Conference schedule


Delegates can choose to attend the Preconference session only or can attend in addition to the full conference.


9:30am - 10:00am MST
Finale: The Ultimate Survivor 2020

Kevin Paes

Join us for the finale of The Ultimate Survivor 2020. We will be holding our final council and once players are eliminated from the game...they need to leave the virtual stage (and become part of the audience!)

The Ultimate Survivor 2020 invites you and a team of three other delegates to face off against other teams in this fun game, testing your knowledge in areas of first aid, water safety education and injury prevention. Interested in becoming the Ultimate Survivor? All full conference delegates who register by Friday September 11 will be automatically entered to play!

Don't forget to check your email for details at the beginning of September and don't miss out on the Final Council meeting where we will announce the winners.

10:00am - 11:00am MST


11:00am - 2:00pm MST
Strategies For Improving Work Culture Using an Equity Mindset

Letecia Rose

This session will enable attendees to tackle these issues in meaningful ways by creating an opportunity to level set and gain an understanding of how to impact change. Through engaging in courageous conversations about race, discrimination and inequity with their peers, attendees will discover how to foster a culture tackling difficult issues and dialogues while creating spaces that allow organizations to thrive.

By the end of the session attendees will: Understand the key concepts and ideas needed to engage in change-oriented work; examine how inequities have negatively impacted Black and NBPOC individually, institutionally and systemically; gain strategies to deepen the organization’s connection to inclusion and equity; and, participate in courageous conversations to explore how to address these issues using an equity lens.


8:00am - 9:00am MST
Opening Remarks:
First Aid Guidelines Release

Join us for the Canadian release of the Global First Aid Reference Centre's 2020 IFRC First Aid, Resuscitation, and education guidelines.

The guidelines incorporate the latest in evidence-based practices for the best client outcome. The guidelines outline a learner-based approach, empowering participants to apply their first aid knowledge in real life scenarios.

The Canadian Red Cross is proud to be part of the Global FA Reference Centre's International team of experts developing the 2020 guidelines that will be used in 190 countries around the world. We would like to recognize the contributions of the following CRC staff and volunteers:

  • Don Marentette: 2020 Guidelines Steering Committee, Communication and Implementation Committee Chair
  • Kristopher Tharris: 2020 Guidelines Steering Committee, Program Manager
  • Michael Nemeth: 2020 Guidelines Communication and Implementation Task Force Coordinator

A full overview of the international steering committee members can be found here:

For more information on the 2020 or previous guidelines visit the Global FA reference centre's website here:


9:00am - 10:00am MST
Opening Keynote:
Your sense of humour & localizing Red Cross Strategies

Adam Growe

While there is room for making First Aid, Swimming and Water Safety Training fun, this session is not about being funny, or using comedy in your instruction. Adam has not only used comedy on-stage and television, but has also trained executives throughout North America on how to communicate with audiences to inspire positive action. Tapping into your sense of humour to better understand and connect with your audience - no matter where you are, who they are, and what you’re teaching - will help you tailor your instruction techniques to implement Red Cross content to meet the needs of your specific community. It will also advance your professional development and relationship building skills.

10:00am - 10:30am MST

10:30am - 11:30am MST


Session 1

Resilience Tools For Your Community

Recent disasters have reinforced how emergencies damage and destroy critical personal support systems. Disasters have also highlighted the importance of resilience to build strong communities that can withstand and bounce back in the face of a disaster. The constructs of what leads resilient communities is still unclear. In this session, we will explore potential constructs of resilience such as self-efficacy, social support, spirituality and socio-cultural factors. We will pair each construct with a hands-on approach and collect the ideas from each group to produce a white paper on the concept of resilience.


Session 2

CPR and Drowning Prevention in the Era of COVID-19

We have spent the last several years emphasizing the importance of immediate rescue breaths to interrupt the drowning process. Some lifeguard groups even do rescue breathing in the water to get oxygen to the brain as quickly as possible. Late 2019 saw the emergence of a novel (new) virus, SARS-CoV-2, which caused a global pandemic of COVID-19. When faced with a resuscitation, Lifeguards become essential frontline healthcare workers. This session will discuss the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and how to stay safe during first aid and resuscitation, with an emphasis on drowning resuscitation and CPR.

11:30am - 1:00pm MST

1:00pm - 2:00pm MST


Session 1

Cultural Awareness, Competency and Humility - Program and Classroom Considerations and Disparities in Pediatric CPR

With a growing body of evidence of healthcare disparities including bystander CPR, pain management and chest pain management many healthcare professions (e.g. emergency medicine and emergency medical services (EMS)) have started to look at contributing factors including cultural humility, awareness and competency of providers and educators. This session will examine the evidence related to these disparities, the definitions surrounding this complex issue and how cultural humility relates to the delivery of first aid education. Participants will engage in a discussion and activity related to unconscious bias allowing them to reflect on how a greater understanding of cultural competency, diversity and inclusion may positively impact the classroom. The session will conclude with a set of recommendations for instructors, program designers and providers.


