Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera

Reporter

Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.

The lifelong Winnipegger managed to snag a few internships at the paper during his journalism studies at Red River College.

Before he rejoined the Free Press fold in 2020 as a web editor, he was a television and radio reporter and before that, a small-town newspaperman.

 

Recent articles of Erik Pindera

Concert, community honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Concert, community honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

For the first time in two years, community members and the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls gathered together to honour their lost loved ones in St. John’s Park on Saturday.

No Stone Unturned, an annual concert and community event, was first organized 14 years ago as a response to Claudette Osborne-Tyo’s disappearance.

Her older sister, Point Douglas NDP MLA Bernadette Smith, was at times tearful when speaking of the unanswered questions that grip her family.

Then-21-year-old Osborne-Tyo went missing early on July 25, 2008. She was in the area of Selkirk Avenue and Charles Street the day prior and later went to the Lincoln Motor Hotel — now the Four Crowns Inn — on McPhillips Street, according to Winnipeg police.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jay Bodner, left, and Lawrence (Spatch) Mulhall of Indian City perform at the 14th annual No Stone Unturned concert in St John’s Park to honour Manitoba’s missing and murdered Saturday.

Appeal Court rejects ex-doctor’s bid to overturn sex-assault conviction, sentence

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Appeal Court rejects ex-doctor’s bid to overturn sex-assault conviction, sentence

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Friday, Aug. 12, 2022

Manitoba’s highest court has quashed an attempt by a former walk-in clinic doctor to overturn his conviction and sentence for sexually assaulting six of his patients.

Amir Ravesh, 56, subjected the women to “objectification and humiliation” during examinations that served no medical purpose but his own sexual gratification, a Court of Queen’s Bench justice said when sentencing him to seven years in prison in 2020.

Sept. 18, 2020: Judge gives walk-in clinic doctor seven-year sentence for sex assaultsRavesh inappropriately and unnecessarily examined the six patients’ vaginas, anuses and breasts with his hands, the Crown argued.

Ravesh — full name Amir Houshang Mazhari-Ravesh — stood trial in 2019, initially accused of 12 counts of sexual assault under the guise of medical exams at his Elmwood walk-in clinic. The Crown stayed two counts and he was found not guilty of four.

Friday, Aug. 12, 2022

SHANNON VANRAES / FREE PRESS FILES

Amir Ravesh stood trial in 2019, initially accused of 12 counts of sexual assault under the guise of medical exams at his Elmwood walk-in clinic. The Crown stayed two counts and he was found not guilty of four.

‘Colonialism destroys the lives of Indigenous people,’ judge says during sentencing for slaying committed by teen

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

‘Colonialism destroys the lives of Indigenous people,’ judge says during sentencing for slaying committed by teen

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

A youth who fatally drove a knife through a man’s heart outside a Higgins Avenue hotel two years ago has been sentenced to three years less a day for manslaughter.

Joshua Robert Jeromiah Hansen was 29 on Aug. 6, 2020, when he was assaulted in the parking lot of the Mount Royal Hotel just before 11 p.m. in an attack Winnipeg police described as unprovoked. He died in hospital of critical injuries.

Days later, homicide investigators arrested an adult before arresting the youth on Aug. 16. Their investigation alleged the youth had also stabbed a woman just minutes before Hansen was attacked. She was treated for her injuries.

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Joshua Robert Jeromiah Hansen was 29 on Aug. 6, 2020, when he was assaulted in the parking lot of the Mount Royal Hotel just before 11 p.m. in an attack Winnipeg police described as unprovoked. He died in hospital of critical injuries.

Three years for luring teen girl in CFS care

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

Three years for luring teen girl in CFS care

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

A Manitoba man convicted of luring a vulnerable teen girl in foster care has been sentenced to three years in prison.

In a July 22 provincial court decision, Associate Chief Judge Tracey Lord described the victim (identified in her decision by the initials P.K.) as 16-17 years old at the time the teen and Aaron Sinclair, now 42, were in a relationship in 2020.

