First Aid Technical Advisory Group

The First Aid Technical Advisory Group (FATAG) assists the national first aid team in maintaining the high quality of our injury prevention programming. The group comprises a multidisciplinary framework of dedicated volunteers selected from across Canada who posses an extensive background in program development, and have demonstrated a commitment and taken a leadership role in educating people specifically around safety programming and injury prevention. They provide guidance and leadership to the Canadian Red Cross First Aid Programs through several positions which specialize in specific program areas:
 
  • Caregiver/Youth
  • Core (workplace and lay public)
  • Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)
  • Professional Responder
  • Instructor Development Program
The group’s established mission is: to enhance the Canadian Red Cross First Aid Programs by making recommendations to staff and partners on quality assurance, standards and best practices. 
 

Lyle Karasiuk - Chair

Lyle is the Director of Public Affairs and Support Services for Parkland Ambulance Care Ltd. in Prince Albert, SK, where he also resides. He first became involved with the Canadian Red Cross as a special events volunteer, and went on to become a First Aid Instructor. Lyle is currently a Master Instructor Trainer for the First Aid Program, a member of the Provincial Advisory Committee for Saskatchewan, and a Red Cross Training Partner. He assists with numerous volunteer projects and was part of the provincial media team for the Canadian Red Cross during the 2015 Saskatchewan fire response.

Lyle gives his time to many organizations and committees, and is a member of the Membership Services Committee of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, as well as a Chair of the Paramedic Week Committee. He was awarded Prince Albert’s 2014 Citizen of the Year honour for his efforts and commitment to the community. Lyle has also received the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Governor General of Canada Emergency Medical Services Medal, and two Queen’s Jubilee Medals.

Kathy Sampson - Past Chair

An enthusiastic and innovative team player, Kathy has over 25 years’ experience in leadership, program development and delivery. Kathy is a client-focused practitioner with sound judgment, proven initiative and extensive knowledge in project management. She is a strategic thinker with established team leadership skills and a positive work ethic.

Kathy has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for over 30 years. She recently held the position of Vice Chair for the First Aid Technical Advisory Group and is currently a National Master Instructor Trainer for the First Aid Program. Kathy is also part of the current First Aid Program revision process and has been involved in two previous program revisions.  She is also a Training Partner with Red Cross. 

Kathy resides in Richmond Hill, ON, with her husband and family.  
 

Shelly Longmore – Sub-group Chair, Caregiver/Youth

Shelly first became involved with the Canadian Red Cross as a participant in the learn-to-swim program which then led to her becoming a Water Safety Instructor and lifeguard in 1976. The next phase of her Red Cross experience included training and volunteering with Disaster Management and fundraising projects, then she became a First Aid Instructor, Instructor Trainer and Master Instructor Trainer.


Shelly has participated in several national program development committees as well as new guideline implementation at local, provincial and national levels. Shelly’s passion lies in diversity and customizing training to meet the needs of higher risk and atypical groups or individuals. She has shared her passion for first aid and injury prevention by presenting internationally at the Emergency Cardiac Care and World Health Organization conferences. 

Debbie Vant Kruis – Caregiver/Youth

Debbie works full-time as the Head Lifeguard Instructor and Aquatic Programmer for the City of Terrace.  She also works as an auxiliary First Aid Instructor for Northwest Community College and as a contract First Aid Instructor for local communities.

She first became a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor in 2001, and then went on to become a Water Safety Instructor Trainer and Master Instructor Trainer. She recently became part of the inaugural Master Instructor Trainer team for Water Safety which launched in 2015. Debbie is also a First Aid Instructor and Instructor Trainer, and is currently taking courses to become part of the Disaster Management team.

Her most notable project to date was the research and development of her facility’s pool safety plan.

Debbie resides in Terrace, BC, with her husband and three daughters.
 

