Two city parks workers have been recognized for their efforts to save a woman’s life. Taryn Kokesch and Kaitlin Taylor were starting their shift watering flowers downtown a few weeks ago when they came across a woman lying on the ground.
Instead of passing her by, the summer students checked to make sure she was okay, and found her non-responsive. They called 9-1-1 and performed CPR until emergency services arrived. The two got First Aid and CPR training ahead of taking their position with the City.
“They took that initiative to become engaged,” says Cheryl George, acting public education and events coordinator for Grande Prairie Crime Prevention. “By being engaged, they’re building stronger communities, which is what Crime Prevention is all about; it’s that connectiveness and getting involved when it might have been just as easy just to drive by and think, ‘whatever.'”
The two were nominated for a Crime Prevention leadership and youth award by their supervisor. They were presented with it on August 18th, their last day of work for the season, in front of their peers at City on 99th.
George says they accept nominations for Crime Prevention awards throughout the year, and encourages people to let them know about people who deserve to be recognized. Other categories include volunteer, youth, community program, enforcement professional, community service employee, business, education, and faith/ministerial.
“We collect them throughout the year, so there’s no deadline,” says George. “If you see somebody that fits into that category and you can provide the information for us, then we’re definitely going to look at them.”
Crime Prevention doesn’t have an update on the woman’s condition. George hopes the experience motivates others to look out for each other.
“Being involved doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be involved in that person’s life forever, but that one little step could let them have a life. Look around, be engaged, and actually pay attention to what’s going on out there instead of just turning that blind eye.”