Observation, kindness and de-escalation skills put to the test

Officer Glenda Fitzpatrick of the Mobile Patrol at Keyano College Land Trust in Fort McMurray was on her way to work when she noticed a parked car at the bridge on King Street.

She immediately put on her hazards and got out of the car, having noticed a young man on the bridge’s ledge facing the water. He was clearly in distress, crying that he “had no reason to live”. His face and clothes were covered in blood.

Officer Fitzpatrick introduced herself and, while observing his behaviour, asked if he wanted to talk. She spoke to him a motherly way and explained that she herself had two sons.

Her kind demeanor calmed the boy, and she was able to call 911 for assistance. She asked if the boy would get down from the ledge and talk to her – and he did. As soon as he got off the ledge, he hugged Officer Fitzpatrick and they walked off the bridge together.

The RCMP officers who arrived on-scene asked if they could take the man to hospital to get checked out; he agreed, thanking Officer Fitzpatrick for listening to him.

Officer Fitzpatrick’s kind demeanor, observational skills, de-escalation techniques and compassion made a real difference in this young man’s life. Thank you, Officer Fitzpatrick!