Sinclair was convicted of communicating with a person under the age of 18 by means of telecommunication for the purpose of facilitating sexual exploitation.

“P.K. was a vulnerable Indigenous youth in the care of Child and Family Services. She had been evaluated as being at risk of sexual exploitation as a result of her history of trauma, substance abuse and other circumstances, and was frequently absent from her placement,” Lord wrote.

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The Law Courts building at 408 York Avenue.

Man arrested, weapons seized after Bonner Avenue shooting

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Man arrested, weapons seized after Bonner Avenue shooting

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Winnipeg police have arrested a man accused of shooting at a Bonner Avenue home after leaving a party early Sunday.

Residents of the quiet River East neighbourhood street were left on edge after bullet holes were left in a nearby parked vehicle and the front window of a neighbouring house.

The Winnipeg Police Service major crimes unit began investigating after officers were called to the site near the corner of Bonner Avenue and Stoneham Crescent shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators identified a suspect, who they believe attended a party at the home with an acquaintance before leaving the gathering early, police said Wednesday.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

ERIK PINDERA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

On Tuesday, a 34-year-old man from Winnipeg, whose name had not yet been released, was charged with assault with a firearm, pointing a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent and unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

Mom charged with misleading police in fatal drunk-driving crash

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

Mom charged with misleading police in fatal drunk-driving crash

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022

The mother of a man accused in an alleged drunk-driving collision that killed a Winnipeg woman this spring has been charged for misleading investigators.

Jordyn Reimer, 24, was acting as a designated driver when a pickup truck crashed into her vehicle at the intersection of Bond Street and Kildare Avenue West around 2:20 a.m. May 1. Fire paramedics pulled her from her vehicle and raced her to hospital but she died of her injuries.

Tyler Scott Goodman, 28, was charged with dangerous driving causing death, driving causing death while impaired, and failing to remain at the scene.

Winnipeg police allege the truck’s driver and occupants fled the scene of the accident.

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022

SUPPLIED

Jordyn Reimer was killed by an alleged impaired driver in a pickup truck that crashed into her vehicle.

Travel pattern key in drug case: court

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

Travel pattern key in drug case: court

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Friday, Aug. 5, 2022

An appeals court decision has revealed insight into one of the methods alleged drug traffickers use to courier large quantities of illicit substances into Winnipeg: one-way commercial airline flights.

In the case of Kerron Blair Cornel McLean, who was recently convicted in provincial court of two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, the Crown argued he was acting as a courier for a Winnipeg drug network (with an arm in Vancouver) when he was caught in 2019 flying with 220 grams of powerful, synthetic opioid fentanyl and a 981-gram brick of cocaine.

In a judgement delivered June 30, Manitoba Court of Appeal Judge Christopher J. Mainella upheld McLean’s conviction, but knocked down his time in prison for the fentanyl charge to nine years from 12, viewing the initial sentence as demonstrably unfit based on the applicable sentencing range and circumstances.

He upheld the six years for cocaine trafficking. The two sentences will be served concurrently.

Friday, Aug. 5, 2022

In a judgement delivered June 30, a Manitoba Court of Appeal judge knocked down Kerron Blair Cornel McLean’s time in prison for the fentanyl charge to nine years from 12, viewing the initial sentence as demonstrably unfit based on the applicable sentencing range and circumstances. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Mounties unveil rural violent crime-fighting strategy

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Mounties unveil rural violent crime-fighting strategy

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Friday, Aug. 5, 2022

Manitoba RCMP are implementing a new strategy to combat violent crime in rural areas, which Mounties say is often driven by gangs and repeat offenders.

“Violent crime in some of our rural and remote communities in Manitoba is escalating to levels that are very concerning to the RCMP,” D Division Supt. Scott McMurchy, acting officer in charge of criminal operations, said at a news conference Friday.

He said the goal is to address crime hot spots.

