Electrical sparks on dark background

A Shocking Experience Taught Me a Valuable Safety Lesson

When I got up that morning, I wasn’t expecting to wind up electrocuted and left for dead. The consequences of a careless mistake taught me a valuable safety lesson, and by sharing it with others, I hope to save some lives.

 

Everything seemed to be going smoothly that fateful day until I heard,

Zzzt zzzt zzzt — and a man shouting at me,

“Lie down on the ground! Don’t move!”

“What happened?” I asked.

“You touched a cable, and you’ve been electrocuted,” he replied. Keep still.

I lay on the ground — shocked.

 

An emergency scene

As I looked around, it became apparent a bus had crashed, and there were multiple casualties. I listened to the cries of the injured passengers while bystanders asked questions in urgent voices,

“Did you see what happened?”

“Where are you hurt?”

“Did you hit your head?”

“You — in the blue shirt, call 911 and report back to me”.

Utter chaos.

 

Helpless and frustrated

Most unbearable was being unable to help. From my horizontal position, I assessed the scene and thought about everything I could be doing for the injured people around me.

I’d been trained in first aid, but because I’d forgotten to check for danger before rushing to help, I’d become a casualty and was now useless. Silently, I coached the helpers as they gave CPR, bandaged wounds, and supported broken limbs.

Finally, the man who told me I’d been electrocuted called a stop to the proceedings.

“So,” he said, chin down, eyebrows raised, wide eyes looking pointedly at me. “What have we all learned from this exercise?” Cringing with embarrassment, I slowly raised my hand.

 

First aid scenario

It was the end of a two-day Red Cross Standard First Aid & CPR class and time to put our new skills to the test. The instructor had split us into two groups and told my group to wait in the hallway. After a while, we’d be called in to deal with an emergency scene and would have to give first aid to any casualties we found.

The instructor set up the room with the other class members while we waited nervously in the hallway. A few minutes later, he flung open the door with a look of panic. “Help! Quick! There’s been a terrible accident. People are injured!”

 

The crucial question

As instructed, before entering the room, I asked the question, “Is the scene safe?” The instructor paused before answering, “The scene appears — to be safe.” In hindsight, I should’ve listened more carefully to the emphasis he put on the word appears.

Hearts thumping, adrenaline pumping, my classmates and I rushed into the room and looked around. We saw injured people everywhere, moaning, groaning, crying, dying, pools of fake blood on the floor. I ran to a man lying on his back with his eyes closed. Kneeling beside him, I began to check for responsiveness, and that’s when I heard the ominous sound,

Zzzt zzzt zzzt

I looked up in confusion to find the instructor standing beside me. He told me I’d just been electrocuted and pointed to the floor by my casualty’s chest. I noticed I was kneeling on a wire trailing beneath the man’s body.

 

In my rush to save a life, I’d killed myself.

 

A humiliating moment and a powerful lesson

The instructor told me to lie quietly beside my casualty as I was now dead and unable to help him. I lay on the ground, humiliated, while the other students in my group saved their injured people. It was a humbling moment. Until that point, I’d felt pretty confident in the skills I’d learned during the course, but as I lay helpless beside my dying person, I knew I’d missed the most critical step.

I vowed NEVER to make the same mistake again.

Rushing around, not paying attention are common reasons people have accidents. That day, I learned a vital lesson. Whenever you go into a room or a new environment, always check for dangers.

Look up, down, all around. Is there something you could trip on, slip on? Is there fire, wire, gas, glass, drugs, or thugs?

 

Remember — If you’re killed or injured, you can’t help anyone.

 

I completed my training, became a Red Cross first aid instructor, and opened Safe + Sound First Aid Training (still going strong 21 years later). Over the years, I’ve taught hundreds of first aid & CPR courses and trained thousands of people. I’ve electrocuted many students in first aid scenarios. I hope it’s taught them the same valuable lesson I learned years ago. By sharing the story of my deadly mistake, I hope I’ve saved some lives.

First aid instructor in foreground with CPR manikins behind

Gill McCulloch, Owner, Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a first aid course and learn to save a life.

 

injured worker lying slumped against wall with person giving first aid.