Session 2

Pandora's Box: What Lifeguards And Lay Responders Have Taught Us

Paul Snobelen

This presentation will focus on what started out as an investigation into chronically low bystander CPR and AED use that quickly turned into opening Pandora's Box. During the first informal conversations with those who acted to save a life, lifeguards and lay responders communicated some form of mental trauma effects in their daily life, including a wide range of acute physical and/or psychological reactions to the event. For some individuals, acute stress reactions caused enough distress to interfere with everyday activities. These findings resulted in the application of Psychological First Aid principles and the development of the Lay Responder Support Model. This model now provides feedback to professionals/scholars in health sciences, aquatics, mental health, and first aid education. This presentation will explore our journey of learning, and realities as we opened Pandora's Box following up with sudden cardiac arrests.

2:00pm - 2:30pm MST

2:30pm - 3:30pm MST


Session 1

Gazing Back to Look Forward: Storytelling in Education

We create connection through our stories: both those that encourage us to reflect on that which has happened and to project ourselves into the future.

Telling stories is an art of understanding. Through sharing our stories, we find ways to connect to one another and situate our own understanding within the context of storyteller’s world. This workshop requires participants to come ready to share stories with one another by providing a framework of both reflection and projection. Storytelling invokes affective learning that is an effective strategy to increase both engagement and retention.

The flip side of storytelling lets us look forward and create goals to which we can aspire. The process of describing the future helps us to envision challenges and determine what needs to be different in our lives today to reach our goals. As educators, it is important to examine our own practice in facilitating learning in order to innovate and grow.

Come prepared to share your experiences as educators.


Session 2

What's in a Name?

Leslie White

In the Aquatics industry job titles, descriptions, and accountabilities vary significantly across Canada and even in individual provinces and areas. Discuss consistency and transparency in the aquatics job market. Network through discussions about creating aquatics professional job opportunities and how your organization can use job evaluation criteria to set the bar higher and be able to exceed it!

3:30pm - 4:00pm MST

4:00pm - 5:00pm MST


Session 1

Disco-ing your CPR Education

In this interactive session, participants will consider and build on CPR education research from the United States. With a focus on different learning outcomes within the Chain of Survival Behaviors - Knowledge, Skills, Intention to Aid, participants will develop their skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Using directional feedback manikins/ devices in their class sessions
  • Assessing participants confidence in achieving all or any outcomes
  • View and assessing video that demonstrate actual instructors using feedback for outcomes
  • Modeling and having participants model various means for achieving different learning outcomes
  • Providing assessment tool for which they could assess outcomes at home and experiment with different approaches to feedback

Session 2

Fostering Partnerships with Indigenous Communities through Meaningful Engagement

Meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities is a big step forward on the path to reconciliation. Understanding that engagement is not a “one size fits all” endeavour and working from a strength-based approach which focuses on community assets to promote positive growth are key to developing a long-lasting partnership. By capitalizing on local knowledge, expertise and vision, this approach encourages sustainability by empowering communities to take ownership over project direction, prioritization and resource allocation.

Non-Indigenous community organizations have a role to play in supporting community resilience by increasing accessibility to programs and leadership training in First Aid and Water Safety, while still remembering to work with Indigenous communities, not for them.

CRC will present on how both communities can begin to work together by identifying strengths and needs, as well as, share strategies to work effectively and collaboratively with Indigenous communities. Delegates will also be provided with an opportunity to begin developing their own engagement strategy.

5:00pm - 6:00pm MST


6:00pm - 7:00pm MST
The Adam Growe Quiz Show, Survival 2020 Edition

Adam Growe

Win prizes and play interactively as you take a virtual ride w/ The Cash Cab Guy, Adam Growe. This fun, entertaining and engaging event will feature trivia questions inspired by International Red Cross programs, people and the communities we serve.


8:45am - 9:00am MST
Morning Remarks


9:00am - 10:00am MST

John Napier

At some point in our lives we have faced adversity. How did we manage to move forward? How have we thrived? We are currently all immersed in the same Tidal Wave of adversity; the global COVID 19 pandemic. How is it affecting us and how are we able to become more resilient and emerge from this experience as stronger, more connected, and self-aware human beings? How can we use this renewed sense of self to improve the lives of others around us? This session explores how each of us are experiencing the same situation and how each of our experiences are different. We will look at how to specifically channel our diverse energy to create better connection to both ourselves and to others.

10:00am - 10:30am MST

10:30am - 11:30am MST


Session 1

Consulting, Interpreting And Using First Aid Research Evidence

Do you believe that health decision making should be driven by robust scientific research? Have you browsed the International Journal of First Aid Education and started reading the papers, but got scared off by specialist terms such as "randomized crossover trial", "convenience sample" and "linear mixed models analyses"? Have no fear, Cochrane First Aid is here!

