Help in dif­fer­ent ways

Ci­ta­tions go to two for quick aid af­ter crash, one for decades mak­ing com­mu­nity safer

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - FRONT PAGE - ROB GOWAN

Ken Quin­lan had just been in a se­ri­ous col­li­sion, but that didn’t stop him from jump­ing to the aid of oth­ers in­volved.

On Thurs­day, Quin­lan, along with Clearview Town­ship fire­fighter Rob Le­blond, were hon­oured with Chief of Po­lice ci­ta­tion awards at the Owen Sound po­lice sta­tion for per­form­ing life-saving first aid af­ter the crash on the 10th Street East hill on Feb. 17, 2017.

Quin­lan said Thurs­day af­ter re­ceiv­ing the ci­ta­tion that he was just re­act­ing to the sit­u­a­tion at the time.

“I didn’t think about it at all,” the Owen Sound man said.

Quin­lan was driv­ing a 35-foot cargo truck east up the hill when a car trav­el­ling west down the hill crossed the cen­tre line and hit an­other ve­hi­cle be­fore hit­ting his truck.

The car was “de­mol­ished” in the col­li­sion and Quin­lan and Le­blond went to the aid of the vic­tims in­volved, act­ing Insp. Mike Daze said dur­ing Thurs­day’s cer­e­mony.

Af­ter as­sist­ing a pas­sen­ger in the rear seat, Le­blond found that the teenager in the front pas­sen­ger seat was with­out vi­tal signs, and Quin­lan en­tered the rear seat of the ve­hi­cle to as­sist, Daze said.

Le­blond repo­si­tioned the vic­tim’s head and opened his air­way, while Quin­lan held and sta­bi­lized the vic­tim’s head against the head rest of the ve­hi­cle. Through their efforts, the teen re­gained a weak vi­tal sign, Daze said.

Both men also helped the driver of the ve­hi­cle, who was semi-con­scious and in sig­nif­i­cant dis­tress. They were able to calm the driver down and Le­blond was able to mon­i­tor vi­tal signs of both vic­tims. Both men cared for the in­jured for about five min­utes until emer­gency ser­vices arrived and took over, Daze said.

The driver of the ve­hi­cle, Tyler Downs, 18, of Hep­worth at the time, was found guilty Thurs­day of a charge of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm, but not guilty of crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing bod­ily harm, in con­nec­tion with the crash.

Both charges named Downs’s friend Nick Heinzer, 18, of Hep­worth at the time of the col­li­sion, as the vic­tim.

Quin­lan said for the 24 hours af­ter the crash his thoughts were al­most solely with the in­jured.

“I thought we had a cou­ple of kids who weren’t go­ing to make it,” said Quin­lan. “I am just glad they did make it.”

He said he oc­ca­sion­ally thinks about the crash, which left him sore for about a week, but with­out any se­ri­ous in­juries. Go­ing back to his job driv­ing truck was dif­fi­cult.

“The odd time when I am go­ing up 10th Street I think about it,” said Quin­lan, who has been driv­ing truck for about three years now.

He said the cur­rent trial has also made him think about it again.

“You like to put things in your past, but it con­tin­ues on,” he said. “You don’t think too much about it re­ally. At least I don’t. It is just some­thing that hap­pened in life and you con­tinue on.”

He said re­ceiv­ing the ci­ta­tion felt good.

“I don’t think I did much, but it feels good,” said Quin­lan, who gave most of the credit to Le­blond for as­sist­ing the in­jured.

“I was the first one there, but with­out (Le­blond) be­ing there, I knew noth­ing,” Quin­lan said.

In turn, Le­blond, who has been a fire­fighter for al­most 25 years, said Quin­lan’s as­sis­tance was es­sen­tial.

“With­out him it would have been a strug­gle. He was help­ing with one of the main fac­tors too in open­ing the air­ways so (the vic­tim) could take a breath when he needed it,” said the Sing­hamp­ton man.

