First Aid Kit “Wolf”

When I saw the group named First Aid Kit, I thought I was confusing something. Sure enough, a peek into YouTube reveals that the band not only exists, but they sound incredibly good.

Check out First Aid Kit “Wolf”

Number of first aid trainees low: poll

Recent polling by the Red Cross shows that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians say they have been in an emergency situation where they have had to perform first aid, however, only 18 per cent are currently certified.

The Canadian Red Cross is calling on all Canadians to ensure they have the skills needed to save lives when an emergency happens.

While many people believe first aid is usually administered on strangers, polling shows that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians who have had to provide first aid did so to help a family member.

There is a significant gap between Canadians’ perception of the importance of taking a first aid course and actually taking one. Although nearly 98 per cent of Canadians say knowing how to perform first aid is important, 82 per cent have not taken a first aid course within the last three years.

For more information or to find a course near you, visit

Source: EMC News

Managing Mental Health at Work

John Binns, a partner in the consulting practice at U.K.-based Deloitte LLP, assumed his career “would be finished” after he took a two-month leave in 2007 to treat a severe bout of depression.

When he told his bosses, they assured him that they would support any effort to get him back to health and working again, encouragement that the 54-year-old Mr. Binns calls “massively instrumental in speeding up my recovery.” Still, milder symptoms had festered for nearly a year before a worsening of his condition forced him to come forward.

At Work: When to Talk About Mental Illness
“There was no culture of talking about mental health or recognizing that some of our best and brightest people, statistically, would have a mental-health issue,” he says.

That’s not uncommon, and it’s becoming problematic for companies as an increasing number of adults seek treatment for psychiatric disorders. While firms appear eager to support employee wellness initiatives, managers are wary of getting too deeply involved in staffers’ private health issues. Firms can open the door by offering free, confidential hotlines or generous leave policies, but they can’t force employees to volunteer details of their conditions.

Most workers have at least a few colleagues who struggle with depression or anxiety. More than one in four American adults has a diagnosable mental-health disorder, and one in 17 has a serious disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But chances are their co-workers—and managers—have no idea who they are.

Intentionally or not, “corporations encourage a climate of keeping things under wraps,” says Dr. Jeffrey P. Kahn, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that companies provide “reasonable accommodation” for employees with disabilities. For someone with a diagnosed mental illness, such accommodations may include anything from offering flexible work hours to allow for weekly therapy sessions, to reassigning the employee to a role with fewer deadlines. The HR office coordinates the effort, generally without ever telling the boss why such accommodations are being made.

Prudential Financial Inc.  offers an employee assistance program, training for managers to spot distress among employees, health clinics that screen for mood instability and more. Still, the company recommends employees stop short of telling managers about their diagnoses, says Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, vice president of health and wellness. “We don’t want managers to be acting as surrogate counselors,” he says.

Meanwhile, DuPont is training managers to identify signs of distress in workers, though conversations with a boss about a diagnosis “would never be encouraged,” says Paul W. Heck, global manager of employee assistance and WorkLife services. Managers who do identify distress are asked to remind employees of the assistance program, which can offer free counseling.

Deloitte’s Mr. Binns brought together a group of company executives and mental-health experts in late 2008 to create Mental Health Champions, which taps unofficial confidants for employees struggling with mental-health or emotional problems. Mr. Binns estimates that 50 to 60 people in his office seek help each year. The “champions” aren’t trained medical professionals, but they can provide details on available support and managing disclosure.

Complicating such efforts are employees’ fears that disclosing a mental illness will derail their careers—a valid concern.

Details about a serious mental illness are fair game when researching a job candidate, says Dr. Patricia Cook, chairman and CEO of Cook & Co., a Bronxville, N.Y., executive search firm. Such psychological troubles are “reasons for red flags,” she says, and can raise questions about potential future success.

Mentions of depression or obsessive compulsive disorder, which Dr. Cook, a licensed psychologist, calls “diagnostic titles du jour,” are a bit less worrisome.

Symptoms of some disorders may even be helpful in the office, some say. A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder, for example, could be seen as a perfectionist with a few quirks.

