Hockey For Heart

When I recently read this article about raising money and awareness for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Ontario hockey arenas, I knew I had to share it with you. The Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Hockey For Heart is a series of tournaments that take place across Ontario.

Rob Weir lost his father, Roger Weir, in 1993 when he had a heart attack on the ice.

“I was sitting on the bench, looked down at the other end of the ice where the play was, looked back at my dad and saw that he had fallen over and instantly knew that something wasn’t right because I knew it wasn’t from something that had happened during the play,” Weir recalls of that tragic night.

Two years after Rob’s loss, he had the idea to organize a hockey tournament in memory of his father. The tournament’s goal was to raise money to place defibrillators in communities across Ontario. In 2006, the Heart & Stroke Foundation hired Weir to expand his tournament model to more cities in Ontario.  To date, the Hockey For Heart program has raised $1.75 million towards the placement of AEDs across communities in Ontario and they plan to surpass the $2 million mark this year. Many hockey celebrities are now also involved in the tournaments.

I am a HUGE advocate for having access to AEDs in our communities. I literally hear about the lifesaving capabilities of AEDs every single day through articles and nightly news broadcasts all over the world. The message is always the same: defibrillation is the only remedy for cardiac arrest. And while knowing CPR is obviously important, having access to AEDs increases survival rates more than 10 fold. The survival rate jumps from about 7% for adults in Canada with CPR-only rescue to 90% (no this is NOT a typo!) if an AED is attached to the victim within one minute of collapse. For every minute there after, the survival rate decreases by approximately 7-10%. So even after 5 minutes, the survival rate is still be as high as 55% (versus 7%!). I like those odds.

I sincerely applaud all of the work that Weir and his team at Hockey For Heart are doing for a great cause. His commitment and passion for raising funds and awareness for AEDs is honourable.

I wish all of the teams competing in this year’s Hockey For Heart the best of luck!

Please donate generously at:




There is no better time to update your CPR & AED skills than right now. Check out our website for more information or contact us to book a session for your group today.

Parent Interview Series: Sara Hodge of Mums ‘n Chums!

Our Parent Interview Series enables parents in our community to share their experiences with one another so we can all feel more confident caring for our little ones!

Today’s post is from Sara Hodge who is the creator of the brilliant Mums ‘n Chums parenting network. Head over to her website to check out local parenting events, chats and forums, as well as amazing informational resources. (You can check her out on Twitter too!) I am so excited to share Sara’s wisdom with you today!







How old are your children? 

6 months and 4 years

What do they get into most? 

My 4 year old is actually very good about asking for things first, but I’m anticipating that to change once he realizes he can be dishonest.  I’m also sure the baby will be starting to get into things fairly soon, which makes me nervous as the 4 year old has toys with lots of small parts, like legos.

What’s been your biggest first aid scare? 

When my 4 year old was 5 months old, he was sitting in his feeding seat at the end of a meal and I removed the tray to take him out.  I turned to put the tray on the counter beside me and forgot (don’t judge- I was extremely sleep deprived!) to keep my hand on him.  He leaned forward and went down face first, chair and all, onto the kitchen floor.  Scariest moment of my life.  Luckily he was totally fine and hardly even cried, but I was a basketcase for several days!

When did you start introducing solids into your child’s diet? 

5 months

How do you prevent a choking emergency? 

Feed small, well-pureed amounts at a time and pay close attention to his eating.

Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping your home safe? 

To me, it doesn’t matter how safe your home is if you’re not paying proper attention.  I learned that lesson the hard way when my son fell in the feeding seat.  Since then, I was uber vigilant (although hopefully not helicopter parent-ish?) about keeping a close eye on him and I think that is a huge part of keeping a child safe from anything.

What kind of questions do you wish you had been able to ask other parents about your child’s safety? 

I wish I had known which safety gadgets were worth purchasing and which ones are gimmicks.

What’s your best piece of advice for brand new parents?  

