A Shilo soldier, whose calming voice talked a 17-year-old woman out of jumping off a bridge last month, received recognition for his life-saving actions.
Sgt. Michael MacIntyre, of the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at CFB Shilo received a citizenship recognition award from police Chief Ian Grant during the Brandon Police Service annual awards ceremony yesterday.
MacIntyre was returning to his Brandon home in the afternoon of Jan. 4, when he noticed that a young woman without any gloves or toque was standing on the edge of the First Street bridge in the frigid cold.
He parked his vehicle, approached the young woman, began speaking with her and kept her attention until police arrived and were able to grab her from outside the bridge guardrail.
"I just kept talking to her and kept her focused on me. She seemed a bit calmer. The police were coming closer and closer, then we all grabbed her," MacIntyre, a father of two children, told the Sun after the January incident.
"I was in my element. It seemed clear. I knew what to say and how to make a connection."
MacIntyre was the only citizen to stop on the bridge and help, said Insp. Shane Corley during the award ceremony.
"The actions of Sgt. MacIntyre and his calming effect on this young lady went above and beyond that expected of a citizen."
His conspicuous courage and quick action saved the young woman’s life, Corley added.
During the awards, Brandon Police Service members Sgt. Mike Tosh and Const. Adam Potter — who both arrived on scene — both received favourable notice for their contributions toward getting the girl off the edge of the bridge.
Glenda Zelmer, a counsellor at Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School, also received a citizenship recognition award during the ceremonies for her quick actions relating to another suicide attempted in October 2012.
After Zelmer noticed a student in tears who had received a photo from a friend that implied he was about to take his own life, cops soon found out time was of the essence to save the teenage boy.
"Ms. Zelmer took decisive action and notified the Brandon police school resource officer and advised them of the situation," Corley said.
When police arrived at the boy’s home, he was found unconscious in a garage with a rope around his neck, hanging from the rafters.
Officers on scene cut him down, gave him CPR and brought the teenager back to life.
Police officers who responded to the call were given exemplary service awards for their quick response, including Const. Jay Palmer, Const. Darren Creighton, Const. Michel Latreille and Const. Dave Scott.
"These were the two events that really brought the community and the Brandon Police Service together," Grant said after the short afternoon presentation.
"There are citizens in our community that care about their community and work side by side with us to make sure — in these two cases — that people that are obviously putting themselves harms way were basically rescued."
"Without the citizens, who knows what the outcome may have been."