A BC Transit staffer is hailed as a hero by West Shore RCMP after helping find a missing child on his first shift as supervisor.
On Nov. 1, West Shore RCMP presented Jeff Birtwistle with an Officer in Charge Certificate of Appreciation as thanks for his role in finding a young View Royal resident.
“It’s definitely rewarding being recognized on behalf of everyone else at BC Transit that was involved. I believe everyone at BC Transit in Victoria works hard and does a good job in supporting our community and it’s definitely nice to be recognized,” Birtwistle said.
A 10-year-old girl was reported missing from View Royal on May 1 around 7 p.m.
West Shore RCMP officers conducted extensive patrols and notified taxi companies, BC Ferries and BC Transit, providing a description and a request to notify police if anyone saw her. It’s a process that frequently plays a key role in locating missing persons. Once the information is received, key details are communicated to all employees on the road.
“It is the positive working relationships within our community that contributes to the safety and security of our residents. The actions of Jeffrey Birtwistle and BC Transit are prime examples of how a successful collaboration yields a positive outcome,” West Shore RCMP Superintendent Todd Preston said.
Birtwistle, a third-generation firefighter who volunteers with the Colwood department, has been a transit operator since 2017. May 1 was his first solo shift as an acting transit supervisor. He heard over the radio the child may have been spotted on Island Highway and headed to the area. Birtwistle caught up with the girl across from West Shore Parks and Recreation in Colwood.
She was safely reunited with her family shortly after.
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