Future Red Cross First Aid instructors on North Vancouver Island now have a place close to home to work toward their certification, thanks to North Island College becoming a Red Cross Instructor Development Centre.
NIC is the only post-secondary on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to be designated development centre, and the only one serving the North Island. Previously, people would have to travel to Victoria to be certified.
NIC lead first aid instructor Ernie Payne will be teaching the new instructor training courses.
“Being associated with Red Cross is beneficial because it’s an organization that people recognize,” said Payne. “They know they’re getting high-quality instruction from reputable organizations like Red Cross and NIC.”
There’s also a big demand for instructors who can travel and train onsite, noted Payne.
“I’ve found the most effective way to teach people first aid is to go to job sites and workplaces,” he said. “The biggest thing with first aid is comfort — being comfortable with the skills you’re learning and the equipment you’ll be using.
“If you start in an environment where people are already comfortable, it makes it easier for them to absorb the information. Plus, you can also use examples that are relevant for students in terms of their work environment.”
Ada Chan, a first aid program representative for the Canadian Red Cross, says having dedicated development centres ensures Red Cross instructor candidates get consistent and high-quality training.
“It also ensures instructor candidates receive support through the entire process as they go through the steps to become an instructor and when they recertify in the future,” said Chan.
Instructor training focuses on being able to articulate information clearly, answering questions and making information relatable.
“Most new instructor candidates are nervous when they start out,” said Payne. “It’s amazing to see the progression people make as they learn to instruct and knowing the impact they’ll have on the students they’ll go on to teach.”
“People think of first aid as this big, complex thing, but anyone can do it,” he continued. “Whether it’s putting on a bandage or clearing someone’s airway if they’re choking. I think people would be surprised at how little effort it takes to help someone in need.”
The Red Cross Instructor First Aid & CPR course runs April 15 to 18 at the NIC Comox Valley campus.
For more information, visit nic.bc.ca or call 1-800-715-0914.