Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red Cross

September 12, 2008 15:56 ET

World First Aid Day to Highlight the Importance of First Aid Training

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2008) - The Canadian Red Cross says World First Aid Day on Saturday, September 13, is an opportunity for Canadians to take up the challenge of receiving first aid training so they have the skills that can save lives and prevent further injury.

"More than 90 per cent of all injuries are predictable and understandable, which also means they are preventable," says Rick Cassie, Canadian Red Cross National First Aid Manager. "Since unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of one and 44, having the skills to act immediately with appropriate first aid techniques can help save someone's life."

To highlight the importance of first aid training, the Canadian Red Cross will also mark the day by presenting Rescuer Awards to 11 people across Canada. Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Awards honour members of the general public and off-duty first responders, who make the effort to try to save a life, prevent further injury or comfort to the injured. Success in the rescue is not mandatory.

Award recipients include:

- Adrienne Copland and her daughter Jordan were taking care of their horse when Adrienne heard Jordan scream. Adrienne found her daughter unconscious and lying face down in a puddle. She immediately called 9-1-1 and performed CPR on her daughter until the paramedics arrived. Jordan woke up two days later in the hospital and made a full recovery thanks to her mom's immediate actions.

- Michael Savage noticed that his colleague, Franklin, was experiencing classic stroke symptoms. He urged Franklin to immediately go to the hospital and then arranged for someone to take him. At the hospital, Franklin had a mild stroke and heart attack. Franklin's doctor confirmed that if he had not gone to the hospital he likely would not have survived.

- During a Christmas party Harry Heise choked on a piece of food. Carol Stueck immediately performed abdominal thrusts and dislodged the item in his throat saving Harry's life.

- Casey Pierce was biking with her family when they heard people in a nearby lake yelling for help. The family saw a man and woman clinging to their overturned canoe in the lake. Casey dove into the icy cold water, swam to the couple and pulled them to shore. Her sister and father helped pull Casey and the couple onto shore. Once on shore, Casey's mother helped to warm the couple who were suffering from hypothermia. Each member of the Pierce family will receive the Rescuer Award for their actions.

- Shawn Kelly, Victor Maack and Troy Iwaskow were doing some bridge construction when they saw a trio, without lifejackets, in trouble in the river below. They jumped in the rescue boat at the site and pulled a young boy, his father and a young girl out of the water.

- Mark Bretherton, working as the train Conductor, and Paul Eyles, working as the Locomotive Engineer, had just departed from Cochrane, Alberta, when they noticed a man standing beside the train tracks. Mark Bretherton opened the window to check and make sure the gentleman was alright and saw him step into the train. Immediately, Paul Eyles stopped the train which took 20 car lengths. Mark Bretherton grabbed the first aid kit and ran back to the accident scene. The man was injured, and hypothermic, but alive. Mark Bretherton took off his parka, hat and gloves and used them to warm the man and surveyed the scene. Then Bretherton radioed the details to Paul Eyles. Due to the remoteness of the location, EMS was brought to the scene on board a separate locomotive from Cochrane.

For more than 50 years, the Canadian Red Cross has reduced deaths and suffering through its first aid training programs. Every year more than 300,000 Canadians take Red Cross first aid training and gain the knowledge, confidence and skills to deal with emergency situations and prevent injuries.

The Red Cross is the largest provider of first aid training and education in the world. World First Aid day is celebrated around the globe each year by member Societies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to promote the importance of first aid in saving lives and preventing injury.

Learn more about Red Cross First Aid training at or nominate someone for a Red Cross Rescuer Award by e-mailing

Wal-Mart Canada, through its is a proud supporter of Canadian Red Cross programs including the Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Award. For more information Wal-Mart Canada and their commitment to Canadian communities visit

Broadcast Version

- Saturday is World First Aid Day and the Canadian Red Cross is challenging Canadians to make a commitment to receive or update their first aid training. Rick Caissie, Canadian Red Cross National First Aid Manager, calls unintentional injuries the leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of one and 44. Caissie says the more people who learn first aid, the greater the odds of reducing that toll. You can find out about first aid courses in your community online at The day will also be marked by the presentation of Canadian Red Cross Rescuer Awards to 11 people in Calgary, Prince George and Vancouver. They're being honoured for past actions to save a life, prevent injury or comfort someone who was injured.

For local Canadian Red Cross public affairs contacts visit the Red Cross website:

Contact Information

  • Canadian Red Cross
    Ray Kettenbach