Toronto Police Const. Antoinette Rowe, pictured in 2015 upon her return to Haiti. (Toronto Police Service)

Surrey U.K. police officers help save woman in Surrey B.C. after mixup

Canadian officer helped liaison rescue effort

British police officers were able to help a Canadian woman in distress after she confused the Surrey, U.K. and Surrey, B.C. police services.

Surrey Police, based out of Surrey, U.K., issued a press release Jan. 4 explaining that their social media operator was contacted on Facebook messenger Christmas morning by a suicidal woman in Surrey, B.C.

“In an amazing coincidence,” the release states, Toronto Police Service Const. Antoinette Rowe was visiting the Surrey Police detachment with childhood friend and Surrey Police officer Vanessa Reynolds when the message for help was received.

Rowe was asked to assist with the call, and contacted police in B.C. to relay the information.

“It helped that Vanessa Reynolds’ friend (PC Rowe) was in the contact centre at the time and was able to use her contacts to get information and we were able to work it out in the end and we were delighted to hear from an officer in Canada that they had been found and were being given the help they needed,” Surrey Police contact centre operator Ellie Benson said in the news release.

“It was a great Christmas coincidence and I’m delighted that it had a positive ending. It warmed the heart on Christmas morning.”

Rowe said in the release that she was in the Surrey Police detachment kitchen area when she was approached by Surrey Police supervisor Jake Boatman and several other dispatchers.

“I was advised that a 23 year old female had contacted the Surrey Police Facebook page, believing that she was communicating with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Facebook page, located in Surrey, British Columbia. She was clearly distraught, and having suicidal thoughts,” Rowe said.

Rowe said she reached out to colleagues in Toronto, before speaking with a dispatcher at the Vancouver Police Department, and then ultimately speaking with a Surrey RCMP dispatcher.

“By the time we had managed to get through to the Surrey Dispatch Centre, additional information was provided to us via Ellie, who had been instrumental in eliciting critical information about this particular caller,” Rowe said in the release. “The RCMP call taker was able to immediately identify the female through their computer system, and dispatched two officers to her home address. Once this had been confirmed, the phone call ended from our end.”

Within a matter of minutes, Rowe continued, Surrey RCMP sent Surrey Police a Facebook message, saying that the woman in distress had been located and taken to the hospital.

Benson said in the release that Surrey Police receives a number of message from people who have mixed up Surrey, U.K., with Surrey, B.C.

“This just goes to show that where saving a life is concerned borders and time zones don’t matter and we will do what we can to help our friends in blue around the world,” Surrey Police assistant chief Const. Nev Kemp said in the release.

Just Posted

Lightning didn’t strike at provincial championships

The BC Hockey Midget Tier 3 hosts, the Key City Lightning, faced adversity at the tournament

Local brothers medal at BC Taekwondo Championships

Cranbrook White Tiger Taekwondo students Nolan and Rhy Palmer earned top honours

Skier triggers avalanche outside boundaries near Kimberley Alpine Resort

The skier was not injured and Kimberley Search and Rescue responded.

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

City readying for spring melt and potential flooding

Spring has sprung. With the warmer weather on the way, the city… Continue reading

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

The Kootenay Ice, the Clock, and Time’s Arrow

It was the dying seconds in the last — the very, very… Continue reading

What’s on at the Cranbrook Public Library

Mike Selby Rick James (not the singer) tells the little known story… Continue reading

Letters to the Editor

Respect and Best Wishes Hats off to the fans of the Kootenay… Continue reading

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read