Dr. Cook once considered a candidate for an executive-level position whose prior supervisor alerted her to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The candidate was eliminated from the shortlist; she says she provided an “ego-acceptable excuse” without disclosing specifically that it was because of his mental illness.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D., Ill.) is facing calls to withdraw from the November ballot following his announcement earlier this month that he suffers from bipolar disorder. Mr. Jackson withheld details of his diagnosis for months, possibly because he was haunted by the political implosion of Thomas Eagleton, whose depression helped kill George McGovern’s 1972 presidential aspirations.

Dr. Kahn once treated a manager who didn’t submit insurance claims for his therapy sessions, fearing the details would make their way back to his employer. Upon receiving a promotion to a more senior position, the man finally sent in those claims. Executives may be more comfortable disclosing their mental-health histories, Dr. Kahn says, because they see themselves as “immune from adverse effects, which they largely are.”

Dr. Rich Chaifetz, CEO of employee assistance program provider ComPsych Corp., says client companies are only told how many employees utilize the service, or how often. They might break down the population by gender, age or issues with which they’re dealing, but employers aren’t told who called in, or what they sought help with.

Federal and local laws protect people with disabilities, including serious mental illnesses, but employers “can always comment on somebody’s actual observed performance, behavior [and] interactions in the workplace,” says Katharine Parker, co-head of the employment law counseling and training group at Proskauer Rose LLP.

Gabe Howard worked in information technology at a large Ohio company when he was diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders in 2004, spending several days in the hospital after having suicidal thoughts. Thinking his leave wasn’t unlike time off for surgery or family needs, he openly discussed the reason for his absence.

The fallout was immediate: One co-worker said that Mr. Howard would have succeeded at committing suicide had he really wanted to die; another accused him of ditching work. He was eventually let go after supervisors complained about his absences and even questioned his diagnosis. He now works as a mental-health advocate and speaker.

Bob Carolla, director of media relations for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, recommends against disclosing a mental-health issue to a manager, if possible, and certainly not in a job interview. “It’s not a skill or part of the qualifications that an employer is looking for,” he says.

Most of the time, anyway. Fifteen years ago, when Mr. Carolla was hired by NAMI, his own history with depression, he says, was “a big selling point.”

Article written by Melissa Korn reachable at

A version of this article appeared August 29, 2012, on page B6 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Managing Mental Health on the Job.

“Suicide first aid” program innovative

A program designed to teach teens about suicide intervention is a proactive, innovative approach to an issue that continues to impact our community.

ASIST Lambton offers a two-day workshop teaching “suicide first aid” in which participants learn the risk factors and how to broach the subject of suicide with a person at risk. Following another string of local teen suicides over the past school year, ASIST organizers says they are hearing from participants struggling to wrap their heads around the tragedies.

Community businesses and non-profits in Sarnia-Lambton have recognized the need for this awareness training in our community and offered the training free of charge to our young people. Bluewater Health and the Sarnia Rotary and Kiwanis clubs sponsored two workshops for teens this spring. In June Bluewater Power paid for 11 more to attend the two-day sessions.

Suicide is an issue in our community that some would rather not discuss. But burying our heads in the sand on this issue will not make the problem go away. Thank goodness we have forward-thinking organizations like ASIST Lambton who have taken this issue and stood up to the plate. We are equally lucky to have organizations like Bluewater Health, Bluewater Power and our dedicated service clubs join forces to support such an innovative program.

What better way to more effectively communicate the issue than through teens talking to teens. In their darkest hour talking to a friend may be the last resort for a desperate teen contemplating suicide.

It’s hard for us to imagine what drives some of our teens to end their lives. While the pain is unbearable for those left to mourn their loss, it’s comforting to know our community is working to pull the issue of suicide out of the closet. Banding together as a community to discuss this issue and knowing the early warning signs of suicide will better educate us in a prevention role. We applaud those involved in this program and pray for its success.

– Rod Hilts

Source: The  Sarnia Observer

Latest knowledge in resuscitation science guides AED/CPR programs and training

Just as in any medical field, researchers in resuscitation science continually search for new knowledge that can lead to better patient care. In the workplace, the latest discoveries in resuscitation science can be applied to CPR training and to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) used to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Untreated sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in occupational settings, according to OSHA, with the agency estimating about 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur at work each year.