Mounties developed the new task force, dubbed the strategic enforcement response team, with input from rural and remote community leaders, McMurchy said.

Friday, Aug. 5, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“Violent crime in some of our rural and remote communities in Manitoba is escalating to levels that are very concerning to the RCMP,” D Division Supt. Scott McMurchy, acting officer in charge of criminal operations, said at a news conference Friday.

Mayoral candidate Shone pitches relaxed public park liquor laws

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

Mayoral candidate Shone pitches relaxed public park liquor laws

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022

Baljinder Sidhu figures most people know their limits.

That’s why the Winnipegger, who was out for a stroll with friends Thursday afternoon in Assiniboine Park, said she’d be supportive of a mayoral candidate’s proposal for a pilot project allowing the public consumption of alcohol in designated areas of certain city parks.

“If they’re adults, they can consume (alcohol). That shouldn’t be a problem — everybody knows their limits. I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” said Sidhu, 25. “People are going to do it anyway, that’s what I think.”

Rick Shone, a business owner who’s among 14 registered candidates in the crowded 2022 mayoral race, said Thursday, if elected Oct. 26, he would work with the provincial government to amend the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act.

Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Mayoral Candidate Rick Shone said the pilot project would allow public alcohol consumption in signed areas of Assiniboine, Kilodonan, Harbourview, St. Vital and Whitter parks between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., but away from play structures, splash pads and pools.

First Nations police did as required under fire: inquest judge

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

First Nations police did as required under fire: inquest judge

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

Manitoba First Nations Police Service constables who shot and killed an armed 23-year-old man at Long Plain First Nation in 2019 did what they were trained and required to do, a provincial court judge has found.

In June, over five days in Portage la Prairie, Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta presided over an inquest into the death of Benjiman David Richard, as mandated by legislation when a peace officer uses deadly force. She issued her report July 27.

On April 2, 2019, three MFNPS officers attended a home on the First Nation adjacent to Portage because Richard was behaving aggressively toward his mother and discharging a gun, the judge wrote.

As the officers approached the house from different positions, Richard fired a .22-calibre rifle at Const. Cindy Prince as she proceeded up the driveway, shattering the rear passenger window of her police car.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said the evidence in the case was neither complicated nor controversial, and although “there is room to learn from what happened,” the judge was satisfied the officers did what they had to in response to imminent threat.

Province gives city cops $100K to fight crypto-crime

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Province gives city cops $100K to fight crypto-crime

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

The province has ponied up cash for city cops to crack down on cryptocurrency crooks.

At a press conference Wednesday, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced $100,000, pulled from the criminal property forfeiture fund, for the Winnipeg Police Service’s financial crimes unit to buy tracing software and train five officers to investigate the frauds.

Cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies exchanged online without relying on authorities such as banks or governments, are now a component in the majority of frauds and scams the financial crimes unit investigates, Sgt. Trevor Thompson told reporters at police headquarters.

“Broad strokes, it’s an analytical tool that provides functionality to investigators in easing, and I would say visualizing, the tracing of cryptocurrencies and locating them in transactions,” Thompson said of the software.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

ERIK PINDERA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Police Service financial crimes unit Sgt. Trevor Thompson, flanked by Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen (left) and police spokesman Const. Claude Chancy, announced $100,000 for the financial crimes unit.

New Manitoba RCMP commander sets his priorities

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

New Manitoba RCMP commander sets his priorities

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022

The top priorities for the new commander of the Manitoba RCMP are recruiting new Mounties, reconciliation with Indigenous communities, and the health of the officers he directs.

Assistant commissioner Rob Hill became the new commanding officer of D Division on July 27, now directing a force of 1,000 officers and 500 civilian employees in 80 detachments and the Winnipeg headquarters.

Most recently, Hill was the chief superintendent of criminal operations in Manitoba, which meant he was in charge of day-to-day RCMP policing.

