Three Vic High students honoured by Victoria police for saving overdose victim

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak snaps a selfie with three Victoria High students who were presented with a civic service award on Friday for their actions in helping someone who was overdosing in a school washroom. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Victoria Police Chief Del Manak snaps a selfie with three Victoria High students who were presented with a civic service award on Friday for their actions in helping someone who was overdosing in a school washroom. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Al Baraa Al Homsi is presented with his civic service award. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Al Baraa Al Homsi is presented with his civic service award. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Victoria Police Chief Del Manak presented three Victoria High students with civic service awards on Friday for their actions in helping someone who was overdosing in a school washroom. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Victoria Police Chief Del Manak presented three Victoria High students with civic service awards on Friday for their actions in helping someone who was overdosing in a school washroom. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Victoria Police Chief Del Manak presented three Victoria High students with civic service awards on Friday for their actions in helping someone who was overdosing in a school washroom. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)Victoria Police Chief Del Manak presented three Victoria High students with civic service awards on Friday for their actions in helping someone who was overdosing in a school washroom. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Three students were presented with civic service awards by Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, recognizing the actions they took that helped save the life of someone who was overdosing in a school bathroom.

It was a normal day at Victoria High in December of 2019.

Al Baraa Al Homsi, a Grade 11 student, had gone into the bathroom to check his hair before class when he heard something off. He, along with Majeed Sultan, Grade 10, and Ahmad Al Shehab, Grade 12, heard an unusual noise coming from a closed stall.

“[It sounded like] snoring and [I] looked at him from the top [of the stall], he didn’t look alright,” said Sultan. The person in the stall was overdosing.

READ ALSO: Victoria taxi driver helps police locate two missing children

Al Homsi ran and notified a teacher, while the other two students stayed back to help pull the individual from the stall. Staff members gave the young man CPR to keep him breathing long enough for Naloxone to be administered.

“We were fine, we didn’t feel that scared or anything but we were hopeful that we did what we could to save someone’s life,” said Al Shehab.

The students recognized in a Victoria Polie Department ceremony Nov. 6, each immigrated from Syria.

“I was raised and taught to help anyone I can and to try to help as much as possible,” said Al Shehab. “When we first came [to Canada] we got lots of help from all people, wonderful people, and we will try to help as much as we can.”

The student’s names will now be put up on a wall in the Victoria Police Headquarters to honour their actions.

READ ALSO: Vic High stadium plans drop promised 8-lane track to ‘barely wider than city sidewalk’

“In policing we often say we can’t do it all, we would love nothing more than to be everywhere at every moment – ready to help every citizen that’s in need, but we all know that’s actually not possible,” said Manak. “But we also know that there are citizens out there who can help us make a difference.”

According to Chris Koutougos, vice-principal of Vic High, there are at least three Naloxone kits within the school but that some staff members also carry kits.

“We knew at the time when we were doing the training that it was going to be a skill we may have to use given the circumstances that are happening in the community with the opioid crisis,” he said on Friday. “We were aware at some point, we just didn’t think it would happen in the school with one of our youth.”

The young man who overdosed had been enrolled at the school prior to the incident but was not a student at the time.

The three students were given plaques during Friday’s ceremony.

“We have a big TV at home, we’re just going to get rid of that and put [the plaque] right there,” joked Al Shehab.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VicPDVictoria Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

Oak Bay High students Mimi Hill and Aine O’Donnell run along the Jack Wallace Memorial Track. The old track is due to be resurfaced. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay track resurfacing delayed

Oak Bay commits $50,000 towards renewed Jack Wallace track

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read