To communicate the latest knowledge about resuscitation for application in emergency situations, the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2010 updated its Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science for implementation in 2011.

In these most recent guidelines, AHA emphasizes the importance of chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute. This “hands only” method of providing CPR was recommended after medical studies demonstrated that fast, 2-inch deep chest compressions to adult victims are associated with survival with good neurologic function. While the 30:2 ratio of chest compressions to rescue breaths is still recommended, the emphasis now is on initiating chest compressions before rescue breathing, delivering them without interruption, and allowing full chest recoil after each compression.

Another guideline that often goes unnoticed is that the AED should be used as soon as possible, rather than after CPR. Previous guidelines directed rescuers to provide one and a half to three minutes of CPR before placing the AED pads on the victim. “Shock first” is now recommended because “speed to shock” is associated with higher survival rates. About 90 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims shocked within the first few minutes after arrest survive, and survival rates decline with each passing minute. Only about 10 percent of victims shocked after 10 minutes survive.

The guidelines help to further refute a few common myths of sudden cardiac arrest, CPR, and AEDs still alive in many workplaces.

Myth 1: CPR alone can save a sudden cardiac arrest victim. CPR should be provided only until the time an AED is available because only an AED can determine whether or not a patient’s heart is arrhythmic and provide defibrillation. CPR alone cannot save a sudden cardiac arrest’s victim’s life; it can only buy time.

Myth 2: An AED is not needed; just call EMS. While EMS personnel have the knowledge and tools needed to save a sudden cardiac arrest victim, they often simply cannot reach the victim quickly enough. According to a USA Today investigative report, EMS responders usually take from six to 12 minutes to treat a sudden cardiac arrest victim. For the best chance of survival, a victim should be treated in less than three to five minutes. Most untreated sudden cardiac arrest victims die within 10 minutes.

Myth 3: AEDs malfunction often. The Food and Drug Administration has recognized the effectiveness of AEDs in saving lives. According to The New York Times, Dr. Bram D. Zuckerman, director of the division of cardiovascular devices in the FDA Office of Device Evaluation, said that “there’s no question these are life-sustaining, life-saving devices.” The number of device malfunctions is small compared to the number of the times AEDs are used without malfunction or to save a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s life. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Americans have their lives saved by an AED each year.

Myth 4: AEDs are complicated instruments that are difficult to use. A University of Washington study demonstrated that the average sixth grader can operate an AED successfully. Non-medical volunteers, including workplace response teams, represent the largest group of people using AEDs, according to a study by the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium. Indeed, several scientific studies have demonstrated that public-access AEDs used by non-medical responders are increasing the numbers of sudden cardiac arrest survivors more than any other kind of medical intervention.

Recent Medical Studies Drove Changes
Before the publication of the 2005 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC, two studies suggested a potential benefit of providing CPR before providing a shock with an AED. However, prior to the publication of the 2010 guidelines, two newer studies found that CPR prior to defibrillation was not associated with a higher survival rate. And in August 2011, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that extending the time CPR was provided prior to AED treatment did not improve outcomes.

In many real-life rescue situations, one rescuer can provide CPR while another person retrieves the AED. In this way, CPR can still be provided pre-shock without delaying the speed to shock. Rescuers should initiate chest compressions before giving rescue breaths, following the 100 compressions per minute and 30:2 ratio of compressions to rescue breaths, the guidelines advise.

Consistent with the emphasis on chest compressions, the “look, listen and feel for breathing” guideline was removed from the CPR sequence in the 2010 guidelines. The CPR sequence now begins with compressions if the victim is unresponsive, not breathing, or only gasping; after the first set of chest compressions, the airway is opened and the rescuer delivers two breaths.

There is no timeframe for providing CPR prior to AED treatment. Responders should continue to provide CPR until an AED or EMS arrives. The AED checks the heart rhythm and provides a shock if the heart is arrhythmic. After each shock, the rescuer should provide CPR for two minutes before the AED checks the heart rhythm and provides another shock if necessary.