Tyrone Power (NL) – Caregiver/Youth

Tyrone is an educator with experience as both a classroom teacher and an administrator.  With a Masters of Education in Information Technology and a Masters of Education in Leadership (ongoing), Tyrone brings a unique skill set to the Canadian Red Cross.  An Aboriginal Education Programs Specialist, a Professional Learning Specialist, the owner and operator of Baccalieu Trail Safety Services, a First Aid and People Savers Instructor, and a restorative justice facilitator, Tyrone is an active volunteer right across his home province of Newfoundland.
 
Armed with experience in conflict mediation and resolution training, First Aid for Mental Health Training, and ASIST (Suicide Intervention Training), Tyrone has a lot to offer our organization! The Canadian Red Cross recognizes Tyrone as a valuable addition to the youth/caregiver sub-group.
 

Carolyn Hoekstra – Caregiver/Youth

As a member of the First Aid Technical Advisory Group Carolyn’s focus is to be the voice for people with developmental disabilities and ensuring the design of first aid courses allows people with disabilities to achieve successful certification.

Carolyn is a First Aid Instructor and Instructor Trainer within her organization and is passionate about facilitating first aid courses that are fun and interactive.

She has served 27 years with Christian Horizons, a developmental service agency in Ontario providing services and support for people with developmental disabilities and a Red Cross Training Partner.  Her current role is Educational Development Manager where her main duties are developing and revising courses, training staff and instructors, coaching instructors in various courses within the organization as well as being an organizational contact person for Red Cross.

Jason Brinson - Sub-group Chair, Core First Aid

A full-time advanced care paramedic in Brantford, ON, Jason is also a faculty member at a local community college in the paramedic program as well as a Paramedic Instructor for the Regional Base Hospital system in Ontario.
Jason first began working with Red Cross as a Water Safety Instructor.  He then became a First Aid Instructor, Instructor Trainer, and Master Instructor Trainer.  He has also previously held volunteer positions in Disaster Management as a responder and an Instructor.

Jason has participated in several First Aid Program revisions and on many committees, and counts the launch of a new program among the highlights of his volunteer work.

For his efforts, Jason received both the Red Cross Injury Prevention Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011 and the Joan Harvey Award for exceptional contributions to the First Aid Program.

 

Kyle Mohler – Core First Aid

Kyle is both a career firefighter at Halifax International Airport and a field training paramedic with Emergency Health Services Nova Scotia (Halifax/Dartmouth). He has been involved with Canadian Red Cross for over 10 years and began as a First Responder Instructor in 2005. He subsequently became an Emergency Medical Responder Instructor and Instructor Trainer. In 2013, he was appointed to the inaugural group of National Master Instructor Trainers for the First Aid Program.

Among his many notable achievements are the Canadian Red Cross Service Award (2014), Field Training Paramedic, EHS Nova Scotia, Canadian Forces decoration, and Canadian Forces Special Service Medal.

Kyle resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

Richard Czech – Core First Aid

Richard is a fire captain and training officer with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services. He is an active member of the Technical Rescue Team which includes high angle rescue, tower crane rescue, trench rescue, confined space rescue and CAN Task Force Heavy Urban Search and Rescue. He is also an Emergency Care Instructor and Instructor Trainer with the Canadian Red Cross and has been teaching Red Cross First Aid Programs for over 20 years. Richard resides in Nanaimo, BC.

Jodie Marshall (BC) – Core First Aid

Jodie arrived in Canada from the UK in 2008 as a landed immigrant and is a Canadian permanent resident (with his Canadian Citizenship application currently in progress!). Jodie and his lovely and very patient wife have two boys; Sam is six years old, and Max is four.
 
With a background in health & fitness and health & safety instruction, Jodie was fortunate enough to be able to begin his career as a primary care paramedic and a First Aid Instructor in 2010. He is currently a Program Manager for medical responder programs at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), which is a degree-granting post-secondary institute that delivers programs across many sectors including paramedicine, firefighting, policing, leadership, and conflict resolution, among others. Jodie also teaches First Aid and CPR, along with the Emergency Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic course, in BC.
 