WorkSafeBC Accepts Red Cross Blended Emergency First Aid as OFA 1 Equivalent

BC employers will be happy with a recent announcement from the Canadian Red Cross. Effective June 15, 2020, WorkSafeBC accepts Canadian Red Cross Blended Emergency First Aid as OFA Level 1 equivalent.

What is Emergency First Aid?

Emergency First Aid is a Canadian Red Cross training course that includes essential lifesaving first aid and CPR skills for the workplace and home. The course meets legislation requirements for provincial/territorial worker safety and insurance boards. It follows the latest first aid and CPR guidelines.

What does Blended Emergency First Aid mean?

A blended course includes an online component as well as an in-person session. Students complete an online course where they learn the theory behind the first aid skills. Following this, they attend a practical skills class where they get hands-on practice. During this session, they will complete a multiple-choice test.

How does Blended Emergency First Aid benefit employers?

Instead of employees taking a full day off work to attend a classroom-based course, they can now take a half-day. Participants will complete the online portion of the course at home or in the workplace before the classroom session. Workers will have less time away from the workplace. This reduces the need for employers to find cover, saving time and money.

Where does the practical skills session take place?

The Blended Emergency First Aid skills session can take place onsite in the workplace or at a local training venue.

Emergency First Aid Blended – About

Duration

Blended EFA with CPR C (adult, child and infant skills):
4.5 hours in-class + 4 hours online learning**

Regular EFA with CPR C:
7.5 hours in-class

Completion

  • Successfully demonstrate skills and critical steps
  • Min. 75% mark for written knowledge evaluation
  • Attend and participate in 100% of the course

Certification

3-year certification in Emergency First Aid and CPR Level C

Recertification*

EFA with CPR C: 5 hours in-class OR 4 hours in-class + 4 hours online learning**

Hands typing on computer keyboard

Course Content

  • The Red Cross
  • Preparing to respond
  • The EMS system
  • Check, Call, Care
  • Airway emergencies
  • Breathing and Circulation emergencies
  • First aid for respiratory and cardiac arrest
  • Wound care
  • Includes any other content required by specific legislation

Participant Materials

  • First Aid & CPR (eBook)
  • Emergency First Aid – Online (Blended only)
  • Emergency First Aid certificate (digital certificate issued upon successful completion)
  • Printable version – Emergency First Aid

*Recertification not available in all jurisdictions.

**Online learning time will vary depending on the learner.

Interested in Private Group Training for your team? Please contact us and ask for a quote.

 

Students in first aid class doing CPR wearing face masks.

Onsite Emergency First Aid Training at Vancouver Film Studios. June 2020.

Psychological First Aid Training Can Save Lives - Close-up of a devastated young man holding his head in his hands and a group of friends in a supportive pose around him

Psychological First Aid Can Save Lives

Who can benefit from Psychological First Aid training?

First aid for the mind is just as important as first aid for the body. Like physical first aid, psychological first aid training can save lives. Individuals suffering from high-stress levels, burnout and suicidal thoughts are at an all-time high in areas such as workplaces, schools, indigenous communities and among professional responders.

The Canadian Red Cross Psychological First Aid course is a resiliency building wellness program. The course equips learners to develop a personal understanding of the effects of stress, loss, trauma and grief on others, emphasizing self-care and personal protection. The course uses primarily case-based learning and includes the latest evidence from the international community.

Psychological First Aid course schedule and online registration 

Psychological First Aid Course Details

Course fee
$115.00 + GST per person

Audience
The course is adaptable to all audiences (Youth, Workplace, Professional Responder)

Duration
45-90 minutes online learning and 7 hours in-class

Instructor
Canadian Red Cross Psychological First Aid Instructor

  • Prerequisites
    16 years of age (recommended)
  • Psychological First Aid – Self-Care online course (required for blended option only)
    Completion
  • Participate in 100% of the in-class course
  • Complete the online course: Psychological First Aid – Self-Care (required for blended option only)

Certification
3-year Red Cross certification in Psychological First Aid

Course Content
Case-based learning and discussion will be tailored to the audience and include the following content:

Psychological First Aid Training Can Save Lives - Image of two people sitting on a park bench with one comforting the other.

