What does COVID-19 (Coronavirus) mean for First Aid Training?

To ensure social distancing and compliance with Ontario and Canadian guidelines regarding COVID-19, the Workers Safety Insurance Bureau (WSIB) has advised all First Aid providers to suspend in-person courses temporarily. People who require recertification for first aid need not worry. The WSIB has put workers and businesses at ease by providing a 90-day extension for anyone requiring recertification. The WSIB is the regulatory body that oversees first aid training in the workplace in Ontario.

How did we go from the first case of COVID-19 in Canada on January 25, 2020, to today where the numbers in Ontario  are growing daily? Why was it necessary for organizations like SOS First Aid to suspend classes?

My name is Patty and I am a First Aid Instructor with SOS and a Paramedic or First responder. My initial thoughts and worries take me back to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic identified in 2003. SARS was also a coronavirus that originated in China in 2002. Transmission was primarily from person to person. SARS had flu like symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, breathing difficulties, tiredness and diarrhea. Global infection control regulations lead to the successful management and containment of the global outbreak.

What did we learn from SARS? How can we take lessons regarding precautionary measures learned then and apply them to our present situation?

We can and have been applying these lessons in our training sessions. There are guidelines and standards in place for classrooms and disinfecting and cleaning of equipment and surfaces. Students who are showing signs and symptoms of flu or illness are asked to stay home and reschedule their training to when they are well again. We do not want sick participants in our classes. Disease can spread easily as students are close contact with fellow students and touch each other when learning and practising new skills.

Health, safety and hygiene have always been a priority in first aid classes. How to prevent the transmission of bacteria and diseases and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are part of the required curriculum. This includes wearing gloves when providing first aid care, their proper removal and disposal, hand washing with hot water and soap for 30 seconds. We even discuss the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers when there is no access to hand washing which is preferable and more effective. When hand washing is available, do so.

Use hand sanitizer

Before we shut down our operations on March 16, we had added more access to disinfecting wipes, gloves, opportunities to wash hands to our classes, and kept a close watch on the development of the virus and adjusted our courses accordingly. Questionnaires were handed out to our participants asking them about their general health, whether they had a fever, cough, or travelled outside Canada or whether they had been in contact with someone who was unwell.

As the number of presumptive and confirmed cases continued to climb, public health officials and politicians began to implement a travel ban and the Ontario government declared a state of emergency mandating that places where people gather, like fitness centers and restaurants, close their doors temporarily. By March 18, 2020, all first aid providers shut down their operations temporarily.

At this stage, no one knows how much longer classes will be suspended. For clients who require first aid to meet workplace or school requirements, contact your employer or school and ask for an extension.

Blended first aid courses are a very good option for many. Currently, students are able to complete the online portion now of a blended first aid course. The online modules are the first half of their certification training. Once in-person classes resume, students will then be able to complete their one day training. This is the second part of the blended learning training. As long as you complete the in-class portion within 90 days of the online portion, the WSIB and the Red Cross will issue a valid certification for Standard First Aid. Normally the time to complete both training portions is 30 days between the online and the in-class, but the Red Cross and WSIB have granted a temporary extension to 90 days. Contact SOS to set up blended learning at [email protected]

What is COVID-19?

This virus is novel (which means new), also known as the coronavirus. It is a Respiratory Disease and there are certain people within our communities that are most at risk:

corona virus safety

  • Older adults (seniors). Not just with their advanced age, but most of them will have underlying medical conditions which make them more at risk
  • Those with lung conditions such as severe asthma, emphysema, COPD
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immune suppressed, such as those going through chemotherapeutic treatments
  • Infants/young children that may not have strengthened their own immune systems yet

We need to follow the guidelines that are being placed by our Provincial and Federal governments. These are being updated continuously.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Know the Signs and Symptoms:

Infected persons may show no to few symptoms, and they are similar to the cold or flu. In some cases take up to 14 days to appear. They are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia l

Social Distancing: means to keep at least a distance of 1 metre between you and others when out, especially if that person is sneezing or coughing.

Using tissues to sneeze or cough into, and then disposing of them immediately.

Washing our hands, washing our hands, washing our hands!! For at least 30 seconds with soap and water.

Self Isolation: for those who have been in direct contact/exposure to this virus or due to recent travels abroad. For 14 days they should not attend any social gatherings, such as church, work, school, concerts, restaurants, malls, stores, or use public transit: buses, trains, taxis, etc.

Home supplies should be: (reasonable amounts)

  • Soap – hand washing, dish and laundry
  • Bleach
  • Thermometer
  • Alcohol based sanitizers
  • N95 masks, if available. One use only.
  • Vinyl or nitrate gloves. One use only.
  • Paper towels
  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
  • Facial tissues

Quarantining the ill and adjusting their care as needed.

We are attempting to “flatten the curve” of the spread of this virus. This means if we can slow down the new cases, it will give our doctors/nurses more time to respond and open up more resources for handling those who are ill.

