blue ribbonIt is difficult to accept or even fathom the horrific events of Wednesday and the days that followed this past week when three RCMP officers lost their lives and two others were injured in Moncton, New Brunswick at the hands of someone a former Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP has described as a monster.

While the “monster” ended his demented adventure by raising his hands and saying “It’s over” walking away unharmed, the people he killed died on the job and those he wounded were injured in their workplace – the streets of the communities where we live and work.

It is no solace for anyone that those who take on roles as police officers, firefighters, emergency service workers and even soldiers understand going in that their duties may place them at much higher risk than for the rest of us. All of us owe our first responders a huge debt of gratitude for their service and their courage and for accepting the risks of their commitment to their duties.

No one expects to go to work in the morning and not come home at the end of the day. Nor do their families and friends. The loss to those left behind is what matters most, not some abstraction that the risks were somehow known beforehand. It is not about potential risks and subsequent consequences. Someone who was deeply, personally loved left home early in the morning and was lost forever before nightfall.

As someone who lost a child at work I can only say this. My heart goes out to the wives, children and parents of these people for the loss of those they loved so much and the harm that has come to others.

Paul Kells
Workplace Respect and Safety Champion, Culture Change Expert and Inspiring Speaker
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