Surrey, B.C. couple gets parking ticket while stopping to treat an overdose

Click to play video: 'Surrey couple gets parking ticket while stopping to help overdose victim'
Surrey couple gets parking ticket while stopping to help overdose victim
A Surrey couple found themselves facing a parking ticket after they intervened to bring a man back from an overdose on Friday. Paul Johnson reports – Oct 31, 2021

Ever hear the old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished?”

That’s how a couple from Surrey, B.C., was left feeling Friday after intervening to bring a man back from an overdose, only to find themselves facing a parking ticket as a result.

Kalen Bourdon and his girlfriend had made a quick stop at the Surrey Central Skytrain station to pick up some friends shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday when they noticed a man lying on the ground in distress.

“He was laying down beside his bike, he was turning blue in the face, he was turning cold,” Bourdon told Global News.

Bourdon, who works on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, leaped into action, administering naloxone and, with the help of passersby, performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.

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“Thank goodness at the end he managed to get up and walk away, (after talking) to the paramedics, (to) make sure he was doing OK,” he said.

“But when we returned to our car we had a parking ticket.”

Click to play video: 'Overdose Awareness Day: How a naloxone kit can save a life'
Overdose Awareness Day: How a naloxone kit can save a life

The whole episode lasted about 15 minutes, with their vehicle parked just 30 feet away.

“We were just trying to do our good deed for the day and we come back to a ticket. We understand the ticket person probably didn’t notice what was going on, but it was a bit of a shock,” Bourdon said.

The $80 ticket was issued by Diamond Parking, which operates the lot adjacent to the SkyTrain station.

Reached on Sunday, Mike Poirier, the company’s vice-president of operations, offered to waive the ticket.

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“It seems to me these folks deserve some relief,” he said.

While Bourdon said the parking ticket was a nasty surprise to come back to, he said he was thrilled about how the community’s response to the man in distress.

“The minute I walked up to him and made it clear that something was wrong, we had a bunch of people just come out of the woodwork and start assisting us, we had people bring their own naloxone kits on top of the one I had brought, we had other people assist with the CPR,” he said.

“I was just really happy the community came together to help someone when we all noticed there was someone in need.”

In a province that averaged more than five overdose deaths a day in the first half of 2021, Bourdon’s experience also shows the value of naloxone and first-aid training.

“I’d rather take the ticket than lose someone,” he said.

“If you see someone in need of help, help someone.”

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