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Miss E. Robinson and Pete Pantages, Royal Life Saving Society members pose at snowy beach. English Bay, Vancouver - December 15, 1927. (City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 99-1784, Photographer Stuart Thomson)

Swim to Survive

New Program to Address At-risk Teens 

The Lifesaving Society is paying special attention to the growing body of research that shows that the thrill-seeking, pleasure-seeking part of the teen brain develops at a faster rate than the area related to judgment and impulse inhibition skills. When combined with the fact that as pre-teens and teens get older they become more independent spending more time with friends and less time under adult supervision, you've got a recipe for risk around water.

This risk-taking behaviour continues into adulthood: 18-24 year olds have the highest water-related death rate of any age group in Canada at 2.0 per 100,000 (source 2015 Canadian Drowning Report).

With the new Swim to Survive+ program, pools can now provide teens with practical lifesaving skills to prepare them for their increased independence and freedom into adolescence and early adulthood.
The Lifesaving Society is pleased to be launching Swim to Survive+ in BC & Yukon. Aimed at reaching Grade 7 students as they enter their risk-taking years.
The Lifesaving Society is pleased to be launching Swim to Survive+ in BC & Yukon that is aimed at reaching Grade 7 students as they enter their risk-taking years.
What is Swim to Survive+?
Swim to Survive+ builds on the skills of Swim to Survive and fosters good judgement to help participants stay safe around water. Participants learn to:
  • Perform the Swim to Survive Standard while clothed:
Roll entry - Tread water 1 minute - Swim 50 metres
  • Help a friend who falls into deep water without putting themselves in danger
  • Complete a fitness swim
What is a Swim to Survive+ School Program Grant?
Swim to Survive+ grants are available to assist in providing 3 in-water and 3 classroom Swim to Survive+ lessons to Grade 7 children during school hours. Grant funds may be used to help defray the costs of:
  • Transporting students betweeen school and the pool
  • Aquatic instructor costs
  • Aquatic facility rental costs
The Lifesaving Society aims to reach as many BC and Yukon Grade 7 students as possible with Swim to Survive+ training. Because grant funds are limited, the Society is relying upon the generosity of participating school boards, pools and their partners to support this program with matching service and in-kind support.

Thanks to the generous support from the Province of British Columbia and the Recreation Foundation of BC, grant funds will be available for the Swim to Survive+ program in January 2016. Stayed tuned for additional details in the January edition of the Lifeliner. For more information or to request an advance copy of the Swim to Survive+ Activity Guide please contact Krystyna Domes at the Branch Office.

Professional Development

World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015 - Penang, Malaysia

Over 200 presentations packed into a 3 day conference, surrounded by meetings and workshops, the ILS World Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP) 2015 was a great experience with lots of learning to be had.  The majority of learning was related to the variety of activities, programs and initiatives aimed at preventing drowning around the world.  Researchers, policy makers, academics, aquatic managers, lifeguards and lifesavers all contributed to the knowledge base gained by all 450 delegates from nearly 60 countries.
Other lessons for the Canadian delegation included tips on how to run an international conference as we prepare to host the next edition in Vancouver, October 17 to 19, 2017.
The Emerging Leaders (EL) program ran for the first time at WCDP 2015. With the objective of connecting future leaders in aquatics, it successfully drew from a wide range of high, medium, and low income countries. Participants developed networking and communication skills during workshops to help provide foundations required for a successful conference. We were pleased to have Quinn Yu of Victoria, seen above with Dale Miller (L), Michael Miller (R) and with other Emerging Leaders (above), attend on our behalf.  Here is his view of the conference and workshop:
“The EL program was a good way to meet a lot of like-minded people from a variety of backgrounds. It was very inspiring to hear the work being done by 'emerging leaders' and motivated me to become more engaged in the field of drowning prevention. I really enjoyed the format of the EL program, and how it provided both pre- and post-conference sessions. This allowed participants to appropriately orient in advance of the conference and also to reflect following the conference. I am extremely excited to build on the inaugural EL program in Malaysia when we host WCDP 2017 in Vancouver. 
Attending WCDP 2015 was an amazing experience. It was academically enriching, professionally inspiring, and personally empowering. Despite being one delegate in a sea of hundreds, I felt at ease discussing anything from hypoxic blackout to data methodological limitations. With so many interesting discussions and concurrent presentations, it was difficult to follow any one theme or topic in its entirety. Regardless, I felt I'd taken a lot away from the conference and am now extremely motivated to combine my public policy skills with my aquatic related experiences to prevent drownings, while simultaneously improving the world’s understanding of aquatic related emergencies.”
Branch Vice President Tony Toriglia captured lifeguards in Thailand in action, noting they have some interesting challenges.
Here is feedback from another delegate from BC:
Michael Miller, LIT Aquatics & National Lifeguard Committee Member -
“I signed up for the conference hoping to get some ideas on what other lifesavers and lifeguards were doing around the world; the travel aspect was an added bonus.  Needless to say the conference achieved that and more. I went to 3 days of presentations; educational and inspiring are a couple of adjectives that come to mind to describe my experience.  
One of the presenters, Dr. Natalie Hood of Surf Lifesaving Australia, spoke on a number of topics, in particular those relevant to aquatic rescue and resuscitation, first aid and how the new 2015 ILCOR guidelines will affect treatment recommendations for lifeguards.  After her presentation, Dr. Hood fielded many procedural based questions and made herself available throughout the conference for more detailed questions.  I would love to have her at some of our NL committee meetings.
Another presenter, Mr. Caleb Brown from the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Hatfield UK, presented a session entitled, ‘Do pool lifeguards use rescue equipment in real rescues?’  The results were surprising and actually backed up a lot of what we do here in Canada and why we do it.  It is nice to hear the research that backs up the principles we are communicating when teaching a National Lifeguard course.
The presentations on drowning prevention studies and research being done around the globe were a big eye opener, but it was also inspiring to see drowning prevention initiatives that are going well here in Canada being presented internationally.
For anyone with a passion for lifesaving, lifeguarding and drowning prevention, this is one event you will want to add to your bucket list.
A wise person has drilled into my head that it is about creating opportunities --- WCDP 2017 is coming to North America for the first time ever and it will be right here in Vancouver, October 17 to 19.  Here’s your opportunity!”
We were fortunate to have over 20 Canadian delegates attend WCDP 2015 with many also giving presentations on the Canadian experience.  Our own Dave Jephson of Terrace presented along with Dr. Steve Beerman of Nanaimo who was a keynote speaker as well as providing several presentations and a workshop.  Branch VP Tony Toriglia and National Governor John Bankes acted as great ambassadors for the Society and in promoting WCDP 2017.

