BY MARISSA CUDDY
Last year, Conestoga College was one of the Top 10 first aid and CPR training partners in Ontario and the only college or university to make the list.
Adam Leis, a first aid and CPR co-ordinator at Conestoga College, recommends anyone who is interested in taking first aid and CPR training to take the courses at the school. They offer the standard first aid and CPR course and an emergency course. The difference between the two is the length and the information covered. The emergency course is packed into 10 hours and covers how to deal with everyday emergencies, while the standard course is 20 hours, going more indepth about equipment, injuries and procedures.
WSIB Ontario states all workplaces must have a first aid person or an employee trained in first aid for every five workers. The emergency course is what most workplaces require employees to take.
Leis said most deaths occur while the person is at home, so by taking the course someone may be able to help a family member or friend by knowing what to do if an emergency occurs.
“They get the education to provide them the opportunity to save someone else’s life,” Leis said.
Neil Freckleton, the co-ordinator of the primary care paramedic program at Conestoga College, said it is important to have first aid training because it will give a person the right comfort level to deal with an emergency when it happens.
“Everyone should take first aid and CPR training, it is a skill set everyone should have,” he said.
Freckleton said people get the knowledge, confidence and understanding of what they can and cannot do by taking the course.
“If you understand what is going on you are less likely to be panicked,” he said.
November is CPR month nationwide. Courses being offered this month are on Nov. 28 at Conestoga College’s Doon campus, Nov. 24 and 28 at St. John’s Ambulance, Kitchener and Nov. 26 and 28 at First Aid 4U Training & Supply Waterloo.
Lutherwood in Waterloo is also offering Mental Health First Aid training Nov. 24, which is a course that gives people the knowledge to recognize and deal with a mental health crisis. Conestoga will also be offering the course in January 2016.
Robin Bender, the president and instructor at Mega Health at Work, said one in three people have a mental illness and that is a significant number of people who will benefit from mental health first aid. She wants people to know that the course gives someone the basic skills they would need to support and help someone in a crisis, before passing them off to a professional.
“It teaches people to recognize the symptoms of mental illness, then to help them and guide them to get professional help,” she said.
Bender said people who know someone with a mental illness need to know what to do, especially if that person is ever in crisis.
“I encourage everyone to take it,” she said. “Just knowing it’s available and out there can benefit many people.”
She believes it should be a mandatory course taken by students and the earlier the better.
These courses give people the knowledge and skills to deal with emergency situations. For more information on mental health first aid visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/.
To sign up or learn more about the courses at Conestoga visit www.conestogac.on.ca and click on the continuing education tab or fill in the search box at the top right-hand corner of the page.
“A family member or friend could benefit by you knowing first aid and CPR,” Leis said.