Charles Kraeling, a protection service officer at the Cowichan District Hospital, is being honoured for his heroic actions at the health facility during an incident in July.
Kraeling, who has worked at the hospital for 10 years, has received an Award of Valour from the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety for exemplary performance in extraordinary circumstances.
Kraeling responded to a Code White call at the hospital and found a knife-wielding man who was threatening himself, patients and staff in a four-bedroom ward.
“He was swinging the knife wildly around and my main concern was to get him away from the other patients and nurses in the ward,” he said.
“I started talking to him, but he was obviously not in his right state of mind. I did manage to convince him to leave the room and I was thinking on how I could get the knife away from him.”
Kraeling said something distracted the man and he took his eyes off of him, which provided Kraeling the opportunity to grab the man’s knife arm.
“We had a brief struggle and I managed to get the man onto the ground, and he released the knife,” he said.
“My partner, who was staying back until then, managed to kick the knife further away, and I handcuffed him. The nurses gave him some medication and he started to come to some realization of what was going on. He just wasn’t thinking in a right state of mind until then.”
Kraeling said no one was injured in the incident and the man was very apologetic for his actions.
“He really didn’t mean to be violent,” he said.
“It’s a hospital, so there are mental health and drug issues and incidents that tend to happen there from time to time, but it’s the first incident of this type that I’ve been involved with there.”
Krealing received his award last week at a ceremony at Vancouver General Hospital, along with fellow protection service officer Mattaius Bruecki who received an Award of Distinction for his compassionate handling of a person in need at a Victoria hospital.
“I had no idea I was even nominated for the award until last week,” Kraeling said.
“It makes me feel good about my job and the work I do.”