Among those honoured for their actions in 2021 were Northeast Patrol Constables James Kendrick and Christy Debienne, receiving commendations for their lifesaving actions in separate incidences during the same shift.
Call to assist
In early March, Const. Kendrick and his partner Const. Christy Debienne responded to a call where a man was suffering severe blood loss.
It was a whirlwind start to their night shift as the constables had just gotten into their cruiser before the call to ‘assist EMS’ came in.
“We weren’t even logged into the system before Const. Debienne said, ‘We better go to this call,’” explained Const. Kendrick. “We didn’t really know what we were going into, but I did know that I needed to drive fast.”
First to arrive, they spotted the injured man in the doorway of the residence. They noticed occupants of the home were attempting to control the man’s bleeding with towels; however, their attempts had a minimal effect.
“He was losing a life-threatening amount of blood,” said Const. Kendrick, who determined that the man was likely suffering from a severe arterial bleed, having had personal experience sustaining a similar injury off-duty just two years earlier.
Despite the chaotic surroundings, the officers jumped into action and engaged in lifesaving first-aid treatment.
While Const. Debienne worked to control the wound and apply a tourniquet to the man’s arm, Const. Kendrick spoke to the distressed man to help keep his upper body still, attempting to calm his agitated demeanor.
“Christy was able to get the turn-key to latch just before EMS arrived,” said Const. Kendrick.
Several minutes later, while Const. Kendrick held tight to the tourniquet, the officers were loaded into the back of the ambulance to help transport the man to the hospital.
Time for a “coffee break”
Approximately two and half hours later, Const. Kendrick found himself once again providing lifesaving measures, this time to an unresponsive man.
After having cleaned up and changed from their first call of the night, the constables were ready to grab a coffee and recharge but decided first to take one more call on the board. They were investigating an unrelated incident at a Transit Centre when an individual drew their attention to a man lying on the platform.
“An individual had rushed up to say that a person had just dropped to the ground and was in medical distress,” said Const. Kendrick, explaining it appeared the male was overdosing.
Const. Kendrick assessed the man and noted he was unresponsive, showing no signs of a pulse or breath. The constable immediately initiated CPR and, after several compressions, restored and maintained a heartbeat and breathing until medical personnel arrived.
A job well done
“James’ actions, along with Const. Debienne’s, are examples of great bravery, dedication and commitment to the job,” said Inspector Bechthold of Northeast Division. “They acted on instinct, staying calm and level-headed, and shows how well-deserving they – along with their fellow officers – are of these commendations.”
Although Const. Kendrick says it’s nice to be recognized for a well-done job; he doesn’t do this work for the awards.
“I appreciate the recognition and am humbled to receive the commendations, but I signed up for this line of work,” said the patrol officer, who spent three years working as an EPS warehouse tech before becoming a full-fledged sworn member.
“You learn pretty quickly that you have to be ready for the unexpected. I was fortunate enough to have Const. Debienne next to me – she is an amazing partner. We were met with a lot that night, and I know we had done a good job, but I honestly couldn’t have done it and remained so calm without her.”
“We are so proud of all of our EPS members. They are called into action at a moment’s notice, and each one plays a significant part in keeping Edmonton safe through the work they do every day,” said Superintendent Bart Lawczynski of Downtown and Northeast Division.