Thanks to David Columbin at GISS for sharing this story and photo:


The first semester at Gulf Islands Secondary School is coming to a close and that means the end of the Real 9 class. This is a course made up of 5 sections and in the “Careers” section something exciting has started. The Salt Spring Island Firefighters have been coming into David Columbin’s classroom and teaching CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) and the use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to all grade nines. The students have to demonstrate the practical part of CPR and use the AED as well as score well on a written test. Because the SSI Fire Department has been willing to come into my class twice every 3 weeks it has now resulted in every grade nine at GISS becoming certified in the Red Cross CPR/AED, a certification which is good for 3 years.

There is no question that without the SSI Fire Dept. doing this at a very subsidized cost and providing such great instruction in an interesting manner, the program would not have rolled out as smoothly as it did. The Real 9 program covered the costs of the certificates so a bare minimum of cost was passed onto the students.

The Firefighters were excellent. The students enjoyed the course, were excited to get certified and appreciated acquiring such helpful life long skills. It was a major success and if the plan to continue to do this can be a reality then in a few years it will be possible to say that because of the SSI Fire Department and GISS partnership, “every teenager in the Gulf Islands is certified in CPR and AED”.

Real 9 at GISS

On behalf of my grade nine students and myself, I extend a huge thanks to the SSI Fire Dept. to help make this possible.
—David Collombin