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

Basic Life Support (BLS) – 2019 Update and FAQ’s

Red Cross recently launched the Basic Life Support Program. Development of this course was driven by industry audiences and the need for a clear distinction from public (or lay) CPR courses. Health care provider audiences require a professional, skills-driven resuscitation course that recognizes requisite knowledge.

BLS – Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Basic Life Support?
A. Basic Life Support (BLS) is the recognition of, and initial intervention or treatment given by pre-hospital or in-facility responders to, a patient suffering from cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.

Q. Is BLS just a different name for CPR HCP (Health Care Provider), or are HCP and BLS completely different?
A. BLS is a new course that is vastly different from HCP, from the target audience to the curriculum and content. BLS is focused on high performance resuscitation and professional skills and does not provide prevention education and address other first aid components as was the case in our HCP curriculum.

Q. Why is Red Cross sunsetting HCP? 
A. BLS training supersedes CPR HCP training. The introduction of BLS means CPR HCP is no longer needed – audiences who previously requested the CPR HCP Course will either take CPR C or BLS training depending on the skills needed.

Q: Is Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS) a nationally recognized program?
A: Yes, the BLS certification is recognized across Canada.

Q: Who is the BLS course designed for?
A: This course is designed for healthcare providers and trained first responders who provide care to patients in a wide variety of in-facility and prehospital settings or by those that require BLS certification and CPR training to enter into a healthcare-related training program.

Q: What do students learn on a BLS course?
A: The primary goal of BLS is to give professional responders the fundamental skills needed to sustain life with CPR/Rescue Breathing and restore an effective rhythm with use of an AED. Follow this link and click View Course Details for more info and list of topics.

Q: Who is the Basic Life Support (BLS) Recertification course for?
A: The Basic Life Support (BLS) Renewal course is a fast-paced course that allows the experienced BLS provider (those who are confident in their BLS skills through regular use in their work in the ED, CCU, ICU on code team, or paramedics and first responders) the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge through written and skills assessment in a concentrated program. Successful completion of this two hour 15 minute course (approximate time) allows students to renew their BLS course completion card.

Q: How long is a BLS certificate good for?
A: A Red Cross BLS certificate is good for 1 year.

Q. Why is BLS only a one-year certification?
A. One year is the industry standard for BLS due to the high skill competency required. Resuscitation skills deteriorate over time and professional responders working in a team environment must know all positions and the skills within those positions. In a cardiac arrest event, any team member may be assigned to any role and must be competent to fulfill their duties.

Q. How long is the BLS Course?

A. BLS on its own is four hours of instructional time, with one additional hour for each of Airway Management and Oxygen Therapy certifications. The focused course allows for a shorter time frame and more flexible scheduling options.

Q. Is there a BLS Recertification Course? If so, how long is it?
A. Yes, there is a BLS Recertification Course and it is two hours of instructional time. If the participant has Airway Management and/or Oxygen Therapy certification(s) as well, they may recertify those at the same time. Additional time is needed to complete the Airway Management and/or Oxygen Therapy certification(s).

Q. Is there a minimum age for BLS participants?
A. There is no minimum age requirement. Participants must be able to successfully demonstrate skill competency.

BLS Training for Private Groups in Metro Vancouver

Book a private group BLS class for your team at your location or ours or register your staff on one of our public BLS classes in Coquitlam.

Questions? Email or call 604-945-7277

Babysitting in BC and Kids at Home Alone – FAQ’s

Safe + Sound has been running the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting program for 19 years in Coquitlam, BC. Here are some of the most common questions parents and caregivers ask us.

Q: What is the legal age to babysit in BC?

A: There’s no minimum legal age for when children can become babysitters in Canada. It is not uncommon for children to start babysitting as early as 12 years old. Many people believe that the legal age is different when you are babysitting brothers and sisters. This is not the case.

Q: What is the legal age to leave a child at home alone in BC?

