business pages

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Subscriber pages
buttonspacer News Desk
buttonspacer Columnists
buttonspacer Editorial
buttonspacer Readers comment
buttonspacer Tenders

Demo pages
Here's a sample of what only subscribers see

Subscribe now
Subscribe to both hardcopy or internet editions of NNSL publications

Our print and online advertising information, including contact detail.

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Quick response saves life

Kira Curtis
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 3, 2011

INUVIK - Two RCMP officers saved a suicidal man's life last month by forcing first aid on him until an ambulance arrived.

NNSL photo/graphic

Quick decisions by two Inuvik RCMP and a dispatcher saved a man's life on the morning of Jan. 18. - Kira Curtis/NNSL photo

RCMP Const. Leo Maceachern and Cpl. Sean Doornbos responded Tuesday morning, Jan. 18, when they received a call stating a man was threatening to kill himself. The man's wife had called the police in a panic saying her husband had already cut his hand and was bleeding severely.

Maceachern and Doornbos said they immediately realized the severity of the situation when they arrived at the scene and saw the wounds on the man, calling for an ambulance and more RCMP.

The officers tried to calm the man down but he continued to be unco-operative and was bleeding so profusely both members had to respond quickly.

"You've got to get this guy help and the only way to get him help is to, unfortunately, subdue him in the most peaceful manner possible," Doornbos said, adding, "It's the most blood loss I've seen from person who was conscious."

To address the wounds and manage the bleeding, the officers wrestled with the man, who would not co-operate.

"The police's job is to help everybody regardless," Maceachern said from his new posting in Assumption, Alta. "People are always in different moods and stuff when we get there but we have an obligation to help everybody regardless."

After a few minutes of struggling, the officers were able to force first aid on the man until the ambulance arrived.

Though the man began to lose consciousness, he was still resisting help when ambulance workers arrived and the officers had to hold him while paramedics worked on him.

The man was taken to hospital and is recovering.

Maceachern said the calm actions of the detachment's clerical worker who received the call helped.

Wilma Hendrick's quick assessment of the situation sped up the response time of the officers while assisting the wife on the phone.

"She never had a serious call like that before," Maceachern said.

Though the call was serious, both officers said their training and the mental health laws that enable the RCMP to step in when people need medical attention allowed them to help save the man's life.

"(The health care laws) give us powers to be able to help people when they're in a frame of mind where they're not able to help themselves." Maceachern said.

A few days after the dramatic morning, Maceachern ended his posting in Inuvik and moved to his new position in Alberta, though he said he loved his time here.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.