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Automated External Defibrillator donated to Barrie’s Navy League

Published in the Navy League Newsletter

September 2015

On 27 July 2015, a special presentation of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was made at the Barrie Navy League’s boathouse on Barrie’s waterfront by the Dave Mounsey Memorial Fund, an organization that donates defibrillators in the name of emergency services workers and military members who have died in the line of duty.  Patrick Armstrong presented the AED to Diane Chislett, President of the Barrie Branch of the Navy League of Canada, in memory of Metro Toronto Police Staff-Sergeant Eddie Adamson.

In March 1980, Staff-Sgt Adamson, then a Sergeant with Toronto’s Emergency Task Force, responded to a call for a hostage situation at a tavern on Queen Street West in Toronto.  A pair of career criminals had attempted to rob the tavern, but were interrupted by Constable Michael Sweet, who was shot and lay bleeding on the floor while the shooters taunted him and refused him medical treatment.

Adamson wanted to mount a rescue attempt as he could hear inside Sweet pleading for his life but was ordered to stand-down by superiors who preferred to negotiate a surrender.  After 90 minutes Adamson decided he couldn’t wait any longer and disobeyed those orders by leading a rescue attempt.  Unfortunately, it was too late.

The incident devastated Staff-Sgt Adamson.  Overcome with guilt for not disobeying the order sooner, Adamson blamed himself for Michael Sweet’s death.  He suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over 25 years before taking his own life in 2005.  In 2008, Staff-Sgt. Adamson’s death was ruled a work-related injury by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Also in attendance was Staff-Sgt Adamson’s widow Linda Adamson and his daughter Julie Adamson, who currently serves as a Sergeant with York Regional Police.

It is fitting that the AED was donated in Staff-Sgt Adamson’s name as it’s a device that has proven time and time again to save lives.  Eddie would be proud.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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