Pay attention.  Period.  Not just for safety reasons but for your child’s overall well being.  We are so busy and so distracted by so many things, it’s possible to sometimes forget that our children should be a priority.  Yes, that text that’s coming in on your phone might be important, but if you’re shushing your child or waving him away while he’s trying to tell you he loves you, there’s a problem.  As a brand new parent you might say “I’d never do that”, but trust me, there will be a day when you do.  It happens. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, but if you do it, learn from it.  Think about what you’re doing.  Give your children your full attention so they know you care.  Above all else, children NEED to know this. And give the same respect to your spouse as well.  The old saying is true: Children learn what they live.  They won’t respect you if you don’t respect them.

Thanks Sara! Stay tuned for details of the exciting event that ON-SITE First Aid & Mums ‘n Chums will be working on together!


In the meantime, remember to be calm, be confident & think common sense!




If you or someone you know would like to be featured in our Parent Interview Series, please contact us:

Have you checked out our free ebook for parents yet? Click here to get it!


First Aid Professionals: Christopher Thind

Our First Aid Professionals series is designed to shed light on our community heroes who make saving lives their life’s mission (and who make it look easy)!

Today’s post is from Chris Thind who works with us as a First Aid & CPR Instructor. 


How did you get started in this field?

I personally started off as a volunteer in the first aid field with the 1st Downsview Toronto EMS MedVents. When I was younger I knew I always wanted to be a paramedic. A friend of mine had introduced me to the program and thought it would be a good fit for me. I personally thought I would use this experience to see if it was something I would want to do for the rest of my life. It was in 2008 when I joined and currently am still with the program and currently one of the First Aid Instructors for the program. 

When did you know that you wanted to do work as a First Aid Instructor?

With the MedVent program I enjoyed working with everyone in the group and was asked to become an instructor after advancing my first aid certifications. I thought it would be a great opportunity to become certified as an instructor as I know that First Aid is something everyone should know.

How long have you been a first aid instructor?

I got my certification as an instructor on January 2011. Prior, to getting my certification I have assisted at various First Aid Courses and Skill Sessions that helped me develop my skills as an instructor.

What does your job involve on a day-to-day basis?

Currently I am employed as a Medical responder, where I provide First Aid at a variety of sports leagues and special events located throughout the GTA.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

My favourite part of the job would have to be the diversity in what I do on a daily basis. When I start my shift I don’t know what I am going to come across or see. One day I could be attending to many patients, on another I could just be talking to parents and their children and providing them information in regards to first aid.

What’s your least favourite part of the job?

The weather would be my least favourite part of the job. Majority of the events I attend at are outdoors. Regardless of what the weather, most sport leagues and events will carry on rain or shine,

What is the best piece of first aid advice you have for parents?

The best piece of first aid advice I can offer to all parents is that hugs and kisses work best. The help of a favourite stuffed animal or even a lollipop works wonders. When children see their parents panicking they tend to do the same. Remaining calm in all situations can work wonders.


Be calm, be confident & think common sense!



If you or someone you know would like to be featured in our First Aid Professionals series, please contact us!

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit to see our calendar or contact us directly about a session for your organization.

Have you checked out our FREE eBook for parents yet? Click here to get it! 

“I said brrrrrrrr – it’s cold in here!”

When outside for extended periods of time and exposed to the elements (snowboarding, hiking or generally enjoying the great outdoors!), the cold weather can quickly harm us, especially if the inner layers of our clothing are damp. Just as our body naturally sweats to cool ourselves down, our body naturally shivers to warm up our internal temperature when it gets too chilly. When someone who is experiencing signs of hypothermia stops shivering completely, their body has become incapable of regulating its internal temperature and this is when hypothermia becomes a very serious, life-threatening condition.

As the days and nights get colder here (especially up here in Canada, eh!), it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and how to quickly treat it.

Download our FREE Quick Reference Guide all about hypothermia.

Stay warm & cozy!  

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit to see our calendar or contact us directly about a session for your organization.

Have you checked out our FREE eBook for parents yet? Click here to get it!