WJCC presented with AED in memory of Skyler Blackie

The presentation of the AED is made at the WJCC. (Healey photo)

WINDSOR JUNCTION: The Windsor Junction Community Centre (WJCC) was the recent recipient of an AED in memory of a former camp counsellor and camper who attended.

The Blackie family was on hand last month to make the presentation of the AED they were the recipients of from the Atlantic 911 First Responder ride in 2019. It took time to be able to make the presentation due to the pandemic.

It was done in memory of Skyler Blackie, a former Truro firefighter who died in a training accident at the N.S. Fire School in Waverley.

Blackie, and brother Errison, were both also firefighters with Station 45 Fall River and grew up in Windsor Junction.

Errison Blackie explained how the family received the AED.

“We were honoured at the Atlantic 911 First Responder Ride in 2019 where Skyler and the two Fredericton Police officers that lost their lives in the line of duty were remembered and recognized,” he said. “It was a great weekend, a great ride around Cape Breton.”

With COVID-19 restrictions that prevented the presentation from happening sooner then it did on this day.

“It took a long time to get the AED here to the WJCC where it belongs,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to be here with my mom, sister and her kids to make this presentation.”

An automated external defibrillator is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Blackie and his brother both were campers and then camp instructors at the WJCC, so it was only fitting that the family donate it to the community gem.

“This is where it all began,” said Blackie. “This is where we started lifeguarding and began our First Responder lifestyle.

“It feels really good to put something back here.”

Andrea Forrest, chairwoman of the volunteer WJCC board, said it means the world that the family thought of the Community Centre to donate the AED.

“It means if a life is ever in jeopardy we will have the equipment to save it here at the WJCC,” said Forrest. “With being on the lake and the chance of a water emergency, it’s something we take seriously.

“Hopefully we will never have to use it but having the equipment here can save a life.”

She said it’s especially special to get the AED because it’s from the Blackie family in memory of Skyler.

“He was a long-time employee here and his family are very involved,” she said. ‘We’re very honoured for them to think of the WJCC to donate it to us in his honour.”