  • Introduction to Red Cross
  • Case Studies
  • Psychological First Aid
  • Operational Principles
  • Stress, Distress
  • Loss and Grief
  • Trauma
  • Indicators
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Supportive Communication
  • Look, Listen, Link, Live
  • Resiliency and Protective Factors
  • Protection
  • Policies, Legislation
  • Self-Care
  • Participant Materials
  • Psychological First Aid Workbook (print)
  • Look, Listen, Link, Live cards
  • Psychological First Aid–Self-Care online course (required for blended option)
  • Psychological First Aid–Caring for Others online course (optional)

More info about Psychological First Aid from the Canadian Red Cross website

Frequently Asked Questions about Psychological First Aid

Q: Is Red Cross Psychological First Aid a nationally recognized certification?

A: Yes. The Red Cross Psychological First Aid certification is recognized across Canada.

Q: Can I book a private Psychological First Aid course for my team?

A: Yes. Please contact us for pricing onsite training information.

Q: What is the difference between Psychological First Aid and Mental Health First Aid? 

A:  Mental Health First Aid focuses on primarily educating professional responders on the signs, symptoms, and care for various types of mental health issues.

Psychological First Aid offers a daily aid to dealing with the stresses of life for individuals within a broad spectrum of communities.

Q: Do participants get a certificate after completing a Psychological First Aid course?

A: Yes. You will receive certification from the Canadian Red Cross.

CRC-Psychological-First-Aid-Guide-2019

Psychological First Aid Can Save Lives.
Register for a class now or book a group training session for your team.

First aid training classroom with physical distancing layout

First Aid Training During COVID-19 – What We’re Doing to Keep You Safe

If you need to update your first aid certification, you may be concerned about whether it’s safe to take an in-person class during COVID-19 restrictions. This article explains what you can expect in a first aid class and what we’re doing to ensure your health and safety. We hope the information below will reassure you about registering for a course or booking a private group training session for your team.

Safe + Sound First Aid Training is following WorkSafe BC and Canadian Red Cross health and safety guidelines for first aid agencies.

Click here for our full COVID-10 Health and Safety Protocols

Woman wearing face mask standing near table and hand sanitizer stand.

On arrival at your first aid class, a friendly staff member will greet you and ask you to use hand sanitizer before completing a health screening questionnaire.

Brief outline

Participants:

  • Receive health and safety information via email before the class.
  • Are required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination on arrival at the course location.
  • Complete a health screening questionnaire before entering the classroom.
  • Are required to wash/sanitize their hands before, during and after class.
  • Wear a mask before entering the classroom and throughout the course.
  • Are spaced at least 2 metres apart in the training room.
  • Have their own manikin, equipment, and supplies.
  • Are given a disposable, one-way valve with a filter to use with their CPR breathing mask.
  • Use equipment that has been sanitized following WorkSafeBC and Canadian Red Cross guidelines.

Health screening

Before admittance into the class, participants must complete a health questionnaire. This helps us determine if they have been ill or have had any signs of illness (fever, cough, breathing difficulties/shortness of breath, or other symptoms) within the last 24 hours, travelled outside of Canada within the previous 14 days or been in contact with someone who is ill. (Source Government of Canada https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/en) Participants with pre-existing conditions (e.g., allergies causing sneezing) are discouraged from attending training; this helps participants in the course feel secure.

 

COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire

Each student completes a health screening questionnaire before being admitted to class.

 

Face masks

We require that students and instructors wear face masks during the entire class. While this is slightly inconvenient, it gives people confidence that they will remain safe while spending a day in a room with other people.

 

Hand sanitizing

We ask participants to use hand sanitizer on arrival and wash their hands regularly throughout the day and at the end of the class. Washrooms are situated close to the classrooms.

Smaller group sizes and physical distancing

We have reduced our class sizes to meet physical distancing guidelines in our classrooms. Each student has a two-metre square area, with their chair and all the equipment and supplies they need for the class. Students are asked to remain in their area throughout the class, except during breaks.

Classroom layout

With current physical distancing guidelines, participants need to be separated by a minimum of 2 metres.  As you can see from the image, we have arranged our classroom to create individual stations where students remain during class.

First aid training classroom with physical distancing layout. Workstations are two metres apart.

First aid workstations are situated two metres apart in the classrooms.

 

Physical contact

Participants are not required to have any physical contact with other students or the instructor. Previously, some first aid skills like the recovery position, splints and slings, required people to work in pairs. We have come up with creative ways to teach these skills without students having physical contact with others.