“The overarching priority for us is, of course, public safety — that’s our overarching goal as a provincial police force here in Manitoba,” Hill said in an interview Tuesday.

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

New RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rob Hill said the people the RCMP are looking to recruit are being courted by other law enforcement and security agencies, as well as other sectors such as technology.

Senior’s death investigated as homicide

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Senior’s death investigated as homicide

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022

Neighbours of an elderly man whose death is being treated as a homicide by Winnipeg police are perplexed by the incident on their West End street.

Officers were sent to a home in the 700 block of Sherburn Street near Ellice Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday after being told the body of a man was inside.

No traces of a police investigation remained at the two-storey stucco-clad home Tuesday.

“Suspicious circumstances surround the incident,” the Winnipeg Police Service said in a news release Tuesday morning. “The death is being treated as a homicide.”

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Homicide detectives identified the victim as James Monaghan, 74, of Winnipeg. No suspects have been arrested.

Analysts playing an integral role in police work

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Analysts playing an integral role in police work

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 1, 2022

The role of data and intelligence analysis in complex criminal investigations has evolved within city police — with civilian staffers now crunching information in real-time during law enforcement probes.

Riley Johansson, a civilian crime and intelligence analyst for the Winnipeg Police Service, said when he first took the job in 2014, after eight years working for the RCMP, his unit was largely focused on using statistics and maps to identify patterns, trends and crime sprees.

Now, he said, the analysts with backgrounds in research methodology work directly with units such as organized crime, biker enforcement, drug enforcement, guns and gangs and homicide, among others.

As officers and detectives search for suspects, the analysts work to collect new, hard-to-find information to better crack the cases.

Monday, Aug. 1, 2022

GRAHAM HUGES / CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Cell tower records tracked Kyle Pietz’s cellphone from Westcon to a nearby Safeway and Liquor Mart, back to Pietz’s Toronto Street home and then to the Arborg area — all the while with Balaquit’s body in the trunk of Pietz’s car, Crown prosecutor Brent Davidson said in a closing address to jurors in May.

Winnipeggers cheated out of $100K in ‘grandparent’ scams

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

Winnipeggers cheated out of $100K in ‘grandparent’ scams

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Thursday, Jul. 28, 2022

Winnipeg police are warning the public to be vigilant after an ugly string of “grandparent” scams.

Police spokesman Const. Jay Murray said they’ve received 15 reports of the scam over the past six days, with an estimated $100,000 stolen.

The fraud typically involves someone calling an elderly person and claiming to be a grandchild or niece or nephew who is in serious legal trouble and needs money immediately, before sending someone to collect it in person, Murray said Thursday.

Often, he said, the fraudsters claim the cash is needed for bail money and there’s a so-called gag order on the case, so the victim can’t discuss the matter with anyone, including the bank. Other examples include the criminals claiming to have been in a car accident, or needing cash to leave a foreign country.

Thursday, Jul. 28, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / FREE PRESS FILES

Police spokesman Const. Jay Murray said they’ve received 15 reports of the scam over the past six days, with an estimated $100,000 stolen.

RCMP seeks youth advisory committee input

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

RCMP seeks youth advisory committee input

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 28, 2022

As a nine-year-old child, Grayson Nzomwita was stopped by Winnipeg police walking to his River Heights home — an experience that gave him a negative opinion of law enforcement.

“They told me I fit a description of a break-in suspect, so they followed me home. As I was walking home, one of the constables yelled out, ‘If you’re lying, we’ll come back and get you,’” said Nzomwita, 20, who is bi-racial.

“Keep in mind, I lived in River Heights — it’s a pretty nice area… So, going to high school, I didn’t have the best perception of police.”

That perception changed after a discussion about policing and his experiences with it with a school resource officer, said Nzomwita, a University of Manitoba criminology student who was among the nine Manitobans that recently sat on the RCMP’s national youth advisory committee.