Jodie’s professional passions include education and healthcare, two things he is able to combine in the workplace. Jodie is thrilled to be joining the Canadian Red Cross, an organization he has always wanted to be a part of.

 

Charna Young – Core First Aid

Charna began her affiliation with the Canadian Red Cross as a Water Safety Instructor in 1996. While at the University of Calgary completing her degree in kinesiology, Charna completed her First Aid Instructor certification while working for several Training Partners throughout Calgary. She is now a First Aid Instructor Trainer with almost 20 years of experience instructing Canadian Red Cross programs.

Charna still lives in Calgary and works part-time for an ambulance service while operating her own training institute with her business partner. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and three kids around a campfire.

Blair Doyle – Sub-group Chair, Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

Blair has an extensive outdoor and wilderness background and is responsible for establishing the Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid Programs in Atlantic Canada in his role as Instructor Trainer. He has been involved in ground search and rescue since 1988 and lends his experiential approach to wilderness knowledge to several organizations, government agencies and individuals through his consulting and training business. Blair resides in Halifax, NS.

Hugo Surprenant (QC) – Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

A proud father of three handsome young boys, Hugo Surprenant has been actively involved with the Canadian Red Cross for more than 30 years. With a background in aquatics (he still has fond memories of days spent lifeguarding in Hawaii and Australia while wearing a Speedo swimsuit!), Hugo comes equipped with an abundance of water safety knowledge.  

Teaching Red Cross programs full-time for the last 12 years has meant that Hugo has instructed various courses including Wilderness and Remote First Aid, First Responder, First Aid Instructor, and Advanced Emergency Care Instructor.

Proud to be a First Aid Program MIT for the last few years, Hugo is a firm believer in voluntary services, and knows firsthand how they help to improve organizations like the Canadian Red Cross. During a day off, you might find Hugo fishing, kayaking, hiking through the mountains with his family, or maybe travelling, scuba diving, or enjoying a barbecue with friends.

Bob Reside (MB) – Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

Bob is a First Aid Instructor Trainer, Advanced Wilderness and Remote First Aid Instructor, as well as an Advanced Emergency Care Instructor, who has been with the Canadian Red Cross since 2007. He has, additionally, been a volunteer with Disaster Management since 2011, and is an Emergency Response Team Site Manager. 
 
Employed with the Parks Canada Agency, Bob has been a Resource Management & Public Safety Specialist, Project Coordinator, Visitor Safety Coordinator, and Project Manager since 2008. As a Parks Canada representative, part of the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada – Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee, Bob has spent time working on the creation of national training competencies and the training curriculum for ground search and rescue. He is also the Parks Canada Agency representative on the Search and Rescue Manitoba (SARMAN) advisory council, and the Transport Canada Prairies and Northern Region Recreational Boating Council. 
 
Bob has a passion for emergency services, as well as for search and rescue.  A volunteer for the District Fire Rescue, he is currently based out of Riding Mountain National Park and lives with his wife in Manitoba.

Kevin Holder – Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

Kevin is a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Brandon, MB, where he also resides. He is a 30-year volunteer and has held various roles over the years including:  Chair of Brandon’s Injury Prevention Committee, Brandon Regional Council member, Disaster Management responder, and Water Safety Instructor Trainer. He also provides first aid services and education.

For his efforts, Kevin has received the Canadian Red Cross David Belfour Memorial Award (1995), Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Canadian Red Cross Volunteer (2002), Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Award (2010), and the Canadian Red Cross Distinguished Service Award (2014).

Dave Woolridge – Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

Dave started Ridge Wilderness Adventures in 2005. An avid paddler since age 11, he has paddled and instructed all over Canada and the northwestern United States, as well as across the globe, in countries such as England, Wales, and China. David is recognized by the canoe industry as a master instructor and lead developer of canoeing programs for Canada, and Ridge Wilderness Adventures is one of the leading providers for canoeing in BC.