Equipment – one to one ratios

Each student has an adult manikin, infant manikin, AED trainer (defibrillator), and first aid supplies to use during class. There is no sharing of equipment or supplies.

First aid class individual workstation with CPR manikins, AED trainer and first aid supplies

First aid class workstation. Each student has their own Mankins, AED, kneeling mat and first aid supplies. No sharing or physical contact with other students.

What about gloves and CPR breathing masks?

We give each student disposable vinyl gloves and a new, disposable one-way valve and filter to use with their CPR mask. Students may take the CPR masks home with them.

White plastic tray containing first aid supplies for use during a first aid class.

Each student has a tray containing the first aid supplies they need for the day.

Cleaning and sanitizing

Following guidelines from WorkSafeBC and the Canadian Red Cross, we sanitize all first aid equipment thoroughly after use.

Questions?

We hope the above information will reassure you about taking a class or booking a private class for your team. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

 

 

Five star Google review for Safe + Sound First Aid Training, from first aid training client, June 2020

Google review from Emergency Child Care First Aid CPR course participant, June 2020. Thank you Becky! More Google Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First aid course information, schedules and online registration

 

Private Group First Aid Training

Students in first aid class doing CPR wearing face masks.

June 2020. Private onsite group training at Pacific Backlot / Vancouver Film Studios. Workers learning CPR during a Red Cross Emergency First Aid (OFA 1) class.

Ignoring Small Injuries Can Have Serious Consequences

Take care of cuts and scrapes — don’t end up like Bill

None of us want to go to the doctor or hospital unless we have to, so we need to take good care of ourselves. A small injury that becomes infected can lead to a life or limb-threatening condition. 

A friend nearly lost his leg from a neglected scratch

A few years ago, I’d brought my dad into the ER at Royal Columbian Hospital. While we were sitting in the waiting room, an old family friend, hobbled in with his wife. I could see that Bill was struggling to walk, and I asked what had happened. 

He said he’d hurt his leg and pulled up his pant leg to show us. I was horrified! His leg was severely swollen, and the skin had a nasty, blue mottled appearance. He told us that he’d scratched the back of his ankle and hadn’t thought much about it until it started to get sore. His leg had become red, swollen and increasingly painful, so he went to the doctor. The doctor sent him straight to the ER. Every day for the next two weeks, Bill’s wife had to drive him to the hospital for IV antibiotic treatment. The doctors told Bill he was lucky he hadn’t lost his leg. 

First aid for a small cut or scrape

  • Cover the wound first and clean around the injured area using mild soap and gauze or an antiseptic wipe. Do not use iodine, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Once the area around the wound is clean, clean the cut with running water.
  • Remove any slivers or gravel with alcohol-sterilized tweezers.
  • Blot dry with sterile gauze.
  • Small cuts usually stop bleeding quickly, but if the wound is still bleeding, apply firm, gentle pressure with gauze. If blood soaks through, put another piece of gauze on top. Don’t remove the old one, or you might start the bleeding again.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped apply a small amount of antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Cover the wound with a sterile dressing and change it every 24 hours.
  • Keep the dressing clean and dry. If the dressing becomes wet or dirty, replace it immediately. 
  • If the skin under the bandage feels itchy, you may have an allergy to the adhesive used in some bandages. For sensitive skin, try switching to sterile gauze and paper tape, or an adhesive-free dressing.

If you see signs of infection, seek medical advice without delay.

Recognizing signs of Infection

Signs of an infection include:

  • swelling
  • redness that spreads out from the injury
  • increased pain or tenderness
  • the area feels hot or warm to touch
  • oozing pus or liquid
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • body aches chills and fever
  • slow healing or wound doesn’t seem to be healing at all

If you have any of these signs, seek medical advice.

April 28 National Day of Mourning – Don’t be the Reason Someone Lights a Candle

The National Day of Mourning, held annually in Canada on April 28, is dedicated to remembering workers who have lost their lives or suffered a work-related injury or illness.