Thursday, Jul. 28, 2022

Bus driver forced to flee vehicle in knife attack

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Preview

Bus driver forced to flee vehicle in knife attack

Erik Pindera 4 minute read Monday, Jul. 25, 2022

As a Winnipeg Transit driver jumped out the side window of his bus to escape from a seemingly intoxicated passenger who was trying to stab him Sunday, he warned passengers to flee from the vehicle.

It’s the latest alarming attack in the city, including the Canada Day stabbing of a newly arrived Ukrainian refugee at The Forks.

Officers were called to Portage Avenue and Camden Street at about 7 p.m. July 24, where they were told a woman had boarded an eastbound Portage Avenue bus a few minutes earlier and started causing a disturbance, the Winnipeg Police Service said Monday.

According to Romeo Ignacio, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505, the woman was the last person in a big crowd that got on the bus near Polo Park shopping centre.

Monday, Jul. 25, 2022

JESSE BOILY / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS A transit bus shares a message for social distancing at a Portage Ave bus stop on Monday, March 30, 2020. Many riders are trying to keep their distance between each other as social distancing is practiced during the current pandemic. Reporter: Eva Wasney

Trio attacked with bear spray at The Forks

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Trio attacked with bear spray at The Forks

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Monday, Jul. 25, 2022

A 17-year-old male has been arrested after three people, including a 12-year-old, were assaulted with bear repellent spray at The Forks Sunday — the latest violence at the popular downtown gathering space.

Officers responded to the riverside grounds at about 5:45 p.m. for a reported assault, finding three people suffering after being sprayed with an unknown substance, the Winnipeg Police Service said Monday.

Officers chased and arrested one suspect.

A 12-year-old boy, 15-year-old girl and 18-year-old woman were taken to hospital for treatment and released.

Monday, Jul. 25, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Police believe three suspects approached the trio, who they didn’t know, and attacked them unprovoked with what they later determined was bear spray.

Woman charged in boyfriend’s slaying

Erik Pindera 2 minute read Preview

Woman charged in boyfriend’s slaying

Erik Pindera 2 minute read Thursday, Jul. 21, 2022

Winnipeg police have charged a 19-year-old woman with second-degree murder in the slaying of her boyfriend Friday.

Fire paramedic crews called police to an apartment building on the 500 block of Burnell Street after they found an injured man when responding to a fire alarm at 5:30 p.m. on July 15.

Logan Clarke, 18, was taken to hospital with upper-body injuries and later died.

Homicide detectives took over the investigation and arrested a suspect at a home in Wolseley on Wednesday.

Thursday, Jul. 21, 2022

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES
Logan Clarke was found with upper-body injuries in an apartment building on the 500 block of Burnell Street on Friday. He later died.

Mathias Colomb evacuees watch, wait as wildfires near home community

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Mathias Colomb evacuees watch, wait as wildfires near home community

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Northern Manitoba residents taking up temporary residence in Winnipeg hotels after being forced to flee their wildfire-threatened communities hope to return home soon.

Approximately 2,000 people have been evacuated from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, some 820 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, according to an estimate by the Canadian Red Cross — 1,800 are staying in hotels in Winnipeg, The Pas, Thompson and Brandon.

The wildfires nearing the Pukatawagan town site have grown substantially since first detection last week.

Two fires have merged with a third, a Manitoba Wildfire Service spokesperson said Wednesday. The massive blaze is now estimated at nearly 270 square km in size and is less than one km from the community.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Leroy Castel fled Mathias Colomb by train with his girlfriend and a nephew four days ago, and is now staying at a medical home on Stradbrook Avenue.

911 call complaint puts spotlight on training

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

911 call complaint puts spotlight on training

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

A Winnipeg woman is calling for a 911 operator training review, after an encounter with an intruder in her home.

Angela Chalmers, 44, woke up to her dog, Loki, growling around 6:30 a.m. June 18, and went down the stairs to the main floor of her Earl Grey home to see what was going on.

