Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Chopper helped with 50 calls in first week: police

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WINNIPEG - It’s been in full operation for less than a week, but the police helicopter has already helped a bleeding man and busted three break-and-enter suspects, police said today. 

Const. Shaun Chornley, acting spokesman for the Winnipeg Police Service, said the chopper has helped in 50 police calls since last Friday.

In one case early last Sunday, the chopper helped officers track down an intoxicated man with an arm wound who was wandering in frigid temperatures near Sheppard Street and Mapleton Avenue.

After the man ran from officers on the ground, the helicopter tracked the 23-year-old man to an area about 700 metres away, where police and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service got him medical help.

"Potentially, by having that helicopter up there and them locating this victim, we may have saved our first life with the helicopter," said Chornley, who went into detail about the "busy" activities of the copter, based at 17 Wing.

The $3.5-million helicopter was launched in early December. Training for flight operations ended last week, said Chornley.

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

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