During this learner-based session, you will be familiarized with different aspects of scientific research. During the first part of the session, you will learn more on how high-quality scientific studies are conceived, conducted and analyzed. In the second part, you will learn how to read and interpret published articles and systematic reviews that report on these studies' (synthesized) findings. Third, you will be introduced to the Cochrane First Aid Field, a global independent platform that not only bundles the available scientific evidence related to first aid topics, but also tries to lower the bar towards the use of evidence and aspires to act as a bridge between science and practice. Last but not least, you will find out how you can contribute and get to share your ideas on how the Field may satisfy your needs.

You will leave the session room with increased knowledge, skills and confidence in how to retrieve, consult and interpret the results of first aid research. Moreover, you will know how Cochrane First Aid may help you to integrate the use of reliable evidence in your everyday first aid life.


Session 2

Structured Scanning for Lifeguards

Currently, there are spirited discussions amongst lifeguards and lifeguard training agencies regarding whether there is empirical research that supports using the prescribed scan patterns found in various lifeguard training textbooks. Further, the possibility/probability that following prescribed scanning patterns can cause lifeguard’s inattentional blindness during patron surveillance and lead to drowning will be covered during this presentation.

Inattentional Blindness (IB) is the incapacity to notice a fully visible person or object with a viewer’s perceptual field while the viewer’s attentional choice is directed to something or someone else in the visual field. The Invisible Gorilla video clip illustrates this concept and will be shown and discussed.

The behaviour surveillance techniques found in sweep scanning strategies is not a predictive location surveillance strategy. This sweep scanning technique assigns equal expected frequency of impending peril of swimmer in distress or a drowning person to all individuals in the area of a lifeguard’s surveillance responsibility. Descriptions and handouts of the prescribed scanning patterns will be discussed.

We will spend time talking about ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a lifeguard scanning strategy, take into consideration using prescribed scan pattern during patron surveillance and how it can contribute to a lifeguard’s inattentional blindness, and discuss lifeguard boredom as another alleged contributing factor to drowning at regulated facilities.

11:30am - 1:00pm MST

1:00pm - 2:00pm MST


Session 1

Psychological First Aid (PFA) - Think Pair And Share Examining The Challenges And Successes Of The Past 3 Years

Think Pair And Share Examining The Challenges And Successes Of The Past 3 Years- It has been a few years since the launch of PFA at the Conference in Niagara Falls and the program is starting to take some solid roots now and interest is finally starting to take hold. The PFA Program is generating momentum in Canada and around the world. Let’s share our successes and challenges with the program so far. What worked and what did not in advertising and facilitation? Share your favorite teaching technique, share your lesson plans and at the end we can all share and pair our methods to make our facilitation better.


Session 2

Building Safer Communities - Creative Innovative Approaches to Prevent Drownings

This session will engage multi sectoral experts in the creation of innovative approaches, recommendations and outcome statements linked to the following three (3) questions:

  1. How can experts better engage with parents / guardians / caregivers to promote the importance of undistracted supervision to eliminate drownings among children 1 to 4 years of age in all settings?
    • a. What programs / resources currently exist and are easily accessible to parents / guardians / caregivers to prepare them for unintentional water entry situations as rescuers?
    • b. What programs / resources are needed / have yet to be developed to prepare parents / guardians / caregivers for unintentional water entry situations as rescuers?
    • a. What types of legislation / regulations / standards / by-laws are needed at the federal, provincial / territorial, municipal levels to promote undistracted parent / guardian / caregiver supervision of children 1 to 4 years of age while on / in / near water?
    • b. What types of legislation / regulations / standards / by-laws are needed at the federal, provincial / territorial, and municipal levels to support rescuer (i.e., parent / guardian / caregiver) safety in scenarios involving unintentional water entries?

2:00pm - 2:30pm MST


2:30pm - 3:30pm MST
Closing Keynote:
Leading Greatness

As I develop my own company and talk about the importance of relationships across all other aspects of life, I’ve come to understand that system leaders are some of the most powerful people on the planet. And good leaders understand the importance of relationships first. It has also become clear to me that while good leaders are rare, they can be made. The steps to create a connected, relationship-based team are shockingly simple to do (on paper), but require remarkable courage in action. They require brave leaders who aren’t scared to step into discomfort, to excavate the unsaid, and who understand that trust is built in the small moments. We know, without a doubt, that people with a common goal are exponentially more committed and productive; how we get them there makes all the difference.


Delegates can choose to attend the Post Conference session only or can attend in addition to the full conference. Post Conference Webinar is a free event.


11:00am - 12:30pm MST
2020 First Aid Guidelines and Protocols for Canadians

Be among the first to learn about the 2020 Red Cross First Aid Guidelines and Protocols for Canadians! The 2020 Canadian Red Cross First Aid & Resuscitation Education Guidelines are the first built by Canadians for Canadians and are developed from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Guidelines (where Canadian Red Cross played a leading role).

The 2020 Canadian Red Cross First Aid & Resuscitation Education Guidelines set the standard for first aid education in Canada.

We will cover:

  • First Aid Guidelines
  • What the science tells us is important to improve overall care
  • How we educate people matters
  • What the Guidelines mean to Canadians
  • How the Guidelines affect the future of Red Cross programs


Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Click here to reserve your spot.