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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ontario Provincial Police closer to getting defibrillator

The lawyer for the family of James Foldi made the same recommendation at the inquest into Mr. Foldi's death, but the recommendation was NOT SUPPORTED by the Niagara Regional Police lawyer, who argued in court that officers are not medical personnel.

So, which is it??

October 27, 2010

OPP are getting closer to putting defibrillators in detachments across the province in light of the recommendation of an inquest jury, says the head of the Norfolk County detachment.

"We're in discussions now," said Insp. Zvonko Horvat. "We're moving in that direction. It'll happen sooner rather than later."

Two weeks ago, the jury at the inquest into the death of Jeffrey Marreel, a Delhi man who collapsed at the Norfolk detachment after being tasered and later died, urged all police stations to get the devices.

Any decision, said Horvat, will apply across Ontario, not just in Simcoe.

"It is a decision being made corporately with regional staff and the risk management unit in Orillia," he said. "In all likelihood, that recommendation will be implemented . . . It only makes sense we have them."

Recommendations from inquest juries are not mandatory but are usually acted upon.

The inquest, held in Hamilton, heard that Marreel, 36, a known drug user with a long history of arrests, died from cocaine poisoning. In June 2008, police answered a call at the lakeside hamlet of Fisher's Glen where they found Marreel acting erratically. Police used a Taser to try to subdue him. He was taken to the Norfolk detachment in Simcoe and then rushed to hospital after he collapsed. Evidence at the inquest suggested Marreel may have been suffering from what's known as excited delirium, a potentially fatal condition.

As a result, the jury also urged all police forces to consider excited delirium as a "medical emergency" that requires immediate medical intervention and that police be trained to recognize its signs.

The jury made nine recommendations.

Horvat said "training is always good . . . We felt the jury was fair. Th e recommendations are legitimate concerns."

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