IMRF Member the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) is running a new series of Cold Water Workshops to which IMRF Members are invited to attend.

The workshops are designed to improve first responder and public understanding of cold-water immersion and hyperthermia, as well as how to treat those affected. It will also cover cold-water survival techniques, effective thermal protective clothing, basic first response methods and the 1-10-1 principle.

The workshops will be run by Dr. Gilbert Giesbrecht (a.k.a. Professor Popsicle), a world-renowned hyperthermia expert, from the University of Manitoba and will be held online over two evenings totalling five hours on 19 & 21 April.

In addition to the online seminars, the CSBC are also offering in-person workshops, including one-day workshops for non-first responders and two-day instructor sessions for those looking to bring what they have learnt back to their organisation to teach other personnel.

The CSBC also offer a number of cold water DVDs for purchase that provide instructions on how to increase chances of survival in the event of accidental immersion.

They also have several short instructional videos and audio clips on their website, providing free information on boating safety, lifejackets and surviving in cold-water environments.

The CSBC was founded in 1991 to improve communications regarding safe boating issues between government departments and agencies.

Over the past 15 years, water-related Canadian fatalities have fallen 30%, led in part by CSBC’s outreach activities and safe boating awareness campaigns.

The Safe Boating Awareness Week campaign has been a mainstay of CSBC since its inception in 1995 and has reached more than 16 million people who recreate on Canadian waters.

This year’s campaign will take place from 21-27 May 2022 and will promote five key messages: wear your lifejacket, boat sober, be prepared, take a boating course, and be aware of cold-water risks, in addition to reinforcing social distancing restrictions related to Covid-19.

According to the Ontario-based charity Lifesaving Society, 35% of drownings in Canada occur in October to April when most users have no intention of going into the water.

During the summer season, Canadian lakes and rivers can still remain as low as -20°C and pose a significant risk to those who are unsure of what to do in the event of accidental immersion.

Booking for this event has now closed.