RCMP Sgt. responds to letter to the editor

Police response questioned and Castlegar Sgt. NCOi/c Laurel Mathew answers

RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew speaks at an event in Castlegar's Spirit Square April 23

In response to a letter to the editor dated June 13, regarding the dispatching of first responders to a medical emergency call, it was stated that “911 was called several times with no response, and that the RCMP were called to no avail“. I would like to clear up any misconceptions.

The date of this occurrence was May 24, and 911 was called at 15:54 hours at 3:54 p.m. Upon receipt, the call was immediately directed to the ambulance dispatch. When someone calls 911, the call taker in the 911 centre asks the caller if they need Police, Fire or Ambulance.  If the caller says “ambulance”, then the call is routed directly to the ambulance dispatch centre. If the caller starts telling the dispatcher what he/she is calling for, as in this case a male that was having medical issues at Tim Hortons, the call would be put through to the ambulance.

Police are not dispatched to medical calls unless there is a concern for safety for some reason. For example, if the medical issue occurs as a result of an assault, then both Police and EHS may attend, or if EHS gets to a medical call and feel there is need for Police attendance (ie: someone is injured but agitated or potentially violent), they will call Police dispatch and request them to attend. In turn,  paramedics don’t get dispatched to an armed robbery, the Police do. If something is on fire, the fire department is dispatched. If someone has a heart attack, the Paramedics are dispatched.

In this case, an individual had experienced a medical issue not related to any assault or “suspicious occurrence”, and therefore the Police were not dispatched, hence the reason they didn’t attend.

I hope this clears things up and as requested in the letter to the editor, the issue of whether the appropriate first responders attended, was looked into.


Sgt Laurel Mathew

NCOi/c Castlegar RCMP

— Editor’s Note: original letter can be found HERE.

Just Posted

Free shuttle running at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Parking and main access have been ongoing challenges since KBRH construction began in October

Rossland couple face charges after faking sex to commit petty theft

Couple fakes the dirty to clean out a laundry

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Castlegar wildlife conflicts down in 2018, though problems persist

Official Bear Smart Community status still elusive for city

How long can Castlegar support a repertory cinema?

Cinema owners find audiences with older, obscure movies

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Most Read