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Take your training to the next level

Congratulations to 9 candidates who completed their National Lifeguard Instructor (NLI) Course at H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre in Kelowna on March 28, 2016. They are now ready to start their NLI apprenticeships then join the ranks of those training lifeguards to be at their best across Canada.

Their Instructor-trainer, Karen Hillmann, said she had a great time teaching this high energy and amazing group of people. All the best to each of them in starting their path to creating new National Lifeguards!

Are you ready to follow in their footsteps and train the next generation of lifeguards, lifesavers and first aiders?

Lifesaving Society leadership programs focus on the training of Instructors to prepare them to successfully promote, teach, evaluate and administer lifesaving, lifeguarding and first aid programs.

Becoming a Lifesaving Society Instructor opens the door to specialized job opportunities, leadership experience and career growth in aquatics.

A number of Lifesaving Society Instructor courses are scheduled this spring. If you are ready to take your training to the next level, sign up for a course today!

National Lifeguard Instructor

Kenn Borek Aquatic Centre - Dawson Creek, BC
May 20 - 23, 2016
Instructor: Melina Sweezey
Click here for more information

Nanaimo Aquatic Centre - Nanaimo, BC
June 23 - 26, 2016
Instructor: Brooke Cherfils
Click here for more information

Lifesaving Instructor Trainer

Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex - Surrey, BC
May 21 - 29, 2016
Instructor: Jim Davies
Click here for more information

First Aid Instructor

Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex - Coquitlam, BC
April 16 - May 7, 2016
Instructor: Karen Hillmann
Click here for more information
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.


Teams from Across Canada to Compete at Nationals in Surrey, BC

The Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championship (CLERC) is fast-approaching, and there are still volunteer spots for judges and officials available!
CLERC 2016 will be held on Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st at Guildford Recreation Centre in Surrey, BC. CLERC brings together competitors from across the country to compete in the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes.
Through lifesaving sport, the Society seeks to engage and inspire youth in our drowning prevention mission and to provide athletes, coaches and officials with an opportunity for participation at all levels from developmental to high performance.

It takes numerous volunteers to put on this one-of-a-kind event, and we are inviting you and your friends, family members and colleagues to join our team!

There are a variety of volunteer roles available, including judge, official and victim. If you or your friends are interested, please click here to apply. 
We look forward to seeing you at #CLERC2016!


2016 DB Perks Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the 2016 DB Perks Scholarship recipients Ryan Wilmink (above), Sienna Joyce (below right), Matteo Ferraresso (below left), Wyatt Henry and Timothy Bientjes. Scholarships were presented on March 4, 2016 at the Lifesaving Society's Annual General Meeting.

Since 1995 assistance has been provided for over 70 recipients. Thank you to Doug Perks for his generosity and ongoing support of aquatics in BC. 
Support drowning prevention by using the Lifesaving Society’s exclusive Friends and Family Discount now offered by Team Aquatic Supplies. When you need lifeguard supplies, clothing and bathing suits, use the coupon code Bronze1908 and receive a 20% discount at


We're Hiring!

We are currently seeking 4 passionate and enthusiastic individuals to join our team this summer! Click on the jobs below for more information. To apply, forward resume & cover letter to the attention of Dale Miller, Executive Director at by Friday April 22. Thank you in advance to all those applying; only those considered will be contacted.


Remarkable Rescue Initiates Training in Rock Creek

A frighteningly close call in Rock Creek early last October has prompted community action to prevent drowning.  It was late Saturday afternoon with sixteen adults socializing in a backyard when 13 month old Jude somehow slipped out of sight and made his way to the neighbour’s pond.  Once he was noticed as missing, a frantic search ensued.  His mother, Raylene Tysson, eventually spotted him face down and submerged in the frigid water of the pond next door.  She ran across the yard, entered the water and pulled his blue lifeless body out as she struggled to get to land.
Anne De Jong was right behind her and, taking Jude from his mother, gave him two quick breaths of air.  Erika Maarhuis soon arrived, laid Jude on the ground and started chest compressions as she had been trained to do eight years prior.  Her husband called 911 but they knew that an air ambulance was unlikely and the closest ambulance was over 30 minutes away, either from Osoyoos or Midway.
After five long minutes of CPR, many prayers and pleading for his life, Jude started to breathe, first a little bubble out of his nose and then a little cry.  They took him into the house to warm him up, but he was having difficulty breathing.  The rescuers re-connected to the 911 dispatcher who supported them until paramedics arrived.  They immediately gave Jude oxygen and he quickly became more alert and his moans now turned to healthy (and very welcome) screams.
Erika and Raylene then accompanied Jude in the ambulance to Osoyoos airport where they boarded the air ambulance that had been sent from Vancouver and headed for hospital in Kelowna where an extensive medical team was waiting.  After many tests, young Jude was miraculously given a clean bill of health.
As a result of this near drowning, 19 individuals in the area have received First Aid, CPR and AED training from Lifesaving Society First Aid instructor Paul Wechselberger and efforts are being made to close some gaps in emergency response that may exist in small rural communities such as Rock Creek.

