The Howling Wolf

Just as our wolf logo symbolizes the leadership, loyalty, strength of character and sense of family that is displayed by emergency responders, The Howling Wolf serves as the voice of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. A wolf’s howl attracts other members of the pack, invites communication and creates a strong bond between pack members. We hope this blog will have the same impact on emergency responders, workplace safety professionals and traffic safety advocates, bringing us all together in the same pack and providing valuable information about workplace safety issues affecting first responders.

Check in frequently for updates on JPMF events and initiatives, interesting research and to add your own howl to our pack.


21st Anniversary of John’s Death

Remembering John on Sept 29th

Sept 29th, 2021 is the twenty-first anniversary of John’s death

In honour of this, we thought we’d share the very first public service announcement the JPMF produced, way back when!

The PSA was called “The Fairytale Ended – Make Your Workplace Safe for Everyone,” and it’s safety message is as pertinent as ever today.

Here is the link to the view the 30-second PSA on the JPMF You Tube Channel.

The woman doing the voiceover is our dear friend, Heather Cumming. Here is a great party pic of John and Heather:

I remember the day that photo was taken. In fact, I probably took the photo. We were on Robson Street, celebrating a Stanley Cup win of some sort. We had so much fun!

Here are a couple more photos of John that you may not have seen before:

Maryanne & John, Tofino, 1990

 

John & Sable, “Quiet Time”

This year’s anniversary is a special one because this is the year John would have retired…or could have retired, rather. He probably wouldn’t have, after only twenty-five years. He probably would have just kept on going…like the Energizer Bunny, which was the nickname his team had given him.

I remember, like it was yesterday, the day John graduated from recruit class. I remember exactly what I was wearing. I remember seeing the excitement on John’s face, when Chief Silverberg handed him his badge. It was a dream come true for John…the moment he’d worked eight years for.

But from where I was sitting in the audience, I couldn’t hear what the Chief said to John, in that moment he was handed his badge. It wasn’t until later, when I watched the video of the ceremony, that I heard what the Chief had quietly said to John:

“Stay safe.”

For four years, he was able to. And then, on Sept 29th, 2000, his dream, career & life ended when he stepped through an unmarked false ceiling, because there was no safety railing in place.

John had done what he could to stay safe. He did what he was trained to do. Unfortunately, the building he was clearing hadn’t followed proper workplace safety protocol.

And that, of course, is why the John Petropoulos Memorial was started and continues to this day…raising public awareness about why and how to make workplaces, and the roads, safer for everyone, including first responders.

Although John’s policing career ended abruptly after only four years on the job, he packed an awful lot into that short time. He lived and breathed policing. He loved being a police officer. And he was very good at it.

Thank you for supporting the JPMF. Whether you are a newly on board or have been with us from the very beginning, we sincerely appreciate your support. We will never know the full impact our safety education efforts have on reducing workplace injuries, fatalities & illnesses.

But we do know this: doing something is better than nothing at all.

Thank you & take care,

Maryanne & the JPMF team

 

About the JPMF

The JPMF was started shortly after the death of Calgary Police Constable John Petropoulos on Sept 29th, 2000. John was investigating a break and enter complaint when he stepped through a false ceiling, fell nine feet into the lunchroom below and died of a brain injury. There was no safety railing to warn him of the danger; the complaint turned out to be a false alarm.

John was 32.

The JPMF is a registered Canadian charity that raises public awareness about workplace safety issues and educates people about why & how to ensure their workplaces and the roads are safer for everyone, including emergency responders. For further information, please visit jpmf.ca.

 

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