Former Nishnawbe Aski Police Service Const. Tina Stephen received a St. John Ambulance Award and OPP Commissioner’s Letter Sept. 16 in Kirkland Lake.
The award was presented during the Ontario Provincial Police North East Region Awards Ceremony.
The ceremony honours citizens and Ontario Provincial Police members, both uniform and civilian, who have demonstrated acts of bravery, lifesaving, community service and exemplary performance of duty.
In addition to Stephen, civilian Rufus Friday and OPP Const. Ryan Hutchison were also honoured for their roles in an incident that occurred in Kashechewan First Nation.
On the evening of March 18, 2009, Hutchison and Stephen had a man in custody in Kashechewan and had stopped to pick up Friday, a guard, when Stephen was unable to obtain a response from the prisoner.
Stephen monitored the man’s condition and Friday rode up front as Hutchison drove the police vehicle to the nursing station to have the prisoner checked.
En route, Stephen indicated the man was breathing, but she thought his pulse felt weak.
Upon arrival at the nursing station, Hutchison found there was no medical staff present and told the security guard to page someone.
The officer then returned to the police vehicle and assisted Stephen and Friday in bringing the man into the emergency room. As no stretcher was available, they placed the man on his back on the floor.
Hutchison assessed his breathing while Stephen checked for a pulse.
Unable to detect any breathing, Hutchison began artificial respiration while Friday commenced chest compressions.
Stephen took over mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while Hutchison ran to the nurse’s residence to obtain additional help.
Upon the officer’s return, medical staff, including a doctor, had responded and were treating the man.
He was eventually stabilized and airlifted to Moose Factory and then on to Thunder Bay.
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