Latest Statistics for British Columbia

WorkSafeBC report for 2018 shows:

  • 155,753 injuries
  • 190 work-related deaths
  • 50,000 short term disability claims
  • 2.9 million days lost from work

Young workers are particularly vulnerable

When I read the death and injury statistics each year, the section I always stop on is the one showing the injuries and deaths of young workers. According to CCOHS, in 2018, Canada, 27 young workers under 25 years of age died in workplace tragedies. Each death leaves a family devastated, and the lives of friends and co-workers deeply impacted.

I have an 18-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son. The thought of either of them suffering a severe injury in the workplace is unbearable. I can’t imagine how the parents and families of young people who have lost their lives at work can manage to carry on.

Young people must get the right training for the job they are doing. They need to speak up if they don’t feel safe in their workplace or are uncomfortable with the task they have been asked to do because of a lack of knowledge or training.

Story of an injured young worker

In the words of Jack Thomas – an injured young worker:

“I always used to be one of those people that thinks it’s going to happen to somebody else, not myself. That’s not true at all.”

When Jack was 17, his sleeve got caught in a roller while cleaning around a sorting conveyor. Tragically, Jack lost his right arm. Watch this video to learn how Jack courageously came back from his injury.

 

Workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities

Workers have the right to know the hazards in their workplace and participate in health and safety training. They also have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear of getting punished or fired.

Employers have a responsibility to provide adequate training for their workers and provide a safe workplace. Young workers often lack the confidence to speak up and ask for additional training. Employers must create an environment where workers feel comfortable to ask questions and share their concerns.

It only takes a second to suffer from a life-changing accident or injury.

Don’t become a statistic in next year’s WorkSafeBC report.

Don’t be the cause of a statistic in next year’s WorkSafeBC report.

Don’t be a reason for someone to light a candle.

Hands typing on computer keyboard

Need to Renew Your First Aid or CPR Certificate But Can’t Find a Course?

You need to renew your first aid or CPR certificate, but there are no courses available due to COVID-19. Now what?

We understand that you may need a first aid/CPR certification to apply for a job or course or to continue to work in your current place of employment. COVID-19 has put a stop to most classroom-based training. The situation is evolving and changing every day, and we have no way of knowing when it will be safe to resume group training courses. As soon as we get the all-clear from the government and the Canadian Red Cross, we will start running classes again. Meanwhile, here are some things that might help you:

First Aid and CPR Certification Extensions

  • All Red Cross first aid certifications (which would have expired March through June 30th, 2020) will be considered valid 90-days beyond their expiry date. These certifications will also be accepted for recertification courses when in-person training resumes.
  • WorkSafeBC has stated that all OFA certificates and equivalents expiring between March 1st, 2020 – June 30th, 2020, will be accepted in the workplace for 90 days beyond their original expiry date.

Online First Aid and Safety Training

Safe + Sound offers online first aid training, for example, First Aid Basics Online. Please be aware that certifications from online first aid training courses are often not accepted by employers. Online first aid courses are designed as an introduction to first aid or a refresher for someone who has previously taken first aid training. You can view our full online course library here.

Free Online Safety Course

Try our system for free: Safety Knowledge Evaluation Free course

Free First Aid App

4. The Canadian Red Cross has a free first aid app that covers most of the skills included in a regular first aid course.

For programs that include practical skills, online classes and apps are no substitute. Online courses give you the knowledge you need, but not the hands-on practice. In the current situation, however, online training is certainly better than no training.

We hope this information is helpful to you. If you need to renew your first aid or CPR certificate and you would like us to contact you when in-class, Red Cross first aid/CPR courses resume, please submit your information via our contact form or  by emailing the following information:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Name of the course/certification you need

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Gill McCulloch

info@learnfirstaid.ca

604-945-7277

learnfirstaid.ca

Baby touching woman's face

Why Register Your Child on a Babysitting Course?

Do you have a child aged 11-15 years? If so, you may be thinking about registering them on a Red Cross Babysitting course. To find out what your child will learn and the benefits of babysitting training, please read on.

A personal story

As a young teen, I remember being excited about finally being old enough to babysit. My first job was with a family who lived at the top of our street. The two boys I looked after, Robert and Charles, were 5 and 7 years old. I had no formal babysitting training, and I feel very grateful that I didn’t have to deal with any real emergencies while babysitting. The worst thing I remember happening is my fountain pen leaking blue ink onto the pale green carpet and calling my mom for advice. I was lucky, though. If Robert or Charles had choked on their food and stopped breathing or had a severe injury, I would not have known what to do; those young boys might have died in my care.

