Beyond the call of duty

News / General
By John Pereira

Six KHSC security staff honoured with humanitarian award

When an incident takes place at one of KHSC’s two hospital sites, often some of the first to arrive on scene are members of our Protection Services team. That team has recently been recognized for their work as six staff members have received a humanitarian award from G4S Canada.

Security guards Samantha Freeburn, Thomas Medeiros, Brittni De Jong and Jesse Hearon, along with shift supervisor Jeff Bolton and mobile shift supervisor Gena Doolan all received their awards during a small ceremony in the Watkins Lobby on November 22. Leadership from G4S Canada, the company contracted to provide security services at KHSC’s KGH and HDH sites, presented the awards.

“It would normally be an honour to have one or two individuals honoured in this way, but to have six of our team members recognized at one time is unheard of,” says security supervisor Renaud Golsse.

The awards recognize the team for their actions during two specific incidents at our KGH site. Doolan, Freeburn, Medeiros and De Jong were selected for their roles in saving the life of a person found unresponsive in Lake Ontario last spring.

“Our team arrived on scene within moments, pulled the individual out of the water and began CPR and chest compressions despite finding no signs of life when they arrived,” says Rocky Prosser, KHSC’s Director of Protection Services. “All four of our team members reacted to this situation admirably and ultimately were each instrumental in saving this person’s life.”

Meanwhile, Bolton and Hearon were recognized for their efforts in a more recent event in the Emergency Department at our KGH site. Both were among the first to respond to the Code Silver that was declared on November 19.

“Hearon was the first to arrive and helped Corrections Canada guards disarm the offender. Bolton was the shift supervisor who helped secure the department to ensure the safety of everyone in the area where the code was declared,” says Golsse. “Their professional response and courageous actions played a vital role in the containment of this incident.”

Although they all didn’t officially receive an award, a larger Protection Services team who were working in the hospital that evening were also recognized for their response in handling the Code Silver. This group includes security guards Jenna Veldman, Alex Henderson, Loic Regis as well as security operations centre operator Hannah Mulvihill and elite protection officer Julie Lanlonde-Savard.

“Our response to these two incidents really shows how highly trained and skilled our teams are across both hospital sites,” says Prosser. “We know that when you come to KHSC as a patient you’ll be cared for by highly trained doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, but equally you’ll be able to rely on our guards for help in both critical incidents and more typical day-to-day situations.”

Currently there are 61 Protection Services staff working at KHSC’s two sites providing a range of services including security, emergency preparedness, heliport services, mobile patrol, fire alarm and security systems support, parking enforcement, shuttle service, chart and medical specimen courier services and smoking enforcement among other duties.

“Our teams play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of our two hospital sites and work very closely with health-care teams to ensure that our sites remain safe places for KHSC staff, physicians, volunteers, patients and family,” says Prosser. “These awards are a testament to their dedication.”