At the conclusion of the conference, three members of our group (Yanick Graveline in French, Quinn Yu in Mandarin and John Bankes in English)  teamed up to invite the world to Canada in 2017.  There was much interest from everyone looking for an excuse to come to Vancouver.  Malaysia will be a tough act to follow, but with lots of help we’ll make the 2017 experience the best ever!

Click below to join us on Facebook and Twitter or add your name to our mailing list to learn more about getting involved with WCDP 2017!
Join the WCDP2017 Mailing List

First Aid

CPR Month Results

Did you know that almost 50,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada?  Did you know that as many as 85% of these cardiac arrests occur in homes and public places?
Bystander CPR and AED use has proven to be a key factor in increasing the number of lives saved from a sudden cardiac arrest.  On November 21, in honour of CPR Month, Affiliates set out to train as many people as possible in compression-only CPR and basic AED use with a focus on recognizing the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke.

In total, 431 individuals from the ages of 5 to 92 were trained in communities across the province including Delta, Comox, Vancouver, Sparwood, Revelstoke and Victoria.

While hosting a mini-CPR marathon, Kamloops was able to train an amazing 251 individuals! Great work to everyone who participated!
Is there an exciting lifesaving program or initiative happening at your facility or community? If so, we would love to feature it in an upcoming edition of the Lifeliner. Contact Krystyna Domes for more information.


Call for Barnsley Hosts

The Lifesaving Society is currently seeking facilities outside the Lower Mainland interested in hosting the 80th Annual Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship on August 19 & 20, 2016.

Applications are due January 16, 2016 with the host to be announced at the March 4 AGM.
Barnsley Host Application


10 Ways to Give

Learning lifesaving skills, a lifeguard or instructor job, a volunteer position - whatever connection you've had with the Lifesaving Society in the past has contributed to who you are today. Now you have the perfect opportunity to give back.

The Lifesaving Society is a registered not-for-profit charity committed to the prevention of drowning and water-related injury. 100% of every donated dollar goes directly to the donor's chosen cause with no administrative fees.

The busiest season for charitable giving is upon us. We accomplished so much in 2015 and with your help we can do even more in 2016!

Within BC & the Yukon, the need for drowning prevention initiatives in our water-rich landscape continues to increase. Please keep the Lifesaving Society in mind as you make your end-of-year donation. 
Donate Now

Around the Branch Office

BC’s Loss, Ontario’s Gain

As many of you know by now, Wendy Schultenkamper, our Education Director for the past 8½ years, has now headed east as a result of her partner securing a job in Toronto.  Prior to her last day on November 26, Wendy received a flood of surprised yet congratulatory e-mails and phone calls.
In her time with the Society, Wendy contributed so much to all aspects of our work and made many friends and supporters.  Many of the messages described her with words such as mentor, guide, inspirational, admired and passionate.  Wendy was all that and much more.

She will be missed and although many of you mentioned she’s left big shoes to fill, be assured that we will find the best person available to fill those shoes.  As Wendy herself said, it just might be a different pair of shoes, like high heels!
You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve advised our Ontario Branch of her presence in their province and we know they will do what they can to keep her in the family.  As someone said, “BC’s loss, Ontario’s gain!”  For anyone interested in applying for the Education Director position, please click here to access the posting.


Calendar of Events

BOAT Program Conclusion 
December 31, 2015
*Please return completed test sheets and unused exams to the Branch Office

2016 Price List 
January 1, 2016
*Updated price list can be found online in the Branch Affiliates Group

D.B. Perks Scholarship Application Deadline
January 31, 2016

2016 Honour & Rescue Ceremony
March 5, 2016
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon Branch AGM
March 4, 2016
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championship (CLERC)
April 30-May 1, 2016
Guildford Recreation Centre - Surrey, BC

Canadian Pool Lifesaving Championship (CPLC)
May 14-15, 2016
Edmonton, AB

80th Annual Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship
August 19-20, 2016

ILS World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2017
October 17-19, 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia
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