History of Red Cross Swimming & Water Safety
Based on years of research into why people drown, the Canadian Red Cross has developed a comprehensive program to educate and train Canadians in water safety. The programs of Red Cross Water Safety Services include swimming and water safety lessons for infants, toddlers, children, teens and adults; training program for Instructors and Instructor Trainers; training materials for Pleasure Craft Operator Competency cards; and promotional safety campaigns targeted at high risk populations. Prevention is a critical focus and participants are taught to Prepare! Stay Safe! and Survive!
The Canadian Red Cross delivers its water safety programs through a network of almost 3,800 pool and waterfront Training Partners. Each year, more than 1,000,000 Canadians enroll in Red Cross swimming and water safety programs and 21,000 are trained and certified as Instructors and Instructor Trainers. Millions more are reached through safety campaigns that encourage everything from toddler supervision and wearing a lifejacket, to backyard pool safety checks, and boating and ice safety.
The Red Cross offers Canada's largest and most recognized swimming and water safety program. Former water safety program participants and instructors can be found in all areas of the Canadian Red Cross - as active participants, volunteers and leaders helping the Society achieve its mission in their community, and at the provincial and national levels.
Swimming and Water Safety
Past, Present, Future
1946: Red Cross launches water safety program to address drownings in Canada.
1960: Water Safety leads a generation of swimmers through their lessons. There was Pre-beginners, Beginners, Juniors...and more.
1981: The 8-level “Colours” program hits pools with a splash, focusing on progressive learning and continuous evaluation.
1996: 50 years of water safety instruction to Canadians! AquaQuest launches nationally, trumpeting the slogan “Prepare! Stay Safe! Survive!”
2005: Red Cross Swim launches nationally, based on extensive market research.
2006: 60 years of Red Cross water safety!
2011: 65 years of Red Cross Water Safety!