Alberta Volunteer John Napier Inducted Into the Order of Red Cross

Topics: Alberta, Volunteer
Shelly Makrugin | January 31, 2023

“Volunteering has provided me the opportunity to connect with so many people, some in times of need, others in times of joy.  It has truly nourished my soul.”
John Napier is well-known in first aid and swimming and water safety. The long-time volunteer was inducted into the Order of Red Cross, Member Level, at a small gathering in Calgary this fall.
“My reaction to receiving the Order of the Red Cross was truly humbling. I was truly surprised the moment it was presented to me.”
Napier is an active leader in the aquatic industry in his community and nationally as he shares his experience, knowledge, and skills with others. He has been an integral part of the Psychological First Aid (PFA) Program, promoting and teaching it locally and nationally. As a Master Instructor Trainer, he mentors water safety instructors and instructor trainers and for the past two years, he has helped create a new virtual Aquatic Programmer Course. Napier, however, doesn’t think of himself as extraordinary.

“I have known others who received this honour and to me they exemplify what this award represents, which is ‘extraordinary people who have provided outstanding humanitarian service.’  I do not necessarily feel that I fall into that category as I consider myself quite ordinary.”

One of Napier’s volunteer experience highlights began in 2014. Napier was part of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), Zhoushan Water Safety Instructor Training (WSIT) pilot project and traveled to China in support, returning a year later to run a Water Safety conference for the Chinese Red Cross provincial branches to help them understand the importance of learning water safety and swimming to reduce national drowning rates.
“I also had the opportunity to directly teach swimming and water safety to some of the migrant children. I just remember the smiling faces of the children enjoying the water in a safe environment.” 

Napier says another highlight was instructing his first Psychological First Aid course, where he was being mentored by an Instructor Trainer whom he had just met. He says they have since become lifelong friends. 

The Red Cross is proud to call Napier a volunteer and honoured that he chooses to share his time, energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge with us. Annual appointments of the Order of Red Cross are limited to 25 Members; five Officers, and three Companions.
If you would like to get involved, learn more about how to volunteer with us.
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