Always one to be busy, Dave is also actively involved in first aid education as an Instructor Trainer for many different Red Cross First Aid Programs. He has taught Wilderness & Remote First Aid for BC Search and Rescue, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and serves as part of the Red Cross Instructor Trainer team working with BC RCMP on first aid equivalencies.

Dave and his company continually support groups who are working to protect our environment and waterways. 

Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht – Guest, Technical Specialist, Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

Dr. Giesbrecht is a professor and thermophysiologist at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he resides. He conducts research on human physiologic responses to environmental stress such as cold, heat and altitude. He also teaches courses on exercise physiology, research methods, and human thermophysiology.

Dr. Giesbrecht was involved with the Think Twice About Thin Ice campaigns and is co-creator of the Cold Water Boot Camp and Beyond Cold Water Boot Camp public education video projects. He is currently working as co-creator of the Baby It’s Cold Outside public education video project.

Among his many achievements, he was elected as a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association; earned the Blair Erb World Congress Award for worldwide impact on wilderness medicine from the Wilderness Medical Society; received the Ellingson Award for Scientific Writing Achievement within the Associate Fellows Group of the Aerospace Medical Association; and earned the Education and Training Award of the National Search and Rescue Program Awards of Excellence (Canada). 

Professional Responder

Michael Nemeth – Sub-group Chair, Professional Responder

Michael brings with him over 30 years of pre-hospital care experience as an educator, paramedic, infection control practitioner and Acting Chief Fire Training Officer. Michael joined the Canadian Red Cross First Aid family in 1995 and quickly transitioned through becoming an Instructor, Instructor Trainer and Master Instructor Trainer. In 2006, he was honoured with the highest Ontario First Aid Services volunteer award – the Joan Harvey Award – for his outstanding contribution to First Aid Programs.

A strong advocate of lifelong learning, mentoring and partnerships, Michael recently completed an undergraduate degree in conflict and dispute resolution, his Master’s in Disaster Management, and continues to contribute as an author for many medical texts and publications.

In his current role, he specializes in blended learning programs and strategies for over 3,000 staff which include pre-hospital care faculty and operational staff. He continually volunteers his time and expertise at municipal, provincial, national and international levels where he is often requested to lecture.

Sioban Kennedy (ON) – Sub-group Chair, Specialty (Marine First Aid and Wilderness & Remote First Aid)

Siobán is an advanced care paramedic professional with extensive clinical experience in pre-hospital medicine. Additionally, Siobán has experience as an educator and curriculum designer. An inquiring mind led Siobán to pursue graduate studies in Leadership, Training, and Project Management. Areas of research interest have included evidence-based medicine and its influence on the practice of paramedicine. She has also focussed on education curricula development that enhances knowledge translation and develops critical thinking that will lead to improved patient safety and clinical acumen, as well as the advancement of paramedicine along the health care continuum and in the community.
 
Siobán has been a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross for over 15 years, and has provided services in many areas. While working in Disaster Management and Prevention & Safety as an Instructor Trainer and a subject matter expert, she has been a tremendous contributor to the Canadian Red Cross. As a member of FATAG from 2010-2013, Siobán has also contributed to multiple program revisions, an exercise that was invaluable to our organization.
 
The Canadian Red Cross is thrilled to have Siobán joining the speciality sub-group.

Jason Durham – Professional Responder

Jason is a professional firefighter and Medical Responder Training Coordinator for West Kelowna Fire Rescue. He is a Canadian Red Cross Emergency Care Instructor Trainer and Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor Trainer. He is also a Training Partner with Red Cross, and owns and runs Frontline First Aid & Emergency Training in his hometown of Kelowna, BC.
 
Jason is married to Hali and they have two sons, Connor and Cameron.

Michael Skinner – Professional Responder

Mike has a firefighter/ALS paramedic with the City of Leduc Fire Services for the past six years.

