Cliff Colpitts took his first ever first aid class. It was offered through his workplace. Canadian Red Cross training partner Ron Gillatt instructed the class, teaching important first aid skills – including CPR, which Cliff would later use to save his son’s life.


After his training, Cliff’s family experienced an emergency that can happen to anyone. Cliff saw his son wasn’t breathing. He went in to what he describes as “auto-pilot”, saying, “once I was sure my son was not breathing...I could hear Ron in the back of my mind, ‘push hard and push fast’”.


When Ron heard about Cliff saving his son, he nominated him for a Rescuer Award. This award celebrates non-professional rescuers and off-duty first responders who take action to save a life, prevent further injury, and provide comfort to the injured.



Cliff was presented with his award in an emotional ceremony, attended by his whole family. Cliff thanked his work supervisor for providing him with access to the training and to Ron for “not only giving me the skills, but the confidence to administer CPR – that saved my son’s life.” Cliff brought his son up to meet everyone; he simply said “I’m happy to be here to meet everyone.”

Every day, Canadians find themselves in need of first aid. While it’s not always this dramatic, having a good knowledge of first aid can empower you  to provide comfort or even save a life. Learn more about Canadian Red Cross first aid programs on our website