“I saw a stranger lying on the couch in my living room,” Chalmers said Wednesday. “I grabbed my dog and we went back upstairs and went into my roommate’s room and I woke him up… We decided to barricade ourselves in the bedroom and call 911.”

Chalmers said the operator told her Winnipeg police were busy but on their way, then asked if she would be OK going downstairs to wake the man up herself.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

A Winnipeg woman is calling for a 911 operator training review, after an encounter with an intruder in her home.

Angela Chalmers, 44, woke up to her dog, Loki, growling around 6:30 a.m. June 18, and went down the stairs to the main floor of her Earl Grey home to see what was going on.

“I saw a stranger lying on the couch in my living room,” Chalmers said Wednesday. “I grabbed my dog and we went back upstairs and went into my roommate’s room and I woke him up… We decided to barricade ourselves in the bedroom and call 911.”

Chalmers said the operator told her Winnipeg police were busy but on their way, then asked if she would be OK going downstairs to wake the man up herself.

Indigenous Manitobans harder hit by crime: study

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

Indigenous Manitobans harder hit by crime: study

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2022

Indigenous people in Manitoba cities are more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous residents to be victims of violence or theft.

The divide between the two groups is the largest in Canada, a newly released Statistics Canada study shows.

University of Winnipeg criminal justice professor Michael Weinrath said the figures are backed up by research.

“Indigenous people are more likely to be victims of crime (and) more likely to be victims of violent crime. Part of that is what we know as criminologists: one of the most consistent correlations that you see with victimization, particularly violent victimization is the relationship with poverty,” said Weinrath.

Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2022

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES
A newly released Statistics Canada study suggests Indigenous people in Manitoba are more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous residents to be victims of violence or theft.

New police first aid training ‘literally saving lives almost on a daily basis’

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Preview

New police first aid training ‘literally saving lives almost on a daily basis’

Erik Pindera 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2022

Amid reports of rising violence on the streets of Winnipeg, new medical training for police has kept the number of homicides from rising.

The at-the-scene tactical trauma care training — designed by Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service medical director Dr. Rob Grierson and Winnipeg Police Service Const. Dan Hemmerling — is focused on the use of tourniquets and chest seals, among other advanced first aid techniques, to slow blood loss and plug wounds until further help arrives.

Chest seals are bandages for deep puncture wounds to prevent air from entering the chest cavity, while tourniquets apply pressure on limbs to stem the flow of blood.

The one-day traumatic medical care program, now co-ordinated by Const. Rob Saurette with the training academy, consists of a morning of theory learning and an afternoon of WPS officers applying the skills to practical scenarios — then on the street.

Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2022

ERIK PINDERA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Winnipeg police Const. Rob Saurette, left, who coordinates the tactical trauma care program for the police academy and Const. Dan Hemmerling, who developed the program, with a tactical medical kit.

ER experience shakes faith in health care system

Erik Pindera 5 minute read Preview

ER experience shakes faith in health care system

Erik Pindera 5 minute read Monday, Jul. 18, 2022

When Rob Cohen arrived at the Grace Hospital emergency room on Thursday, screaming in pain, he was hoping for relief but was told no doctor was on duty, he and his wife said.

The Cohens’ experience — waiting more than hour for a doctor to arrive to an emergency room in the afternoon on a weekday — is an example of how Manitoba’s health-care system is "broken," Sandy Cohen, 58, said.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority could not be reached for comment Sunday. Late Monday morning, the WRHA said it had confirmed that there were three doctors on shift in the Grace emergency department on Thursday afternoon.

"While we cannot comment on individual cases, our physicians are experienced, dedicated, hard-working professionals who, despite ongoing challenges in our (emergency departments), are committed to providing compassionate, high-quality care to all our patients," a WRHA spokesperson said in an email.

Monday, Jul. 18, 2022

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Rob Cohen, shown with wife Sandy, went to the Grace Hospital emergency room in severe pain but they say it took more than an hour for a doctor to arrive and authorize pain medication.