I heard about a few members who may have been shot on a farm near Mayerthorpe. So I called my NCO and asked if he needed help. He said yes get out here. I arrived as the robot had placed its arm on top of Rosco, Pinning him down so ERT could do a tactical removal of the members who were near the front of the hut. When we got the clear to approach I saw three ERT members taking off their tactical uniforms because they were covered with blood. Didn’t really sink in, I go in and sweep for explosives .Walked past three members shot up like I have never seen before, vests torn apart, bodies broken and not moving or able to be fixed. Entering the hut was lots of spent rounds, in the back, stepping over a fallen member getting parts of his body on me, still did not set in. Cleared the building, raced back home 140 km an hour. I called a neighbour who is an Edmonton police member, drank a bit and tried to sleep. Three months of funerals, National memorial, I was in concussive state, time, did not mean anything. Getting help brought relief, talking to a few that I trusted meant a lot. Family really did not understand, other members who were not there, brushed it off. Talking saved my life.
6 months later I was on a call when ERT had to use deadly force, worked the call without any issues, along with the 300 calls since that day.
Without my brothers I would not have survived. Working for the next 7 years I gained strength as one of the most experienced EDU techs in Canada. Only to be thrown out of the program because I sought help for my PTSD. Always knowing when the force called I had support in my work and knowing that I was secure. No more. Lost, fallen, never to go again. Feeling I let my team down, never being able to work with a group of people that I helped with over 300 calls after Mayerthorpe.
There is life after the force, still feel guilt when I look back, still feel guilt when I see any member down in the line of duty because I feel I could have made a difference, but no more.
Name withheld upon request