Le­blond, who works for Miller’s Dairy in Creemore, had just fin­ished mak­ing his reg­u­lar de­liv­ery to Food­land just west of Owen Sound and was sit­ting at a red light on 10th Street East at the cor­ner of 4th Av­enue East when the col­li­sion hap­pened.

He looked up and saw the af­ter­math of the crash and im­me­di­ately his fire­fighter train­ing kicked in and he went to see how he could help.

“You are al­ways on duty. It doesn’t mat­ter if you are at the mall or any­where,” said Le­blond. “You are there to help. That is what we are here for.”

Le­blond said af­ter they ad­min­is­tered first aid and the teen pas­sen­ger took a breath in front of him he said, “Hmm. We got him.”

He said it was a mo­ment that brought a smile to his face.

“You know that he has a chance now,” said Le­blond, who added it was a “fan­tas­tic” feel­ing to re­ceive the ci­ta­tion on Thurs­day.

“It is a great feel­ing knowing that the two boys are up and around and bet­ter,” said Le­blond. “It re­ally feels nice to be rec­og­nized for your efforts.”

Also rec­og­nized on Thurs­day with a ci­ta­tion was Colleen Pur­don for her com­mit­ment to the safety and well-be­ing of women and girls in the com­mu­nity.

Pur­don was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Women’s Shel­ter for eight years be­gin­ning in 1986, and up until her re­tire­ment last year spent 20 years as co-or­di­na­tor of Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Grey Bruce. She has also worked with the Build­ing a Big­ger Wave pro­vin­cial net­work to co-or­di­nate preven­tion for vi­o­lence against women strate­gies and was also a mem­ber of a pro­vin­cial panel that de­vel­oped Neigh­bours, Friends, Fam­i­lies pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion re­sources to ad­dress do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

She has also been a trainer for the Make it Our Busi­ness: Ad­dress­ing Do­mes­ticVi­o­len­ceintheWork­place and the It’s Not Right ini­tia­tive to ad­dress se­nior abuse.

Through Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Grey Bruce, Pur­don has been in­volved in re­vis­it­ing and re­vamp­ing pro­to­cols be­tween po­lice ser­vices and all the other com­mu­nity agen­cies that re­spond to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sexual vi­o­lence.

Pur­don said po­lice play a role when it comes to ad­dress­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sexual vi­o­lence, in that they can help vic­tims of vi­o­lence as well as of­fend­ers turn their lives around by work­ing closely with the com­mu­nity agen­cies.

“Po­lice in our area and the women’s shel­ter, we de­vel­oped the first po­lice-shel­ter pro­to­col in On­tario,” said Pur­don. “It was a model for pro­to­cols all across On­tario.”

Pur­don said it is work that she has en­joyed do­ing.

“The rule of law is re­ally, re­ally im­por­tant for democ­racy and for the safety of our com­mu­nity and I think we have po­lice ser­vices that work with the com­mu­nity,” said Pur­don. “All of these agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions I have been part of, we have had a lot of po­lice con­nec­tion and it makes for a safer com­mu­nity and bet­ter com­mu­nity when po­lice are work­ing very closely with the com­mu­nity.”

The ci­ta­tions were handed out on Thurs­day as part of Po­lice Week 2018. A week’s worth of ac­tiv­i­ties wrap up to­day and Satur­day with tours of the po­lice sta­tion at 922 2nd Ave. W. The tours run 1 to 4 p.m. on to­day and 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Satur­day.


The Chief of Po­lice ci­ta­tion awards were handed out at the Owen Sound Po­lice Ser­vice on Thurs­day in Owen Sound. From left are ci­ta­tion re­cip­i­ents Ken Quin­lan and Rob Le­blond, who per­formed life-saving first aid at a crash on 10th Street East last year, Po­lice Chief Bill Sorn­berger, and ci­ta­tion re­cip­i­ent Colleen Pur­don, who has spent years en­sur­ing the safety and well-be­ing of women and chil­dren in the area.

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