Defibrillation Waveforms and Energy Levels
The latest guidelines also clarify an industry debate by declaring it is not possible to recommend a definitive biphasic energy level for first or subsequent shocks. The guidelines state, “Data from both out-of-hospital and in-hospital studies indicate that biphasic waveform shocks at energy settings comparable to or lower than 200-J monophasic shocks have equivalent or higher success for termination of VF (ventricular fibrillation). However, the optimal energy for first-shock biphasic waveform defibrillation has not been determined. Likewise, no specific waveform characteristic (either monophasic or biphasic) is consistently associated with a greater incidence of ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) or survival to hospital discharge after cardiac arrest.”

Training and Equipping Response Teams
Your AEDs’ audio and video instructional prompts must match the latest guidelines. Make sure your AED manufacturer offers software updates that can make an AED’s audio and video prompts current. For example, your audio and video instructions must direct users to provide compressions before rescue breaths and to use the AED as soon as possible.

In addition, refreshing your response team’s CPR/AED training certification will bring them up to date with the latest knowledge about resuscitation incorporated into the five-step chain of survival: call 911, early CPR, rapid defibrillation, effective advanced life support, and integrated post-cardiac arrest care. For example, they will learn how to do 100 deep chest compressions per minute and how to fit the appropriate amount of rescue breathing into an emergency response.

Some AED manufacturers produce AEDs that can serve as training aids, with one model providing video and voice coaching and on-demand video help. This feature enables the workplace response team to practice after receiving certification training and to gain confidence before responding to a real-life emergency.

Because many incidents of sudden cardiac arrest occur in the workplace, it’s important for employers to have up-to-date AED/CPR programs. To accomplish this objective, each workplace should have a point person who is responsible for making sure AEDs are properly maintained. This program manager also should make sure that response team members are certified and re-certified with refresher courses and that the program meets all other state and local requirements. In addition, a medical professional with expertise in emergency response, such as a physician, nurse, or EMS professional, should oversee your AED program.

It’s likely that the American Heart Association will update its guidelines again either in or before 2015 as new knowledge about resuscitation science is discovered. By that time, AEDs will be even more commonplace and expected by your employees and customers. Now is the time to implement or update your AED program, before a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in your workplace. By being prepared, you can turn a tragedy into a celebration. Rather than having to deal with the unpleasant aftermath of an employee’s death, you can experience the satisfaction that goes along with saving a colleague’s life.

This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

Red Cross Social Media – CPR tweet-ups

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Twitter could be a life-saver; News1130 is speaking with the Red Cross about how social media is helping educate and train people who may find themselves in an emergency situation.

Karen Snider with Red Cross says some high-profile bloggers have become part of their “Twitter-Team” to help get word out, and events like their CPR tweet-ups have proved to be invaluable.

“It was a way for us to invite Twitter users to ( read the rest of the article )

Security Guard- Occupational First Aid Specialist | Vancouver Aquarium

Position Summary

The Security Guard – Occupational First Aid Specialist will oversee the management of the first aid program at the Vancouver Aquarium, in addition to conducting the duties of an Aquarium Security Guard.


Provides assistance to the Security Department by:

    • Performing all the regular duties of a Security Guard
    • Provides supervision to Security Guards in the absence of the Security Manager and Senior Security Officer

Assists the Security Manager in managing the First Aid Program at the Vancouver Aquarium by:

    • Creates organizational first aid prevention policies and ensures all employees are informed on departmental policies and procedures related to first aid and safety;
    • In consultation with the Security Manager, developing and executing regular first aid training sessions others;
    • Responsible for maintenance, auditing and stocking of all first aid equipment; establishing minimum stocking levels for essential items and ensuring that they are maintained;
    • Leading first aid team on first aid calls; using good judgment in choosing when to act as primary attendant and when to refer to emergency services (e.g. 911 attendants);
    • Ensuring Aquarium compliance with Worksafe BC regulations related to first aid and safety.

Participates in the Health and Safety committee by:

    • Maintaining departmental first aid statistics and reporting to Health & Safety committee;
    • Sitting on the Health & Safety committee and advising on matters related to first aid and safety and prepares safety plans (e.g. fall protection, confined space, etc) as directed by chair of Health & Safety committee;

Other Duties:

    • Performs additional duties as required.
    • Continually improves our impact on the environment and greening of operations.


