For the first time, an Island Health employee has received an international award for valour as a protection services officer from the Cowichan district earned the distinction this week.
Charles Kraeling was honoured in Chicago at the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety annual conference for an act of bravery he performed last summer.
Kraeling responded to a “code white” call on July 19 at the Cowichan District Hospital.
Kraeling found a man with a knife who was threatening patients and staff in a room that had four beds.
With a partner distracting the person, Kraeling then wrestled the weapon away and secured the room.
A “code white” is called for when dealing with a physical threat or aggression.
Kraeling received the provincial valour award last November and was nominated to the International Association.
“Our protection services officers must confront many challenges in their work lives and often go above and beyond in the call of duty to protect patients and staff as Charles bravely demonstrated,” Island Health board chair Leah Hollins said.
“It is gratifying for us all to see him recognized and celebrated by his peers and on an international stage.”
Island Health has 90 full-time protection services officers throughout the Island who respond to violent or volatile individuals, property damage, fire safety, first aid and escorting patients and staff.