Coroner’s inquest recommends more training for Kelowna emergency workers

Brandt Jason Zimmer's in-custody death two years ago this week was an accident.

Brandt Jason Zimmer’s in-custody death two years ago this week was an accident, although Kelowna emergency services workers will now be expected to take a bit more training to reduce the likelihood of a similar outcome in the future.

The three day Coroner’s inquest into the fatal interaction concluded Wednesday, finding that Zimmer, 40, died from a  cardiac arrest, brought on by a cocaine/morphine overdose.

“Excited delirium” was another contributing factor.

Although the death was considered accidental, the jury recommended that  B.C. Ambulance Service workers get further training to enable them to recognize best medical practices for patients in a state of agitated delirium or drug psychosis.

Commanding officers in the RCMP should also take further training, said the jury, recommending they take an online training component of the provincial crisis intervention and de-escalation training, by June  30. 2013.

Zimmer came in contact with ambulance attendants and police Aug. 15, 2010, after he entered the Malibu Grand Prix family fun centre on Stremel Road, wearing only his underwear.

Centre employees called police, saying he appeared delirious, was frothing at the mouth and was yelling at customers.

RCMP arrested Zimmer and took him to KGH, where he died, just after 3 p.m. the same day.

It was because Zimmer died while in police custody that the Central Saanich Police were called in to complete a independent review of the Mountie’s actions.

The investigation determined the police were clear of wrong-doing, however,  the Coroner’s Inquest was held to  gatehr recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

Kelowna Capital News