Turning prep time into rescue time

It was an ordinary Tuesday for middle school teacher Deborah, but in a matter of seconds that all changed. By chance, Deborah was walking by the lunch room where Mike, a colleague, had been eating lunch. The pizza that he was eating had become lodged in his throat and Deborah quickly recognized that he was choking.

Deborah immediately sprung into action, rushing to ask Mike if he needed help and then administering the first aid skills she learned from a Red Cross course she attended a few years earlier.

“Mike’s face started turning blue, a sign that he was not getting any oxygen,” she said. “I started giving him abdominal thrusts and back blows to try and dislodge the food and it worked!”

In the time that is usually reserved for class preparation, Deborah was able to save a life, something she was not expecting but prepared to do thanks to the skills taught in a Red Cross first aid course. For her heroic actions, Deborah was awarded with a Rescuer Award by the Canadian Red Cross.

Rescuer award recipient Deborah Weston

Tatjana Radovanovic, director of regional operations, rescuer award recipient Deborah Weston, disaster management instructor, Andrew Little, and diasater management advisor, Azima Vadsaria.

Rescuer Awards are reserved for non-professional rescuers and off-duty first responders who go out of their way to save a life, prevent further injury and provide comfort to the injured. Everyone has the ability to become a rescuer with the skills taught in Red Cross first aid CPR courses. Unleash your inner rescuer and register for a course in your community.

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