A:  In British Columbia, there is no legislated minimum age for leaving a child alone for a short period. However, according to a B.C. Supreme Court decision, children under the age of 10 should not be left unsupervised at home.

Q: What kind of training can kids do to prepare themselves to babysit?

A: The Canadian Red Cross offers a babysitting course for kids between 11 and 15 years old. The program is focused on child care, first aid, injury prevention, leadership and business skills.

Q: What do kids learn on a Red Cross Babysitting course?

A: Topics include:

  • How to be responsible and demonstrate leadership
  • How to make good decisions and manage difficult behaviours
  • Information on children’s developmental stages and specific strategies for each stage
  • How to feed, diaper, dress and play with children and babies
  • How to recognize and prevent unsafe situations, make safe choices and promote safe behaviour
  • First aid skills
  • The business of babysitting

Q: What age do kids have to be to take a Red Cross Babysitting course?

A: 11-15 years

Q: When a child has taken the Babysitting course are they qualified to babysit?

A: A child will gain useful skills and knowledge on the Babysitting course. After the class they will be more prepared and confident to babysit. The Babysitting course is a participation class. There is no testing of skills and therefore no “qualification” Whether or not the child is ready to take on the responsibility of babysitting is left to the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian. There is no such thing as a “babysitter’s license” for kids.

Q: What are the qualifications of a Red Cross babysitting course instructor?

A: Certified Red Cross Youth Leader

Q: Is the Red Cross Babysitting course appropriate for child care workers and adult babysitters?

A: No. This course is designed for 11-15 year olds. If you are a child care worker or an adult who babysits children, we recommend you take the Red Cross Emergency Child Care First Aid & CPR course.

Q: Where can I find more information about Red Cross Babysitting courses?

A: Visit Babysitting course info

We look forward to meeting your child and their friends soon!

How can employers reduce the impact of poor mental health in the workplace?

The link between stress, mental health and employee absence is well known; it remains a significant challenge for many Canadian employers.

Poor mental health in the workplace has a negative impact on both physical and mental well-being of employees. The early signs of poor mental health can be seen when employees begin to experience physical illnesses or conditions that are not directly related to their jobs like back pain, headaches, arthritis, and skin disorders.

Each year, absenteeism costs Canadian employers $16.5 Billion dollars in lost revenue. It makes sense for employers to look after the physical and mental health of their workers.

Smart employers are now offering Mental Health First Aid training in the workplace. Maintaining a happy, healthy workforce leads to higher productivity, less down time and absenteeism and this has a positive impact on the bottom line.

Mental Health First Aid – About the course

Physical first aid courses prepare people for medical emergencies such as choking, heart attack and broken bones. Mental health first aid training gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

A range of mental health issues will be covered, including mood, anxiety, trauma-related, psychotic and substance use disorders. The course will also teach first aid skills for dealing with drug overdose, suicidal behaviour, panic attacks, psychosis and acute stress reaction.

The goal is to enable participants to build the skills and confidence necessary to engage in effective conversations about mental health, help them recognize the most common mental health problems and illnesses, increase their comfort level with, and willingness to help others, and decrease the stigma and discrimination around mental health problems and illnesses.

PRIVATE group training for your team

Safe + Sound First Aid Training offers private group training as well as public courses. We can teach a course onsite at your location or at our Coquitlam classroom. For more information please call 604-945-7277 or follow this link

PUBLIC Mental Health First Aid course dates:

September 26&27 2018, Coquitlam  Register

November 7&8 2018, Coquitlam Register

Register online or call 604-945-7277

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. One in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.

Everyone can benefit from taking Mental Health First Aid training.


World First Aid Day – Sept 8 2018 – Why learn first aid?

The second Saturday in September is World First Aid Day. On this day we acknowledge the role of first aid awareness, training and practical application in making a real difference to people’s lives.

A common misconception is ‘it won’t happen to me’. The truth is that thousands of Canadians die and millions are injured each year due to unforeseen events.

