence in Mental Health Intervention.

Source: Calgary Police Service

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