View Royal protection service officer recognized

Mattaius Brueckl honoured for heroic actions at VGH during incident in April

Scott MacMillan, manager of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (centre) presents Mattaius Brueckl from View Royal (left) and Charles Kraeling from Nanaimo with awards. Brueckl received an award of distriction for his compassionate and empathetic handling of a person in need at Victoria General Hospital in April. (Contributed photo)

Scott MacMillan, manager of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (centre) presents Mattaius Brueckl from View Royal (left) and Charles Kraeling from Nanaimo with awards. Brueckl received an award of distriction for his compassionate and empathetic handling of a person in need at Victoria General Hospital in April. (Contributed photo)

When Mattaius Brueckl went into work at Victoria General Hospital one April morning, he thought it would be like any other day.

As a protection services officer with Island Health, Brueckl’s job is to provide a safe environment for patients, faculty, visitors and staff. He often responds to calls about aggressive or volatile individuals, patient standby requests, theft investigations, suspicious persons, damage to property and first-aid, among other things.

However, on this day, the View Royal resident received a call from a dispatcher about a suspicious person trying to climb over a fence. With just that information, Brueckl and his partner attended the call and noticed the door to the emergency stairwell leading up to the roof was ajar.

When he stepped inside, he ran into a teenager who was attempting to get onto the roof.

“He was being very evasive with me and I was trying to explain, I’m not the police, I’m not trying to get you in trouble, we’re just trying to help,” Brueckl said. “There was quite a significant risk in his thoughts and things that were going on in his life.”

However Brueckl is in what he calls a “grey” area and doesn’t have the same authority as police officers to demand someone to come with him. Instead, Brueckl must engage in conversation, build a rapport with an individual and establish a level of trust.

After roughly half-an-hour to 45 minutes, Brueckl convinced the teenager to go to the emergency department with him without incident.

RELATED: Protection service officer at Cowichan Hospital gets award for handling man with knife

Brueckl received an award of distinction for “his compassionate and empathetic handling” of the situation from the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety during a ceremony in Vancouver. It wasn’t until Brueckl found out he won the award that he also discovered the teenager was in medical distress at the time.

“Our protection services officers are required to respond to calls that require both courage and compassion, often in equal measure,” said James Hanson, Island Health vice president operations and support services. “Mattaius, we are proud of your professionalism and your commitment to the safety of everyone we serve at Island Health.”

Despite the accolades, Brueckl admits the situation was a pretty regular occurrence as one of 90 full-time protection services officers, who work in health-care facilities across the Island.

“It’s an honour to have been recognized, but at the same time, there’s so many things that my colleagues do that equally could have been award-worthy,” he said.

A protection services officer for the past five years, as well as a reserve constable with the Saanich Police Department and a member of Saanich Search and Rescue, Brueckl has responded to hundreds of calls ranging from a visitor needs help finding their car in the parking lot to being first on scene after someone has jumped off a parkade at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Often Brueckl is put in situations where he must strike a balance between making sure nursing staff and patients are safe and building a relationship with someone in crisis.

“Our perception on the job of what it normal is quite skewed. I’ll go into a situation where a person has produced a knife or they’ve assaulted a staff member and it’s just something we deal with calmly,” Brueckl said. “‘I’ll go to work and I won’t know what’s going to happen. That’s what I love about it.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Mieran Loira, who works at Moxie’s restaurant on Yates Street, was named a winner in the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s #StandUpForService campaign. (Courtesy Town Hall Brands)
Victoria Moxies server can’t hide her smile, earns provincial kudos for pandemic work

Personality, charisma shine despite masks, coronavirus challenges

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Most Read