First aid is a valuable life skill

You never know when you’ll need to use your first aid skills. A first aid class will give you the confidence and skills to calmly and effectively provide relief to those in need. First aid training provides more than the knowledge and skills to effectively respond – it also provides the confidence to act when needed. It takes confidence to step forward at the critical moment when others are panicking. Taking immediate action and applying the appropriate techniques, while waiting for professional help, can considerably reduce deaths and injuries.

In 2017 556,695 Canadians learned first aid and over 1 million Canadians attended Red Cross swimming and water safety courses. Everyone can benefit from learning first aid. Every single day lives are saved and injury and illness is reduced through the efforts of ordinary individuals who have taken the time to become trained.

By increasing the number of trained first aiders across Canada, the number of preventable deaths in homes, workplaces and public spaces is likely to decline.

You cannot put a price on a life saved. First aid training is a small investment I encourage everyone to make.

First Aid Training for your team – onsite or at our Coquitlam location

To make arrangements for private group training for your team please follow this link or call 604-945-7277.

To register for a class please check our course listings

We look forward to meeting you soon!

Gill McCulloch, Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd.

A man drowned at the beach on my daughter’s birthday.

A couple of years ago we were celebrating my daughter’s birthday at White Pines beach in Port Moody. A young man went missing in the lake, people started yelling and eventually the man was found under an inflatable raft. He was dragged onto the beach and paramedics performed CPR. The man was then airlifted to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. We packed up my daughter’s birthday gifts and left the lake in shock. I will never forget the memory of black water gushing out of that young man’s mouth onto the sand and thinking that this could have been one of my kids.

Children and adults drown at our local beaches every single year. If you are supervising non-swimmers at the beach please keep your phone in your bag and only use it in an emergency. There is nothing more important for you to do at the beach than keeping an eye on your loved ones in the water.

Maybe you’ll be the rescuer on the beach one day. Make sure you are prepared by taking first aid and CPR training every three years as recommended by the Canadian Red Cross.

Red Cross First Aid & CPR Course information

Swedish First Responders have found a unique way of getting this water safety message across to beachgoers. In a viral video by the Södra Älvsborg Rescue Service Association of Sweden, you can see two firefighters stealing cell phones on the beach! Whenever the two men spot people staring at their phones, they walk up to them and snatch the phone from the person’s hands.

Keep your phone in your bag, watch your loved ones at the beach and have a safe and happy summer.

Gill McCulloch, Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd.

Red Cross trainer saved by students. Would you know what to do?

Luckily for Red Cross trainer Inga Sloan her students knew what to do when she experienced a heart attack at age 39.

Inga had just started teaching her first aid class when she suddenly collapsed. With no signs, symptoms, or warning, Inga dropped to the floor and went into full cardiac arrest. She was showing no signs of life. Her trainees were quick to react. They immediately started CPR, ran to fetch the AED from the firetruck parked outside, and began working through the correct life-saving procedures as taught by Inga and the Red Cross. The training crew applied two AED shocks and administered CPR until  paramedics arrived with an ambulance to transport her to a local hospital.

They had saved Inga’s life. Read full story

Would you know what to do if a person collapsed at your feet right now?  If you‘ve never learned CPR or don’t feel confident in your skills, it’s time to register for a first aid class.

Here are some of the Red Cross courses offered by Safe + Sound:

– Emergency First Aid (1 day, $100.00+GST) adult, child & infant skills

– Standard First Aid (2 days, $160.00+GST) adult, child & infant skills

– Emergency Child Care First Aid (1 day, $100.00+GST) child and infant skills

All Red Cross certification courses include CPR and AED (defibrillator) training. Red Cross certification is good for 3 years.

Check our public course schedule or book a private class for your team at our location or yours.

If you’re not sure which course is right for you or your staff, please call 604-945-7277 or email

Act now and learn to save a life.

Coquitlam first aid course schedule

News for Employers – Workplace First Aid Certifications in BC

Great news regarding workplace first aid certification!