Babysitting for young children is an enormous responsibility. 

A babysitter needs to understand that when they look after a baby or young child, they have the life of another person in their hands. Babies and young children are vulnerable, unpredictable and accident-prone. A babysitter cannot afford to let their guard down for a moment. Some things are common sense, but others, like first aid skills, must be learned.

 

Why do parents register children on a Red Cross Babysitting course?

Parents recognize that Babysitting training is an investment in their children’s safety. Some of the reasons why they register their kids on Babysitting courses are listed below.

 

Red Cross Babysitting Training – Benefits to children and what they learn

The Canadian Red Cross created a Babysitting course specifically for young children aged 11-15. The course is designed to teach children the skills they need to be an excellent babysitter and how to be safer when home alone. Children learn how to care for babies and children of all ages, give first aid and deal with emergencies. The course also offers an overview of the responsibilities that go with being a babysitter. It teaches youth essential child care skills and also how to reduce hazards and prevent accidents.

 

Red Cross Babysitting Course Topics

 

Leadership

People who hire babysitters rely on them to be the leader and keep their children safe. On the course, children learn about how to be a responsible leader, different leadership styles, role modelling, respecting diversity, recognizing child abuse and neglect, and how to create a babysitting kit.

 

Childhood Characteristics and Behaviour

In this section of the course, children learn about the stages of development for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, babysitting for children with disabilities, assistive devices and service animals.

 

Creating Safe Environments and Personal Safety

Children learn to be safer when home alone. Topics include; dealing with strangers, answering the door, answering the phone in a way that doesn’t put them at risk, what to do in the event of a fire and how to call EMS/911. Children learn about personal safety and security, online safety and bullying behaviours. Also included, is information about community safety, street safety, bicycle and scooter safety, water safety and rural babysitting.

 

Caring for Children

A young babysitter needs to understand the importance of supervision, what information they should get from the child’s parent or guardian before they are left alone with the child. Other topics include; home safety, poison prevention and giving medications, suffocation and choking, how to change a diaper, how to feed babies and children of all ages, safe toys and activities for each age group. They will learn about dressing, sleeping, playing, comforting, safe vs. unsafe touching and misbehaviour.

 

First Aid Skills and Handling Emergencies

Children learn first aid skills, accident prevention, checking for hazards, and how to call EMS/911. Topics in this section of the course include choking, CPR, asthma, anaphylaxis, minor cuts and scrapes, splinters, life-threatening bleeding, nosebleeds, bumps and bruises, burns, head, neck and back injuries, broken bones, seizures, poisons, insect stings, sudden medical conditions or other medical emergencies

When your child has learned these skills, they are less likely to have an accident or suffer any injury, and you never know, they might save your life one day!

 

The Business of Babysitting

Children will learn how to find babysitting work safely and how to prepare for their first babysitting job. Other topics include how to write a resume, expectations of the family, children’s expectations, self-evaluation after the job, their own family’s expectations. Babysitting is an excellent way for young people to give back to the community, gain valuable training and develop essential leadership skills.

 

For more information or to register your child for a course in Coquitlam, please follow the link below. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

Babysitting course schedule and online registration

Winter Driving Safety Tips Canada – FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions About Winter Driving

For more winter driving safety tips, please see the sources listed below and consider taking an online winter driving safety course.

Q: What are the three key elements to safe winter driving?

A:

  • Stay alert
  • Slow down
  • Stay in control

Q: What are some tips for driving in snow?

A:

  • Stay home. Only go out if necessary
  • Drive slowly
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Increase your following distance to five to six seconds
  • Know your brakes
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it
  • Don’t power up hills
  • Don’t stop when going up a hill

Q: Is a heavier car better in snow?

A: Heavier cars tend to do better in snow and ice than light vehicles. Tires designed for snow and ice not only have tread patterns that help with snow traction but the actual rubber compound they’re made of helps them stay softer and stickier in cold temperatures.

Q: How can I make my car better in snow?

A:

  • For rear-wheel vehicles, add weight to the rear.
  • Drive in the tracks cleared by other vehicles.
  • Get a pair of tire socks.
  • Buy a pair of easy-to-install snow chains.
  • Get winter tires.

