New Water Safety Training to Support Canadians

Topics: Alberta, Water Safety
October 18, 2019

From inclusive swim programs to aquatic pet care, a range of new Canadian Red Cross initiatives is helping people stay safe on the water.

At the tenth annual Alberta Water Safety Conference organized by Red Cross, participants learned that vulnerable populations often face more discrimination than other Canadians because of gender identity.  

At the Edmonton conference in October, people heard about a new training strategy for Red Cross swim instructors that introduces the use of inclusive language to ensure everyone feels welcome in our courses and programs.

Red Cross is also introducing emotional wellness training for instructors and lifeguards. The new Psychological First Aid course teaches people how to care for themselves and provides skills to recognize and help others in distress.

“We’re always striving to improve water safety,” said Kevin Paes, Red Cross manager of Swimming and Water Safety in Canada. “We are launching new tools and programs that enhance the training and skills of instructors and lifeguards to meet the needs of people in their communities.“

Conference participants tested one of those new tools; a weighted mannequin used for pool rescue training. The 30-kg. figure is heavy, awkward and effectively simulates a drowning victim.

Participants also learned about family pets and water safety. “A dog needs to be introduced to water like a child or new swimmer,” says Christie Springs, dog trainer and conference presenter.

Learn more about the Water Safety Courses offered by the Canadian Red Cross and choose one that’s right for you.