The “overnight on a weekend” factor definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. And safe to guess most RCAF will never have had to take a call requesting help for an active shooter, so the “WTF?” factor would also be high. I’m also cognizant that a working theory the first night was that he had either hunkered down or killed himself. It was early the next day that the scale started to become apparent, and killings resumed. So- safe bet that RCAF at the time of the request also had little external info, and would have had no prompt that an ask was potentially going to be coming in from law enforcement.
I hope that, in the wake of this, larger police services have planned out a faster process to make an accurate and appropriately directed request to CAF for stuff like helicopter assistance. Hopefully CAF offices who police might know to call are in a better position to turn “I don’t know” into “I know who to call”.
Totally agreed. Part of that would come from an informal yet work related meet & greet between local law enforcement leadership & local military leadership. (Squadron commanders & base commanders)
know that with EPS, if a shift Sgt needs more than 1 air asset, the Sgt covering EPS dispatch on any given shift has a direct number for the Duty Officer at 408 Sqn
(At least that’s was the case, a few years back. I don’t see any reason why that would have changed)
The request for air support usually comes after dark, so maintenance is done during daytime hours. EPS tries to keep only 1 bird airborne at a time. Hot refuelling is common to get that ISR asset back overhead as quickly as possible, while the other helo is held in reserve.
If the need arises that there is more than 1 incident that urgently requires ISR (not what EPS calls it, but it is what it is) and the other bird isn’t available, the scene commander can coordinate a CAF asset in a fairly streamlined process.
I don’t think many other municipal police agencies have this ability, it’s just that CFB Edmonton happens to have a Griffon Sqn, and is located just north of the city.
(We almost had this very scenario play out last summer when we had a guy w/ a firearm hiding out in a large field just outside of town, needed a spotlight or thermal from above, and Air 1 was already deployed on another call.)