This is all part of our mitigation strategy or system. This is our action plan to take control of this seemingly uncontrollable situation. We can all do our part!

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

Had a great experience there!! Well structured and organized information, been a while since I’d been to “class”. The instructor Patty, was phenomenal, makes everyone feel welcomed and ensures you have a thorough understanding of the information being presented. Would highly recommend SOS for any and all of your first aid training requirements. Thanks for everything Patty, you inspired this momma:)
Lydia Zeman
Lydia Zeman
Great program. Took Standard Firat Aid C, and Patty and Marita were fantastic!! Learned a lot in short time and shown the proper way to conduct CPR. Would suggest anyone capable of doing CPR/standard first aid should attend this course, especially if you are worried about doing CPR/first aid wrong. They show how it's done properly and give you the confidence to do it. Also very accommodating.
Michelle Sone
Michelle Sone
Fun class made easy to learn and retain information with instructors Patty & Marita highly recommend for first aid , CPR Level C & AED
Lori Corkin
Lori Corkin
I just took the course at SOS in Mississauga for emergency first aid. My instructor Patty was amazing she is very engaging and made sure that everyone's questions were answered and clarified anything that was confusing. I have already recommended this course to my fellow classmates. I also had trouble on the website to register as a student in order to get the discount. However, the staff was really amazing when I called and refunded me the amount in order for me to receive the student discount. I would definitely recommend SOS to anyone who is looking either to get emergency first aid or standard first aid done. I would also do my re-certification at SOS!
Mary Best
Mary Best
Just finished my standard first aid cpr-c course , it was amazing ... patty was a great instructor , she was informative, fun and very organized ... the two days went by so smoothly and so fast ... didnt even feel the time go by because it was great :) i would definitely come back for a recert :)
shaza selim
shaza selim
I participated in an Emergency First Aid Course with SOS in Mississauga. Their location in Square one at 4141 Living Arts Drive was excellent. Patty as a course Instructor also was full of knowledge and experience. Attending a class with her was really enjoyable and fun filled. I appreciate SOS for choosing such an excellent location and hiring some of the best instructors in the field.
Jhumki Laksar
Jhumki Laksar
Yesterday I had the privilege to take the CPR level C course at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga . It was my very first time taking this course and I didn't know what to expect. However, I need to let you know that the course was very informative and I had an amazing experience and all because of my instructor, Patty. She is very knowledgeable and has so much experience, and knows how to deliver information in a fun way which keeps the class very engaged. She is also very accommodating and makes sure to personally clean all the tools you use to ensure they are sanitary. I am very thankful for everything she taught me and I highly recommend everyone to take this course.
Hedviga Zareczky
Hedviga Zareczky
Excellent course that provided the training I needed. Thoroughly enjoyed instructor Sam! His wealth of knowledge was impressive. Would definitely recommend this course to anybody.
Lloyd Dyson
Lloyd Dyson
Such a great course! Patty was so helpful and super easy to understand. So accommodating to everyone and worked hard to ensure success for everyone. A Course I will definitely be recommending!
cara castillo
cara castillo
The training was great! Our instructor, Patty, was amazing! She kept the class engaging and positive. Would recommend it to everyone! Thank you!
Manu A.Rajah
Manu A.Rajah
Amazing instructor! Really learned to save lives and I feel confident to do it in my feel of work. Thank you Patty!
Endy s
Endy s
Patty did an excellent job teaching our first aid training.She made the course fun and very informative.She is very passionate about what she does based on her own life experiences that she graciously shared with us.Thanks Patty for the training and confidence I would need if ever put in a life threatening situation.
Donna Greeley
Donna Greeley
Patty was absolutely an amazing teacher.. Very friendly and down to earth.. She knows what she is talking about... I would recommend Patty to teach any class.
Austin Gosse
Austin Gosse
A great way to get your First Aid Cert. Minimum two day for standard which yes seems long and a waste of a weekend, but it goes by fast and lots of fun practice.
villagemayor
villagemayor
Excellent First Aid CPR-C/BLS courses, easy to understand and detailed explanations, instructor made the course very interesting and fun so we don't lose our focus, our instructor Patty, Jessica was excellent with the scientific proof, and answered all the question passionately, situational and interesting activities. I was able to fully understand the importance of First aid, new information about the first aid. completed the course with excellent score and understanding.Thank you Patty and Jessica!
정한석
정한석
Patty was a great instructor,knowledgable and her paramedic work experience taught us alot I would recommend everybody to do first aid CPR course from Patty Thank-you.
Soulat Ali
Soulat Ali
Took this course 2 weeks back. Patty is very knowledgeable and she knows what she's doing. she goes above & beyond to make sure that we understand everything being taught. I highly recommend Instructor Patty. Thank you
Aim Harry
Aim Harry
