Red Cross response

By attending SmartStart:  Community Access to First Aid, new Canadians who don’t speak English can learn that they can call 911 and get help in their own language, they learn how and where to get help, and what to do in the meantime – and save a life.

Hundreds of families are made safe and communities are strengthened by attending Introduction to First Aid that is available to community groups, ESL classes, caregivers, or a group of friends who want to learn together.  Certified Red Cross First Aid trainers, with materials provided in partnership with the GVRD 911 service, teach the following information in one of *19 languages on a ‘by donation’ basis.

  • Common hazards and prevention of injuries in a household setting – lessons geared to the audience; for example young mothers, elderly at risk of falls,

  • Healthy lifestyle choices

  • Emergency Action Principles (EAPs) – what to do and how to help safely

  • Basic life support

  • Emergency services – correct use of 911 and how to access service in other languages

  • How to respond to choking, bleeding & broken bones

  • How to prevent Poisoning – and how to access help from the Poison Control Centre.

  • Heart Attack and Stroke – signs and symptoms

* Currently available in Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, ESL, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese.

Some of the people we have trained include:

  • The elderly living on their own

  • Women and single mothers who do not speak English

  • New immigrants and refugees facing financial challenges

  • Child care providers

  • Those facing additional challenges within the non-English speaking community, such as isolation, disabilities and drug or alcohol addictions

Our evaluations show that 66% of participants had received no First Aid training previously