Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Canuck cops, paramedics nominated for group Darwin Award

What you see here is the scene of a joint training exercise, held earlier today in Kanata ON, involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ottawa Police Department, and a group of "tactical paramedics". The demonstration of "How to make a forced entry into a building" resulted in serious injuries to two of Ottawa's finest and one of the paramedics.

"Forced entries" are any entries that require more than a simple door-opening, of which all police officers are assumed to be capable. If that doesn't work, the "tactical units" -- SWAT teams, if you like -- could use a battering ram or a vehicle to force their way through a barrier. Or they could use a "controlled explosion"...if they knew how to control an explosion, which is what they were supposed to be learning today.

"Tactical paramedics" are trained, in events such as today's, for high-risk scenarios such as executing warrants, scenes where an active shooter is present, or dealing with a hostage-taking. Regular paramedics generally don’t go into these dangerous scenes until police have cleared the affected area, but tactical paramedics follow police in and quickly begin assessing the situation, dealing with injured people they encounter and administering aid.

To provide "a more real-life training experience", police seek out locations with abandoned buildings, such as the one shown, where the property owner allows them to play with fire, possibly in hopes of collecting an insurance settlement. Today's exercise got way too real, as an apparently uncontrolled explosion sent three paramedics and two cops to hospital.

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said he couldn't comment on what might have caused the blast, since the training was being conducted under "very stringent safety protocols". The RCMP and Ottawa police are investigating each other, and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit has been called in to investigate the whole lot of them.

Until responsibility for the, errr, unfortunate accident has been properly apportioned, Walt has no choice but to nominate all participants, as a group, for a Darwin Awards Honourable Mention. Well done, those men!

Note to Agent 17: To qualify for a full Darwin Award (with bar), the surivor(s) of an incident such as this must be blown up again... and again... until dead.

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