Last night I had the privilege of going on a police ride along with one of my longest clients and closes friend. A Saturday night in Saskatoon squeezed between Christmas and New Year's and coincidentally the night of a big UFC fight. The night promised to be filled with excitement especially when we were assigned to the most notorious area of the city known for its gangs and disenfranchised population.
Within the first hour alone I witness how quickly city police and all first responders react to incoming calls. I followed the police officer into call after call a few steps back as he courageously responded to incoming 911 calls. We went into a dwelling (if you can call it that) that housed a dozen people. The living quarters had more graffiti than paint on the walls, the area reeked of drug use, the only visible light was the flashlights used by the officers as all light fixture were devoid of lightbulbs. The officers had followed a suspect into this dwelling after receiving a call that he tried to break into a nearby home. It was only 8:30pm and the "bubble" that live in had burst.
In the next few hours we responded to a call of someone seeing a man with a gun, a couple who hadn’t seen their 4-year-old since mid- afternoon, and a couple of drunks and disorderly, and we had various encounters with members of local gangs.
The night concluded in a well-kept modern house in the suburbs. The call was in response to a man who had stopped breathing. The paramedics were already on scene administering chest compressions and doing their best to revive a man clinging to life. With the paramedics and the fire department taking care of the victim, the police officer managed the sobbing and emotionally distraught spouse. Here he displayed the highest level of empathy and emotional support for the lady, sitting close to her and listening to her recall what had happened in the moments prior to her husband’s collapse.
Through this night, I found a new appreciation for the privileged life that I enjoy. I realized how petty some of my concerns are when compared to lowest socio-economic members of our society. I also realized what my purpose is within our greater Saskatoon community. I’ll never be a first responder, and that’s ok, as my job is to help press the proverbial reset button. Our community, our gym, and our classes, all serve a very important service. We help first responders, CEOs, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, etc. recalibrate. In one hour we help everyone decompress, clear their minds, and have a chance to be surrounded by a supportive community. A friendly high five, a chance to celebrate a new personal accomplishment, and potential warm hug.
To all the members of our community, I may not be able to shadow all of you at your jobs, but know that at 306 we will always be there for you to take a well-deserved break.