Thunder Bay Police Service Communications Supervisor Recognized

Thunder Bay Police Service 911

Communications Supervisor Receives On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Megan Petzel has been recognized and awarded for her efforts in helping to save the life of a teenage girl.

Petzel has been awarded a Police Association of Ontario award as On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee.

“We are so happy to honour our brave members by showing them how greatly their actions have impacted others,” said PAO President Mark Baxter. “All of our sworn and civilian members go above and beyond every day and put their safety on the line to ensure the health and well-being of others – often to the detriment of their own. The fact that so many members of the public come forward every year to tell stories about their police heroes is incredibly telling. I honestly wish we could give out more awards. It gets harder and harder every year to make a selection, but the PAO is honoured to help facilitate the public in at least being able to acknowledge a few police heroes. Every police employee is a hero in my books.”

Megan Petzel is a Communications Supervisor for Thunder Bay Police Service.

In her nomination for a Police Services Hero of the Year Awards it states, “She is also someone so deserving of any recognition; especially one at this level. She is known for going above and beyond for her team, officers and the public.

“The reason why she was nominated was for a call she and her team handled in which a young teenage girl was in town for school, had dialed 911 and had absolutely no idea where she was or how long she had been outside in -20 degree winter weather. It was not known at the time that the girl had suffered from epilepsy and she had just come-to out of a seizure and was quite disoriented”.

“Megan stayed on the phone with her, having her describe her location. She struggled to communicate due to the cold, yet Megan remained calm and firm while trying to help the young girl. After some time, she determined the park she was in; however it was a very large area and the girl was unable to read any signs. While attempting to get an exact location, the girl stopped talking. Megan was left with an open line with no more assistance from the caller”.

With help from her unit, coordinating with the officers sirens (airing them to sound how close they were getting), they successfully located the girl mid-seizure and hypothermic. She had been outside in the extreme cold for hours. She was transported to hospital for treatment.

This is one of the many difficult calls that Megan is so great at handling. She remains calm, efficient and is determined to conclude calls with the highest quality of service.

The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is thrilled to announce the winners for the 7th annual Police Services Hero of the Year Awards after a six-week campaign during which the public was encouraged to submit their nominations for the police personnel they believe have done exceptional work protecting and serving their community,

Congratulations to the 2022 award winners and finalists:

Graham MacGregor, Ontario Provincial Police: 2022 On-Duty Difference Maker – Uniform Officer (An officer who has gone above and beyond the expectations of the job while on-duty)
The support Graham offered and continues to offer his nominator after going through major trauma as a victim of trafficking has helped her through her recovery from addiction, allowing her to now help others. Graham, known as “one of the good guys”, has gone above and beyond the call of duty

Meghan Petzel, Thunder Bay Police Service: 2022 On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee (A civilian police service employee who has gone above and beyond the expectations of the job while on-duty)

Meghan’s exemplary work as a 911 supervisor saved a teenager’s life when a difficult call came in. The young woman had been in -20-degree weather for many hours, was mid-seizure and unaware of her location. Meghan and her team calmly worked through the call and found a way to locate the hypothermic teen, getting her to safety.

Brad Adams, Hamilton Police Service: 2022 Community Role Model (A police officer or civilian police service employee who has made a difference in their community while off-duty)
Nominated an impressive 90 times, Brad raised $50,000 for the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton in his quest to raise awareness for stem cell donors, stem cell awareness and blood donations – all this after losing his wife after a short battle with cancer.

The PAO’s Awards Committee (comprised of members-at-large, the President, Board Chair and civilian association staff) had the challenging task of selecting the winners from over 300 worthy and often personal nominations. The volume of incredible stories that outlined the efforts of police personnel in communities throughout the province cannot be understated. Given that, the PAO would also like to congratulate this year’s award finalists:

Nolan Di Diomete, Waterloo Regional Police Service: On-Duty Difference Maker – Sworn Police Officer

Brendan Johnston, Lindsay Police Service: On-Duty Difference Maker – Sworn Police Officer

Angela Mitchell, Guelph Police Service: On-Duty Difference Maker – Civilian Police Service Employee

Cory Fernando, Owen Sound Police Service: Community Role Model

Kristine Jarvis, Chatham-Kent Police Service: Community Role Model

An Awards Banquet is being held tonight during the PAO’s Annual General Meeting, which is being attended by representatives from 45 local police associations across the province, during which the winners were honoured.

A media tour will be planned for later in the spring during which all winners and finalists will be presented their awards in front of colleagues, friends and family.

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