Q & A with Global 1’s Chris Hayden
EDMONTON – Global 1 traffic reporter, the voice of Global Edmonton’s eye in the sky, Chris Hayden is taking on a new career challenge. So, we’re asking him about the highlights in the helicopter.
Global Edmonton (GE): What was your most frightening experience in the helicopter?
Chris Hayden (CH): “Lightning out there. Technically, when we say ‘ooh that one was kind of close,’ we’re not supposed to be in the air within 30 miles of lightning. We had one bounce off us a kilometer away… the pilots are all safe and everything. Never once did I ever worry.”
GE: What experiences stand out to you?
CH: “Do you remember that guy who did 180 kilometres down the Yellowhead and landed in between the bridges and then we did the river search? And we landed on Yellowhead. I said ‘set it down now, we’ll talk to the command post.’ ‘What?’ ‘Land it now.’ ‘Okay.’ And he puts it right down on the Yellowhead… We had no way to communicate to the command post that there was nobody in the river, and I think we lost our contact between us and EPS control, so I said ‘just land it right now.’”
GE: What was your ultimate highlight?
CH: “Bulatci. That was a good one. To roll up, and – I don’t know if you remember – when we first lifted that afternoon, two full Tactical Teams had that townhouse complex, and the duty officer was just calling and saying ‘get your helicopter out of here.’ We pulled out, but when you said let’s go back and take a look… and we timed it just right as they were walking him out of the door.”
GE: What was it like to experience things like military convoys from the sky?
CH: “You can’t help but get excited, you really can’t… Especially with the flood this past year, and the 87 cars shooting down the Anthony Henday west, and the coyote – they’re great big monsters – and these guys are going, and people are pulling out of the way and clapping.”
Prior to his work with Global, Chris Hayden was a longtime EPS member; flying Air 1, and working as a police negotiator.
He began his post in Global 1 in June 2007. Since then, he’s provided invaluable insight and coverage from the air on everything from daily traffic tie-ups to significant breaking news events including the MacEwan condo fire, the arrest of Emrah Bulatci (who was convicted of killing an RCMP officer in the Northwest Territories), and a meteor sighting.