He has worked in the field of emergency services for the past 24 years in two provinces, both in urban and rural settings. During this time he has been heavily involved in education, preceptorship, and mentorship, and has always taken a great interest in peer support. He considers himself fortunate to have taken on many roles: Tactical EMS (TEMS), CBRNE, flight paramedic, supervisor, and educator.

Mike is married to his wife of 20 years, Caralea, and is the proud father of two girls, whom he calls the light of his life. He has continued to give back to his profession and can always be found involved in a project or assisting to improve a variety of causes.

Domenic Filippelli – Professional Responder

Domenic has been in the fire service for 20 years both professionally and as a volunteer firefighter. He is currently a captain with Barrie Fire and Emergency Services. He has also worked part-time for 10 years as a paramedic for the County of Simcoe. For the past 12 years, Domenic has been an active Instructor and Instructor Trainer for the Canadian Red Cross Professional Responder Programs. He is also very active with Hockey Canada sports education programs and enjoys coaching his sons’ hockey teams.

 

Roger Mayo – Instructor Development Program

As the Deputy Chief/Associate EMS, Roger provides high-level emergency medical services knowledge and is directly accountable for direct communications and paramedic services to citizens of and visitors to Niagara region. He also provides operational support that includes business and financial administration, property and equipment management, quality assurance, training and information technology.

A resident of Burlington, ON, Roger has been a Red Cross volunteer since 1997. He assisted with the launch of the First Responder and Emergency Medical Responder Programs and the subsequent program revisions as part of the advisory committee. He has been a member of the First Aid Technical Advisory Group since 2009, first as sub-group co-chair for leadership, and currently as a standing member for the Instructor Development Program.

In 2012, Roger was honoured with the Joan Harvey Award – the highest Ontario First Aid Services volunteer award – for outstanding contribution to Red Cross First Aid Programs.

Diane Story – Guest – Educational Specialist, Instructor Development Program

Diane works as a Trauma Life Coach (Dip. LC), Red Cross First Aid Instructor and Instructor Trainer, educator and public speaker. Residing in Calgary, AB, she holds a master’s degree in education - adult and workplace learning, and has over 30 years’ experience as an active volunteer with Red Cross Water Safety and First Aid Programs. She was a member of the 2016 Water Safety Instructor Development Program revision team and is also an International Master Educator in First Aid for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Global First Aid Reference Centre.

In addition, Diane is an education specialist, Canadian Red Cross Advisor to the National First Aid Technical Advisory Committee, facilitator/program development team member for National Master Instructor Trainer Workshops, part of the Mental Health First Aid Program Development team and the National Master Instructor Trainer Mentoring Project Lead for the Instructor Trainer Support Network.

Kristopher Tharris – Guest – Educational Specialist, Instructor Development Program

Kristopher is an Educational Architect with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is also an Educational Consultant. He first became a Red Cross First Aid Instructor and volunteer in 2005. A former Red Cross staff member, Kristopher then became a Master Instructor Trainer Facilitator in 2013, then a First Aid Instructor Trainer in 2014.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Master’s in Educational Technology, and Master’s in Business Administration. He resides in Ottawa, ON, and is a father of two children.

Loriann Hynes (ON) – Guest, Technical Specialist

Dr. Loriann Hynes has been practicing as a Certified Athletic Therapist for over 18 years. She has taught prospective Athletic Therapists at Sheridan College for the past 15 years; in her move to York University, Loriann has taken on the position of Athletic Therapy Certificate Program Coordinator, where she now teaches in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. An Instructor for various Canadian Red Cross courses over the past 22 years, she has spent the last 15 years focused on delivering the Red Cross First Responder program.
 
Loriann’s professional experience and research background offer a unique approach to the identification, assessment and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries. Her research interests lie predominantly in the area of concussion and its relationship to injury via a whiplash mechanism.
 
Loriann has joined FATAG as a Technical Specialist.