Comox Valley constables honoured by RCMP

Two Comox Valley constables were recognized for their outstanding contributions during an RCMP annual awards ceremony this week.

Two Comox Valley constables were recognized for their outstanding contributions during the Vancouver Island District’s RCMP’s annual awards ceremony this week.

When police arrived at the Fifth Street Bridge in February 2011, a suicidal man had already climbed to the top of the bridge trestle, more than 100 feet above the Courtenay River, and was threatening to jump.

Consts. Daina Basso and Andrew McBride began trying to establish a connection with the desperate man, while reinforcements arrived to assist with the negotiation, manage traffic and help with the logistics of a possible rescue.

At one point the man had his feet half over the edge of the bridge, and sent a text message to his wife, saying he was going to kill himself. He dropped his cell phone to the ground, and leaned forward, but Const. Basso convinced him to step back, and he was brought to safety.

Later the man conveyed his thanks for Basso and McBride’s help and kindness.

Tuesday, they were awarded the Commanding Officer’s Certificate of Appreciation.

They are among approximately 50 volunteers, civilians and police officers who were honoured at the Vancouver Island District RCMP’s annual awards ceremony Oct. 22.

“Today’s award recipients are being recognized for outstanding contributions,” said Chief Supt. Randy Wilson, head of Vancouver Island District RCMP.

“Some have reached a milestone in their career or volunteer work, or deserve special recognition for their actions.”

The stories of courage and heroism include Christine Seminick, a nurse with Veterans Affairs Canada, who was confronted in Cumberland in May 2010, by a suicidal man suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after his combat experience in Afghanistan.

Using compassionate and empathetic communication, she convinced the man to give up his loaded gun, and surrender to police.

Semenick was awarded the Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Bravery, presented by Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, head of the RCMP in B.C.

— Vancouver Island District RCMP