Thanks to the heroic actions and teamwork of these three women, a little boy named Jude (pictured above with his dad) is a happy healthy little boy today.  To recognize their determination and strength that day, the Lifesaving Society was pleased to present Anne De Jong, Erika Maarhuis and Raylene Tysson with Silver Medals for Merit at the 104th Annual Commonwealth Awards for Honour and Rescue on March 5, 2016 (pictured above with Vancouver Deputy Mayor Heather Deal and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton).

Click here to learn more about the recipients of this year's Commonwealth Honour and Rescue Awards. Complete event photographs can be found on our Facebook Page.

Board of Directors

Introducing Your 2016/2017 Board of Directors

The BC & Yukon Branch of the Lifesaving Society is pleased to announce Heidi Ogilvie as the new Branch President for the 2016 - 2018 term.
Heidi is the Manager of the Aquatics Division for the City of Kamloops - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department as well as a longtime Lifesaving Society instructor, volunteer and drowning prevention advocate.
We recently spoke to Heidi about her new role as Branch President.

What was your first exposure to the Lifesaving Society? 

My first Lifesaving Society course was a Lifesaving I & Jr. Resuscitation class held at Riverside Park Centennial Pool in Kamloops when I was 11 years old.
Tell us about your first job in aquatics.

My first Lifeguarding job was at the Kamloops Waterslides during the summer of 1988 (above photo is from December 1988 when I started working at the Kamloops YM-YWCA).
How did you get involved with the Lifesaving Society?

My first volunteer role with the Lifesaving Society was Bronze Examiner in the '90s.  From my experience as a Lifesaving Instructor and Examiner, I discovered a love for teaching.  I have held several volunteer positions over the years including: Bronze Examiner; Honour & Rescue recipient room host; Lifeguard Competition Judge/Official; Competition Committee Member; Vice President; and National Director.  Each role has been a wonderful experience.  As a young child, I was educated on the Society's rich Royal history and with being raised in a family who left the United Kingdom to immigrate to Canada, the Royal association has a deep meaning for me. Our aims to prevent drowning and aquatic-related injury are close to my heart as a lifelong swimmer and the connections and friendships I have made along the way are what draw me in and continue to grow my passion for our great organization.  
What are your goals for the Branch during your time as President?

One of my goals for the Branch during my time as President is to raise awareness of the Public Access Lifering program.  My hope is that all levels of government will see the benefit of providing lifesaving equipment at waterfront areas in BC & Yukon.  Another goal is to support the success of World Conference on Drowning Prevention in 2017.  I am so proud of our team for winning the bid to host this once in a lifetime opportunity.  We will show the world our commitment to Drowning Prevention as well as the most beautiful part of our great country.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to get involved with the Lifesaving Society?

I recommend signing up as volunteer; we have many areas that require volunteers.  Some of the areas include: archival work, drowning statistics, boating safety events, National Drowning Prevention Week, Barnsley Lifeguard Championship, and many more.  As soon as you start working with alongside the people of the Lifesaving Society; you'll be hooked!
Pictured above is the Branch Board of Directors for 2016/2017.  Back row (l to r) Jason Blood, Vice-President; Tony Toriglia, Vice-President; Jeff Holland, Vice-President; RCMP escort Cst. Mike Della-Paolera; John MacRitchie, Treasurer; Peter Fox, Vice-President.
Front row (l to r) Michael Lawless, Past President; Heidi Ogilvie, President; Ian Robertson, Branch Governor.


Survival Swimming: A Landmark Initiative for Drowning Prevention

With the World Health Organization's Ten Actions to Prevent Drowning fresh in our minds, the launch of our Survival Swimming Guide is one of the most important of the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth's 125th Anniversary initiatives.
Survival Swimming - already established in Canada for the past decade with Swim to Survive - is a proven method to prevent drowning. Mastering three basic skills gives people a much improved chance of surviving an unexpected fall into deep water.
As a landmark initiative for it's 125th year, RLSS has established the Survival Swimming Guide -- Survival Swimming in Every Commonwealth Nation, as a resource for use in lifesaving organizations.

Making Survival Swimming training available to every person in the Commonwealth may sound ambitious - but what better legacy for the Royal Life Saving Society and its 125th Anniversary!

(Source )

Around the Branch Office

Ken and Team BC Take Home Gold

Congratulations to our shipper Ken McLean (pictured front row far right) for winning gold at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland! Ken proudly represented BC on the Vancouver Storm Floor Hockey Team and has been our hard-working shipper for nearly 10 years. 

Special Olympics BC offers summer and winter sports for ages eight and up, youth programs for ages two to 18, a year-round fitness program and athlete health initiatives including numerous aquatic activities.

Ken has been a Special Olympics BC athlete for over 16 years and has participated in events provincially, nationally and globally in cross-country skiing, floor hockey and soccer. His favorite part of Special Olympics is keeping fit and meeting new people. Great work, Ken!


Calendar of Events

AED Awareness Day
April 14, 2016

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

National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW)
July 17-23, 2016
Canada Wide

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

Saanich Commonwealth Place, Victoria
ILS World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2017
October 17-19, 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia
Copyright © 2016 Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon, All rights reserved.

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