MNR Valour Award
& OCOA Valour Award
For Exemplary Courage in Coming to the Aid of a Suicidal Woman
Conservation Officer Peter Gilboe
On November 16 2004, Conservation Officer Peter Gilboe was investigating the unlawful harvesting of a calf moose. He was driving south on Hwy 11 in a marked MNR enforcement vehicle when he noticed a woman standing beside a vehicle at the intersection of Hwy 558.
The woman had a blank, far-away stare on her face and Officer Gilboe thought she might have been involved in an accident, perhaps with a deer. As Officer Gilboe made the left turn on to Hwy 558, he spoke with the woman from his vehicle to inquire on her condition.
She did not answer. She crossed the highway then purposely stepped out into the centre of the southbound lane in front on an oncoming transport truck. She faced the truck, lowered her head and clasped her hands to her waist. It then became obvious to Officer Gilboe that the woman was attempting to commit suicide. The southbound truck managed to swerve around the woman and the truck stopped south of the intersection.
Officer Gilboe activated the emergency lights on the MNR vehicle and positioned it across the intersection; another transport truck was approaching from the south and the woman was now positioning herself in front of this truck. Officer Gilboe left his vehicle and grabbed the woman, pulling her away from the oncoming traffic. He then frisked the woman for any weapons and placed her in the MNR vehicle. He then moved the vehicle to a safe location.
Officer Gilboe then contacted the OPP North Bay Communication Centre to request assistance. While the local police were en-route, Officer Gilboe spoke with the woman and discovered she had recently undergone a difficult series of family events and intended to kill herself.
The fast action of Officer Gilboe saved the life of the woman involved and possibly the lives of people traveling on Hwy 11.
Officer Gilboe voluntarily placed himself in an abnormal, unknown dangerous situation by confronting a suicidal person on a busy highway. He controlled the situation, removed the victim from the threat and contained and protected the person until appropriate assistance arrived.
Officer Gilboe showed great courage at personal risk to himself. Officer Gilboe’s actions were immediate and without thought for his own safety; his actions saved the life of a troubled woman and possibly other innocent members of the public. The person saved by Officer Gilboe received treatment and has a second chance at life.
Congratulations to CO Gilboe for both his valiant efforts and this much-deserved recognition.