Lifesaving Device in Memory of Fallen Officer

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 9 a.m. November 17, 2021

To honour the memory of a Toronto Police officer who died in the line of duty, the Dave Mounsey Memorial Fund (DMMF) donated a defibrillator to Toronto Police Service.

Three people standing with a plaque and defibrillator
Patrick Armstrong, Barbara Irwin and Chief James Ramer

Michael Irwin and his partner Doug Sinclair were killed on February 1972 after being confronted by a tenant with a long criminal history who was facing eviction.

Just 38 years old at the time, Irwin left behind a wife and four children.

Chief James Ramer accepted the lifesaving device at a ceremony at police headquarters on November 15.

“This is a great initiative and we are thankful that our Service was chosen to be recipient of this defibrillator,” he said.

Barbara Irwin, the widow of the fallen officer, thanked the DMMF for the donation in her late husband’s name.

“This is something that’s going to save lives instead of taking lives,” she said. “I chose to have it installed at a Toronto Police location because my immediate family have put in over 150 years with the Service.”

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Irwin’s death.

“He sacrificed himself for the city of Toronto and the fact that we are still remembering him five decades later is a testament to what we honour in this profession,” said Jason Tomlinson, who is the President of the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation. “The Irwins, in the eyes of Toronto Police Service, are royalty and it gives me a great sense of pride to know that this family continues to serve this city. We should always remember every officer that falls in the line of duty.”

The defibrillator is located in headquarters where Irwin’s grand-daughter, Detective Constable Michelle Flannery, is assigned to Audit & Quality Assurance.

A photo of a police officer, tps crest, dave mounsey foundation logo
A plaque in memory of Detective Irwin will be mounted beside the defibrillator

“This is a very thoughtful and kind gesture,” she said. “Even after 50 years, my grandfather is still being remembered and honoured for the service he gave to his community and the sacrifice he made with his life.” 

Launched in 2009, the DMMF donates defibrillators to honour fallen police, fire, military and paramedics. To date, the organization has donated 134 units, three of which have been instrumental in saving lives.

A Royal Air Force member for 14 years, Mounsey migrated to Canada and was as a Corrections Officer in Ontario before joining the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in 1998.

While responding to a truck rollover in Huron County on October 14, 2006, he lost control of his patrol vehicle due to ice and snow that covered roads. The vehicle struck a hydro pole and rolled over. He passed away a month later in hospital without regaining consciousness.

A few months before Mounsey’s death, he and his partner Brenda Orr ran a marathon to raise money to purchase a defibrillator for the Blyth Fire Department of which he was a member.

“Sadly, he wasn’t able to be part of the donation ceremony,” said Patrick Armstrong, the DMMF Executive Director & Founder. 

His legacy lives on in the donation of lifesaving devices.

A yellow machine on a table
An easy to use defibrillator is used to save lives when every second counts
TPS crest watermark