Effective September 1 2018, both Canadian Red Cross Emergency First Aid (EFA) and Standard First Aid (SFA) will be recognized as equivalent to Occupational First Aid (OFA) Level 1, also known as Workplace Emergency First Aid (WEFA).

Unlike the Level 1 program, Red Cross EFA and SFA certification is transferable between all provinces and recognized nationally for workplace requirements. While Level 1 includes adult skills only, EFA and SFA include adult, child and infant skills. This is great for workers who have contact with the public.

Why are the workplace first aid requirements changing?

WorkSafeBC regularly reviews the OFA training program to ensure that it is keeping up with best practices. What’s different? The new training covers a broader spectrum of medical issues, and aligns treatment protocols with Canadian and international best practices.

Are the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and Guidelines changing?

These changes are not a result of changes to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation. As part of the process of updating best practices, the OHS Guidelines are being reviewed and updated. WorkSafeBC will provide more information about this in the coming months.

Will current Red Cross Level 1 (WEFA) certificates still be valid after September 1 2018?

Yes. Current certification remains valid until the expiry date on the certificate.

Time for your team members to renew their first aid certification?

Register your staff on a public course in Coquitlam via links below or book a private class. For information or a quote for private group training at your workplace or our Coquitlam location please contact us:

Gill McCulloch
Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd.

Public class schedule, Coquitlam:
Emergency First Aid & CPR (1 day)

Standard First aid & CPR (2 days)

Would you give first aid if it meant risking your job?

This is a question that library staff in Fraser Valley, B.C, now have to consider after being ordered not to perform first aid in emergencies.

Imagine this question on a multiple choice test.

Q: You are working in the library and you see a person fall to the floor. What should you do?

A:    Nothing, because if you help them, you risk losing your job.

B:   Give first aid because it’s the right thing to do and you might save the person’s life.

Hmmm…. A or B? let me think.

Obviously as an employer you don’t want your employees to get hurt at work. How do you prevent this from happening? You provide training and appropriate equipment. When people are trained properly they are able to make good decisions. You need to trust that your employees have a certain amount of  intelligence and common sense. If you hired them you will know that they do!

A person who is sick or injured is very unlikely to be a danger to your staff and  people suffering with mental health issues including drug addiction are far more likely to be hurt by others than to hurt people. What about the person who is choking on their gum or having a heart attack. Are you really worried that they might be a risk to you or your staff?

And who am I to get so worked up about this?

I have owned and operated Safe + Sound First Aid Training since 1999. Over the last 18 years my instructors and I have heard many heartbreaking stories of lives lost and injuries and accidents that could have been prevented. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard the words

“If only I’d known what to do, maybe they’d be alive today”
“If only I’d had first aid training”
“If only I’d called 911”
“If only…..”

I’ve worked with doctors, paramedics and firefighters, some of whom suffer with PTSD and depression as a result of the many traumatic experiences they’ve endured. First Responders have to live with the frustration and regret over the lives they were unable to save.

“If only I’d arrived at the scene earlier”
“If only someone had called 911”
“If only a bystander had started CPR”
“If only…..”

Fraser Valley library’s policy states that:

“911 may ask you if you feel comfortable performing basic first aid, such as adjusting the customer’s position or touching the customer. Do not! Your safety may be compromised as a result. Let the 911 operator know that you are at work, that this is a customer, that you do not know the reason for the customer’s behaviour and that you do not feel comfortable or safe performing first aid on the customer.”

All employees were required sign off on the policy, acknowledging that non-compliance could result in disciplinary action, including termination i.e. being a Good Samaritan might cost you your job.

Employers should not be able to deny their staff the right to choose to give first aid or tell them to lie when they call 911!

Whatever happened to the idea of “Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself?”

Denying people the opportunity to give first aid may lead to serious repercussions. I have spoken to a grandmother who found her grandchild dead in his crib, a woman whose brother was shot to death in front of her in the hallway of her home, a woman who tried to hold onto her drowning husband but in the end had to let go. These people will never recover fully from the trauma they have experienced and the frustration of not being able to save their loved one’s life.