Q: What should I do if I start to skid on black ice?

A: If you drive over black ice and start to skid, ease off the accelerator, and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Don’t brake as this will make the situation worse. You may need to repeat this manoeuvre several times until you regain control.

Q: What can I do if my car gets stuck in the snow?

A: Experts recommend that you remove the snow from around your tires to allow the wheels to roll more freely. If you have something to help your traction (such as traction mats, old carpets, salt, sand or kitty litter), put it right in front of your drive wheels. Gently rock your vehicle back and forth by shifting from forward to reverse, gradually increasing the distance with each rocking motion. Refer to the owner’s manual for more information.

Q: What are Mountain/snowflake tires?

A: If you live or travel in an area where you would typically and regularly expect snow, ice and slush, ICBC recommends using four matched winter tires that carry the mountain/snowflake symbol. Mountain/snowflake tires offer a higher level of traction in harsh winter conditions and receive their special designation for adhering to a performance-based standard (developed by the U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Rubber Association of Canada). They are the best winter tires available.

Q: Is it OK to use cruise control in winter driving conditions?

A: Avoid using cruise control in wet or slippery conditions. An activated cruise control system will continue to apply power, keeping your wheels spinning. Snow, ice, slush and rain can cause wheel-spin and loss of control. The only way to stop it is to reduce power. By the time you turn off your cruise control, it may be too late for you to get control of your steering again.

Q: How can I prevent hydroplaning?

A: Hydroplaning happens when the tires lose contact with the road surface and float on a film of water, and you lose control of steering and braking. It can occur in rain or standing water. The higher your speed, the greater your chances of hydroplaning. Prevent hydroplaning by scanning ahead for large puddles and reducing your speed, especially during heavy rain. If hydroplaning happens, don’t brake — decelerate and drive straight.

Q: What’s the recommended tread depth for winter tires?

A: ICBC advises that whichever winter tires you choose, it’s essential that they have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm. When you’re buying tires, remember to tell your local tire retailer what kind of road and weather conditions you drive in, so you get tires that are best suited for your needs.

Q: How do you know when it’s time to change your winter tires?

A: As a tire’s tread wears away, its traction, cornering and braking are less reliable. Most tires have tread wear indicator bars moulded into the tread face. ICBC recommends you replace your tires when the tread wear indicators in any two adjacent grooves of the tread are contacting the road.

Sources and Additional Resources

DriveBC

Online Training – Winter Driving Safety

To learn more about winter driving safety, take one of our online courses. Chose from the selection below:

If you have questions please contact us

Happy Holidays from Safe + Sound, and Thank You!

To our dedicated team of highly experienced instructors

We see and appreciate how much energy you put into your teaching and professional development. We love how you care for our clients with patience and kindness.

To the employers and agency case managers who have trusted us to train their staff and clients

We acknowledge you for seeing the value in safety training. We respect that you show your team members that you care about their safety by investing in first aid and mental health first aid training. Your workplace is safer because you give your people time off to take classes and learn first aid and safety skills. The families of your workers are confident that their loved ones will come home safely at the end of the day.

To our community champions and supporters, including the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and its members

The Chamber is an organization that provides an excellent platform from which local businesses can network and learn while providing support and celebrating each other’s achievements. We appreciate all of the great friendships we have made with fellow business owners and also the referrals you send our way!

To our course attendees and all of the people who post good reviews about Safe + Sound

Thank you for your lovely positive feedback and for registering your family members on our courses. It makes us happy to know that you and your families are safer because of the skills you learn in our courses. We look forward to seeing you again when it’s time for a refresher.

Special thanks to the new immigrants and refugees

You have taken a leap of faith and courage to tackle a Red Cross class in a language that many of you are still learning, and we have the greatest admiration for you. We know how much a Red Cross certification means to you. We’ve seen your tears of joy and celebrated with you when you discover that you’ve passed your course. We know that you may be depending on this certification so that you can work and put food on the table for your families. We wish you happiness and success in your new life in Canada.

To everyone who is involved with Safe + Sound First Aid Training

Thank you for helping us to provide a much-needed service in our community. We appreciate you all very much and wish you a safe and happy time with your family and friends over the holidays.

Gill McCulloch, Director,
Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd.
learnfirstaid.ca