Remote First Aid for Newcomers

Topics: Manitoba, Winnipeg, Migrant and Refugee Services
Michelle Palansky | July 08, 2020

The SmartStart Injury Prevention program helps newcomers prepare for emergency situations in their new country. Topics range from understanding how to access 911 to water safety to cold weather preparedness. The information covered is critical to the safety and wellbeing of new Canadians.

Traditionally, SmartStart sessions are held in-person but the pandemic made that impossible. Sessions halted in March. Determined to continue, the Winnipeg program coordinator, Gail Henderson Brown, switched to remote presentations in May.

The initial feedback has been positive and bodes well for the continuation of an important Red Cross service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Red Cross volunteer said: “It was really a good learning experience and nice to know we could do presentations on Zoom with participants at this time.”

A staff participant said: “It was insightful and informative. I particularly found the prep session on drowning very helpful. I felt it gave them an opportunity to work through day-to-day scenarios, sensibly. The 911 calls were useful to give them good role plays and learn from them.”

Learn more about the program and find contact information for resources near you.
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