Dec 24, 2012 - SPECIAL SERIES PART ONE: Impaired Lives - The Effect On Emergency Responders

Every year, there are tragic cases of fatal collisions caused by drunk drivers.

Not only is it incredibly difficult for the families involved,but it is also tough for the emergency responders called to the scene.

Recently an 18-year-old woman was killed in a crash in Springbank and police believe speed and alcohol are factors.

The Redwood Meadows fire chief remembers it well.

“It’s hard going to these crashes. It’s hard to put into words really, they’ve changed everyone’s lives,” says Rob Evans. “That’s the tough part, knowing it didn’t have to happen.”

Evans no longer drinks at all, saying he is always on call and cannot take that risk.

“In my role here especially being a volunteer, I have to be able to respond all the time. The community counts on that.”

Officers with the Calgary Police Traffic Unit say telling a victim’s family what happened is one of the toughest jobs.

“Making the notification is by far the least favourite part of my job, in fact I despise doing it. Yet at the same time it’s likely the most important job,” says Sgt. Jorg Gottschling. “You are pulling up in front of people’s homes and you are about to crush their lives.

“You are gonna share the news their son, daughter, husband, wife or parent is never coming home again, and I hate that I have to be a part of that because it’s something they are gonna remember forever.”

Gottschling says knowing a death was caused by impaired driving motivates him to help the families find justice.

“We owe the best answers possible to family of the deceased. If there’s evidence to be collected we owe it to them to get every shred of that because it’s not easy to get a conviction in court.”

Every year, about half of the city’s fatalities involve alcohol.


For video, click here

Source:  Global News Calgary


Last updated on: 2012-12-27 | Link to this post