Education and Experience

    • Minimum secondary school diploma or equivalent
    • Minimum Occupational First Aid (OFA) II (OFA III strongly preferred);
    • BC Security Worker license;
    • BC class 5 driver’s license;
    • Minimum 3 years experience as a practicing First Aid Attendant
    • Certificate or courses in Occupational Health & Safety or Construction Safety are considered an asset
    • Occupational First Aid Instructor Certification is an asset


    • Demonstrated ability to write first aid policies and safety plans (e.g. fall protection, confined space, etc).
    • Active demonstration of the company’s values and mission.

To Apply Click Here

12 Campbell River mine workers injured in bus crash

By Renee Andor – Campbell River Mirror
Published: December 15, 2011 3:23 PM
Updated: December 15, 2011 3:23 PM

A bus carrying workers from Myra Falls Mine rolled onto its side Wednesday evening, injuring 12 people of 16 people on board.

According to North Island Traffic Services’ Cpl. Scott Rennie, the accident happened around 6:45 p.m. on Highway 28 near Elk River Main Line.

David Keiver, human resources superintendent for NVI Mining, said while 12 people were taken to hospital, the injured mine workers seemed to be in “good shape.”

“Two of them were kept overnight for further observation, but everybody else was released after being checked out,” said Keiver. “Certainly they got some bumps and bruises – everybody seemed to be in very good shape so we’re quite pleased about that.”

However, the Mirror has learned that one man has more serious injuries – four broken ribs and a punctured lung – and will remain in hospital under observation.

Rennie said the accident is still under investigation, but winter driving conditions definitely played a part.

Road conditions were described as “extremely slippery, fresh wet snow, on top of an already wet roadway,” Rennie said. “Given what the weather conditions were at the time it would definitely have played a factor, as to what degree, well that’s still to be determined.”

NVI Mining employee Ed Judd told CTV News Vancouver Island he was in another bus that turned around when the bus behind them flipped on its side and slid down a short embankment of about three feet.

“It went on it’s side and all the windows on the side got busted out so some guys got cut, some guys have neck injuries, lacerations,” Judd told CTV.

He said many of the people on board his bus had their first aid certificates, as the course is paid for by NVI Mining, so employees from his bus helped until paramedics arrived.

“They went into action right way, got everybody off the bus, secured the injured parties until the ambulances got there,” Judd said.

Rennie said five or six ambulances ( Read more … )

First Aid Training Every Thursday & 3rd Saturday | Lower Mainland

Occupational First Aid Level 1

Vancouver Location
1770 East 18th Avenue, Vancouver

Every Thursday 
and the third Saturday of each month

$85 per person  

8 hours
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Call to Register – Limited Space

Langley Location
102, 9440 – 202nd Street, Langley

Every Tuesday


Register: 604.873.6018
or book your own private group

OFA Level 1 training is intended for workplaces 20 minutes or less surface travel time from medical aid and covers the basics of keeping a patient alive until help can arrive. Must be 16 years of age or over.


Northumberland school board initiates mental health first aid training

Fantastic News

NORTHUMBERLAND — A new initiative providing mental health first aid training has begun in the public school board.

Spearheaded by Dr. Deanna Swift, manager of professional services for Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, the program is a 14-hour training course developed to help people provide initial support to youth ages 12 to 24 who may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

It teaches people how to recognize the symptoms of mental health, provide initial help, and guide a person towards appropriate professional help, Dr. Swift said. Four qualified school board trainers are currently in the process of training secondary special education, student success, guidance, and co-operative education staff.

“The program began this year with training being provided to most at-risk groups,” said Dr. Swift. “It aims at focusing on teachers’ abilities to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and provide knowledge on how to help, as well as a framework on how to approach and assist the student.”

Eventually and depending on the program’s success, there is a possibility training will be provided to all administrators and special education teachers in elementary schools as well. Those who enrol in the course will be provided a certificate of completion.

Source: Northumberland News – The Independent

Canadian Resource: Mental Health First Aid Canada