Moose RCMP 150 Game Recognizes Contributions to Rural CommunitiesBy: Daniel Fink | Published: November 25th 2023
The Manitoba Moose host their RCMP 150 game on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Canada Life Centre. The team will wear its first specialty jersey of the season in recognition of the milestone year for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The “Mounties” have been in service since 1873 and work coast-to-coast at the community, provincial, territorial and federal levels. The RCMP is made up of over 650 detachments in 150 communities across Canada. The country’s national police service employs over 19,000 officers, alongside over 11,000 civilian members and public servants.
“It’s a big deal,” said Sgt. Mark Hume when asked about celebrating the 150th anniversary. “For me personally, I started volunteering just a few months before the 125th anniversary. So I was around for that as a brand-new volunteer, not even a regular member. I remember going through that and it’s nice to be here 25 years later for the 150th.”
The Dec. 3 game is one of many events across the country at community, provincial and national levels. It’s an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about the history of the RCMP. An opportunity Sgt. Hume hopes people will take advantage of.
“I’d love to see Canadians exposed a little more to the history of how the (RCMP) was created and maybe learn about what the early days were like.”
As the RCMP is a national police service, there is an important relationship between the Mounties and rural communities. Across such a vast country with limited major population centres and many small towns, the RCMP is responsible for the policing in these spread out, and sometimes remote, communities.
“The RCMP, from a historical point of view, started out on the prairies in the West. Small town, rural policing so to speak,” Sgt. Hume explained. “Those of us who grew up in small towns, grew up with the Mounties as a part of our lives. For me, my very first hockey coach was a Mountie. So it’s not just on the policing side of things, but I think the community side is important.”
Support for Manitoba’s rural communities is an integral part of the Moose hosting the RCMP 150 game. It’s a chance to recognize the importance the Mounties have in those communities, and support another organization that provides essential services across the province. The specialty RCMP 150 jerseys worn on Dec. 3 will be auctioned, both on the concourse at the game and online, with the proceeds supporting STARS.
The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service, or STARS, is almost instantly recognizable to Western Canadians by the red helicopters the service uses to provide critical care across the prairie provinces. In Manitoba, STARS maintains a 24-hour crew at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport that responds to emergency calls, whether that is the scene of a 911 call or to a smaller medical centre to relocate a patient to Winnipeg.
“We have an absolutely great relationship with the rural communities,” commented Grant Therrien, provincial director for STARS in Manitoba. “Our helicopters are essentially designed to help rural citizens, but also anyone traveling out of Winnipeg. Certainly, for the residents who live, play and work in rural Manitoba, this is sometimes seen as their lifeline.”
Both the RCMP and STARS are integral in serving rural communities in Manitoba, and across the Canadian prairies. Though much of STARS’ coordination is with fire departments and EMS, in certain situations, the RCMP and STARS are called upon to work in concert.
“I’m from a traffic unit, so we use them a lot on collisions,” said Sgt. Hume, outlining how the two organizations work together. “At some of the really bad incidents (STARS) will actually land on the highway. So then there is some inter-agency stuff with us in making sure the highway is shut down and safe for them to land.”
There are some situations, though, where STARS may assist the RCMP outside of serious traffic incidents.
“There are some occasional times where RCMP might be involved in a search for someone who is missing,” explained Therrien. “They’ve asked (STARS) to come fly above and see if we can spot anybody and give them assistance with a search and rescue type scenario. We’re proud to partner with them on any initiative and anything they may need help with.”
With the RCMP 150 game on Dec. 3 fans can look forward to recognizing the service Mounties provide our community and supporting the critical care provided by STARS in our province. Tickets for the game are available at MooseHockey.com/TICKETS.
For more information on RCMP 150, visit rcmp.ca.
For more information on STARS, visit stars.ca.
Photos courtesy RCMP and STARS