submitted by the Tlell Advisory Committee--Area D starts 2009 in a better position for emergency preparedness thanks to the completion in December of a Gwaii Trust initiative aimed at increasing first aid knowledge in the rural areas.Responding to a need for first aid training, the Tlell Committee applied and received funding in March 2008 from Gwaii Trust to make Occupational First Aid Courses more available. The regional district helped make it possible by contributing funding from its emergency funds. Courses were held in Tlell starting in May and by December, 47 courses were completed. Certification was given to all participants which included 24 OFA Level 1, 8 Transportation Endorsement and 15 OFA Level 3 students. Forty of the forty-seven courses were completed by residents from Area D, twenty-five from Tlell and fifteen from Tow Hill Rd, Lawn Hill, Old Massett, and the Nadu Rd area. Additional course spaces were filled by residents of Port and Charlotte, extending benefits to other island communities. Six volunteer firefighters from Tlell and Port Clements took this opportunity to update their first aid qualifications.It's difficult to say how and who will benefit from the training received. Just knowing we have more islanders, especially those living at a distance from hospital and ambulance services, with current first aid training is a comforting thought.The Tlell Committee would like to thank those who supported this initiative: Gwaii Trust; the regional district; North West Community College; Abfam, Port Clements Fire Dept. and Bonanza Creek Contracting for sponsoring participants; BC Parks for the use of the Naikoon Parks building; our dedicated instructors Kay Waring and Ester Pretulac from Kitimat; and all participants who gave time, energy, and in-kind funding to make these courses possible.