Police dispatcher battles terminal cancer

Phil Meredith

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Members from Military Police Unit Esquimalt (MPU) are rallying support around a long-serving employee following his terminal cancer diagnosis.

Since 1997, MPU dispatcher Phil Meredith has been that friendly smiling face behind the front desk at the Naden guard house who greeted visitors when they arrived. To 911 callers and MPs on the two-way radio, Commissionaire (Cmre) Meredith has been a calming voice at the other end, says Lieutenant Gueorgy Zatonskikh, MPU Esquimalt Support Operations Officer.

“He does a very difficult job very well and often deals with emergency callers who are in desperate situations. For members of the MP unit, he tries to make light of the worst situations and doesn’t let things get to you, and in our line of work that is extremely important.”

Cmre Meredith, 66, also acted as dispatcher for members of the security Commissionaires team who staff the front gates at CFB Esquimalt.

But he no longer occupies his desk at the main entrance. Approximately three months ago he was told by his doctor he has terminal stomach cancer and has between six and nine months to live.

Lt Zatonskikh and the rest of the department heard the prognosis from Meredith just after the Christmas break and it wasn’t easy to take.

“We were all shocked when we heard the news and very concerned because so many people care about Phil,” said Lt Zatonskikh. “He is our go-to-guy that keeps people going through tough times; somehow he is staying positive throughout this ordeal.” 

To help Cmre Meredith pay for medical expenses, lost wages and funeral costs Lt Zatonskikh launched a Go Fund Me page. Starting with a fundraising target of $10,000, in only a few weeks he raised over $6,000.

“We have seen an outpouring of generosity from people here in our department and from other MP units across Canada because so many people know Phil and have worked with him,” said Lt Zatonskikh.

Cmre Meredith is being cared for at his home by his wife Patricia. He makes frequent trips to and from the hospital for checkups with his doctor and to undergo treatment. Lt Zatonskikh says Cmre Meredith has lost approximately 80 pounds since his diagnosis and has been severely weakened by the cancer treatment. 

Despite his condition, Cmre Meredith remains upbeat and optimistic. In a recent email to Lt Zatonskikh and the MPU unit he reported he had completed his radiation treatment and was starting chemotherapy with the hope of extending his life.

“This is part of my life I never expected or was prepared for so thank goodness for Patricia and the wonderful support by my co-workers,” wrote Meredith. 

The encouragement and support of colleagues has helped boost his spirits.

Lt Zatonskikh is reaching out to members at the base to contribute to the fundraising campaign, and if they are financially unable, to leave messages of encouragement for Cmre Meredith and his wife on the Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-phil-meredith

“He is reading these posts and wants to thank people for their continued support,” said Lt Zatonskikh.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (2)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Terry Moser says:

    Sorry to hear this about Phil. Throughout my police career bottom both as an MP and a civilian policeman, hands down he was the best. He would dispatch us and he just knew what we needed to complete the file. If something was on CPIC he found it….the best part was he was never was a policeman….just a great man….

    SECURITAS my friend

  2. Heather Parker says:

    Although I don’t know you my thoughts are with you. Take care. Yours on Civilianland.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.