Signing First aid and CPR

November is CPR month, and throughout the month, we were able to share with you different blogs about CPR – including songs to do CPR to and blogs from our CPR “tweet-up.” Today, we’re sharing with you a piece from one of our first-aid/CPR instructors Christine Geobey.

Meet Christine. She’s the only Red Cross instructor who teaches her first aid/CPR courses in American Sign Language. She works at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, and although teaching first aid is not her main job, she decided to learn it so that she could bring the courses to those at Bob Rumball.

“Deaf people like it because they get the training directly.”

 She says signing first aid courses is fun – she looks for little cues to help them remember. For example, when giving CPR compressions to a baby, she teaches her participants to use the two middle fingers down because that’s also the sign for ‘I love you.’ “Everyone loves babies, so they aren’t going to forget that one!”

 Born into a family of all Deaf people – her parents and only brother are Deaf – American Sign Language was the first language Christine knew. She didn’t learn to speak English until she was three years old.

She’s been teaching first aid for about 7 years. She’s trained about 150 people, the majority of whom are Deaf.

“For me it’s a thrill because I know how frustrated the Deaf community is when they don’t have things offered to them in their language directly– The world we live in is not Deaf friendly, but it’s getting better then what it was. For me, I thrive on teaching in my classes in American Sign Language.”

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