Police officers report for duty daily not knowing what to expect.
Detective Ian MacDonald, assigned to the Criminal Investigation Bureau office at 51 Division, was excited to be back in uniform and on the road during last year’s Pam Am Games.
On the afternoon of July 20, 2015 at the corner of Church and Carlton Sts. directing traffic as a basketball game was being played inside the Mattamy Centre, he was alerted by a woman that a man was in medical distress inside the nearby Loblaws store.
“When I got there, it looked like this guy had a seizure,” recalled MacDonald, who was presented with a Commendation at the Toronto Police Service Awards ceremony on April 5. “I immediately called an ambulance and delivered CPR after a few minutes.”
The victim was taken to hospital where he regained consciousness and underwent a medical procedure. He was released from hospital a few days later.
MacDonald was startled when the man he had helped revive – Darren Dorey – showed up at his office two weeks after suffering the massive heart attack.
“I was totally surprised,” said the officer who is in his 22nd year with the Service. “We normally do our job, the individual goes to the hospital and we go back to work without knowing what has happened to that person.”
Just a few hours before MacDonald was presented with his award, he received a complimentary e-mail from Dorey who, later, surprised the officer by showing up at the awards.
He said he had every reason to be at the event.
“I have a very clear understanding that, had it not being for the actions of Detective MacDonald, life would not be a discussion for me at all,” he said. “He brought me life. I will always remember that I have been allowed the opportunity granted to a select few. How fortunate I am to have won the lottery of life, a lottery that’s lost when your number is up.”
A year earlier, MacDonald was in the same plight as Dorey.
He suffered a heart attack and was resuscitated by CPR.
“It was during Thanksgiving weekend and I know the importance of getting CPR going right away,” he said. “It’s something I had never performed prior to helping that victim. I had a CPR mask with a one-way valve on my police belt which I quickly assembled and put into use.”
Superintendent Elizabeth Byrnes, 51 Division unit commander, said MacDonald deserves the recognition.
“He saved someone’s life and that’s actually incredible,” she added.
MacDonald was a Communications Operator prior to becoming a police officer.