First aid trainer shares her story

Topics: British Columbia and Yukon, First Aid and CPR
April 25, 2013

First aid trainer shares her story

Cardiac arrest and other emergencies can strike when people least expect them. As one of Canada's most active non-profit organizations, the Canadian Red Cross provides assistance to individuals during these and other crisis situations.

By offering first aid and CPR training courses, the Canadian Red Cross does its part to reduce the impact that these incidents can have on a person's life and ensure that people have the skills and knowledge needed to respond to emergencies with confidence in their own abilities.

For one first aid trainer, the abilities she gained through her involvement with the Canadian Red Cross helped make a difference in the life of someone in need.

Karen's story
Karen Syndenham has been a first aid trainer with the Canadian Red Cross for more than 20 years. Five years ago, while she was in Chilliwack, British Columbia, she witnessed an emergency situation occur. As a result of the knowledge and experience she had working with the Canadian Red Cross, Karen was able to take action immediately.

The person in need was Chris van der Merwe, who was driving home from a fishing trip with a friend when he sustained a massive heart attack and ended up near Karen, who was at an equestrian event with her daughter.

According to Karen, there was first aid equipment, an automated external defibrillator and medical staff nearby. She performed CPR on Chris for 18 minutes, until emergency paramedics arrived on the scene.

"It was a strange feeling - I felt he was there with me the whole time, looking at me, I knew he wasn't gone," said Karen.

Make a difference
First aid and CPR skills are often all that stands between individuals and potentially life-altering situations. While you can never know for certain when an emergency will strike, having the knowledge and confidence needed to act through first aid and CPR training can make a major difference.

The Canadian Red Cross offers a range of first aid and CPR courses that can be tailored to meet the demands of your lifestyle or workplace. In addition to signing up for a class, you can show your support by choosing to donate online or at your local office today.