When my son was five years old he choked and nearly died. Fortunately I was with him at the time and had the first aid skills to save him. Fraser Valley Library’s policy says that staff should not approach patrons in medical distress. Does this include children?

People have the right to choose to give first aid or not and library patrons should not have to start wearing bubble wrap!

Which first aid course is right for you?

Read Globe and Mail article here: Library staff in Fraser Valley, B.C. ordered not to perform first aid in emergencies

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

Adult Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid – Learn to help people with mental health issues

When people think of first-aid training, they often think of CPR or bandages. But now there is a program that teaches people how to help those with mental health issues. If somebody breaks a leg we call 911 and the ambulance comes, but with mental health issues it’s harder to recognize the signs and the symptoms and to know what to do.

Safe + Sound offers the Mental Health First Aid course regularly in Coquitlam. The course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how they can help a friend, family member or co-worker who may be experiencing mental health issues. There is still a stigma associated with mental health and the more people are informed and involved, the better.

What is the purpose of the Mental Health First Aid Course?

– Identify when a person may be a danger to themselves or to others and take steps to preserve life.

– Recognize the early signs of mental health problems and provide help to prevent more serious problems from developing.

– Provide comfort to someone with a mental health problem and support them in the recovery of their mental health.

– Guide a person towards the appropriate professional help.

The Mental Health First Aid course isn’t designed to train people to become therapists, but rather to show them how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse and learn what kind of professional help might be needed. Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour certification course and includes video, role play and discussion.

Follow the link below for course information and online registration or call 604-945-7277

Public Classes

Mental Health First Aid course schedule, Coquitlam

Group Training – Onsite or at our Coquitlam location

Onsite Training – Mental Health First Aid

Babysitting course SD43

October 19 2018, Pro D Day Babysitting Class, Coquitlam. Register today!

Are you worried when you leave your older child at home alone with their younger siblings? If you’d like your 11-15 year old to learn babysitting skills and how to be safer when home alone, you may like to sign them up for our Red Cross Babysitting class on October 19 2018 in Coquitlam. Register online or call 604-945-7277.

What will your child learn on a Red Cross Babysitting class?

As a trained babysitter, your child will learn how to:

  • Look after babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
  • Care for himself/herself and siblings when home alone.
  • Create a safe environment, and deal with phone calls and unexpected visitors.
  • React confidently in case of an emergency, such as choking, bleeding, poisoning or burns.
  • Cope with common problems, such as tantrums and crying.
  • Play games and organize activities to keep kids of all ages entertained.
  • Manage a babysitting business. This includes creating a resume and a business card and asking the right questions before accepting a babysitting job.

The Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course, refreshed and revised, now has a greater emphasis on First Aid skills. The course covers everything from managing difficult behaviours to essential content on leadership and professional conduct as a babysitter. Babysitting promises to deepen and enhance the responsibility that older youth feel when caring for younger children. This updated curriculum, complete with new science, also provides improved learning when it comes to giving the appropriate care in the event of an emergency.

First Aid Content includes:

  • Check, Call, Care (includes phoning EMS/911)
  • Glove removal
  • Recovery position
  • Conscious choking (adult/child/baby/alone)
  • CPR (baby/child)
  • Illness
  • Asthma (includes use of inhaler and spacer)
  • Anaphylaxis (includes use of EpiPen)
  • Poisoning
  • Insect stings
  • Wound care (i.e. minor cuts and scrapes, splinters, nosebleeds, bumps and bruises
  • Life-threatening bleeding, burns)
  • Head, neck and back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Seizures

For course information and online registration please follow the links below or call 604-945-7277.

Register for October 19 2018 Babysitting course, Coquitlam

Printable Flyer: 2018 Oct 19 Pro-D Day Babysitting course, Coquitlam

View Babysitting course schedule, Coquitlam

Register today and help your child build valuable skills for a lifetime.