I just completed my standard first aid with CPR - C and it was fantastic. The instructor Patty was so informative and sweet; I enjoyed the course so much, it went by so quickly. It was a great experience, I am so glad I took this course. I really do feel so much more confident knowing that I have the knowledge of how to deal with first aid situations that I could encounter in the future. Actually after finishing it, I want to register for more informative courses to get my training level higher. It made me want to register as a first responder in my college.
Alisa Boyarkin
Alisa Boyarkin
I took the wilderness first aid course with SOS First Aid and I loved it, I have also taken the standard first aid courses with this company, I've had a great experience everytime
Patrick Sacco
Patrick Sacco
Took the 2 day standard first aid combo course and it was great. Class size was nice and small, and more importantly, Kathryn was a great instructor. Thanks again Kathryn.
Ali Amin
Ali Amin
It was a great class for me because I learn a lot. Patty is great teacher she made everything easy to understand. There were lots of example and experience for titles. The more important thing was that the class wasn't boring at all. Thanks for all of that patty.
Nasrin Bina
Nasrin Bina
Our instructor(Patty Turnbull) T was very nice. I felt totally comfortable in her class. She seemed very experienced and had many examples to visualize a situation and circumstances for us. I liked her approach to instruction. It was my second time that I participated in CPR and First Aid course but I learned a lot in Patty's course. The room was appropriate and comfortable from different aspects like heat, chairs, noise and etc.
Maryam Molkabadin
Maryam Molkabadin
Great course this weekend wilderness first aid basic. Lots of information and very good instructors thank you Heather and Michelle
David Scarr
David Scarr
Patty is a phenomenal instructor! Engaging and hilarious, I would take another course with her in a heartbeat.
Marci Nash
Marci Nash
SOS First Aid is one of the best training companies I've worked with. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable. They are a great partner to work with!
Dan MacDonald
Dan MacDonald
Zhike Zhang
Zhike Zhang
I had a great experience with my recertification! Amit was an incredible instructor - very knowledgeable, clear and concise. He clearly demonstrated the use of the AED, first aid practises as well as CPR. I highly recommend his class!
lauren rowbottom
lauren rowbottom
The course is very informative and I recommend for anyone who needs to receive any sort of cpr or first aid certification to do it at SOS first aid. My instructor Amit was great, funny and informative, when I recertify I hope I get him again!
Cy w
Cy w
Amit is a great hands on trainer. Would recommend if looking for CPR and AED training
ahmed chakib
ahmed chakib
Nathalie Garratt
Nathalie Garratt
Tyson a real one Amazing experience and class taught by tyson
Saleh Chaudhry
Saleh Chaudhry
Tyson is my dawgs he tought me how to save babies.
Aaliyah Isaac
Aaliyah Isaac
The class was amazing, they didn't rush with us . We were all engaged and Tyson was one of the best mentors ever
Thekillaah Show
Thekillaah Show
Heba B
Heba B
Great class and great instructors (Kathryn and tyson)
Meena Kirupakaran
Meena Kirupakaran
great instructors very active and left the course knowing what to do in emergency cases
Aous Salih
Aous Salih
Justin Lu
Justin Lu
I was given the opportunity to take the SOS First Aid and Safety Training at the Living arts center in Mississauga. Patty is an amazing and informative instructor. She made sure that we understood everything clearly. I enjoyed the last two days in her class!!!
Erica Baluyot
Erica Baluyot
Had Amit as an instructor, he was very engaging and kept the 8 hour course interesting despite the large class size. A much better experience than I've had before with first aid courses and I definitely feel that I learned a lot more.
Benjamin Korol
Benjamin Korol
This weekend I took my first aid course. My instructor Amit was phenomenal! He made the class fun, very informative. I really enjoyed the experience and knowledge learned and the hands on methodology. I would definitely recommend others to take the class.
Denisha Gilliam
Denisha Gilliam
Awesome experience with Amit ...nice and informative
Yogita Sarda
Yogita Sarda
Amazing instructor, Amit, kept the class interesting and easy to learn! Would recommend!
Kaley Redmond
Kaley Redmond
Very good training, highly recommend it! Thank you Amit!
Cecilia Garza
Cecilia Garza
My Trainers were Amit and Alley. Both of them are amazing.The class was very informative interactive and not boring at all.
Maaheen Mushtaq
Maaheen Mushtaq
Amit is an awesome and informative instructor. He kept the class very engaging. Thank you for helping me develop my knowledge in CPR and First Aid!
Khausi Visakan
Khausi Visakan
The course was very informative and Amit was professional in his teaching and knowledge and made the course very interesting....Godric
Godric Pereira
Godric Pereira
Amit was a fantastic instructor! He made our first aid course very informative and fun! Rather than a boring PowerPoint it was very hands on and engaging. If I ever need recertification or to reccomended a place for training this is the first place I would tell them to go. Thank you!
Siddique Baksh
Siddique Baksh
Pankaj Desai
Pankaj Desai
The company arranged this course for us. Amit the facilitator passed on the information in a very engaging manner. We all loved it and would recommend this course to everyone. Very helpful information that can help you to save a life.
Yasir Malik
Yasir Malik
Very exciting and practical course. Very knowledgeable trainer
Ali Sharifian
Ali Sharifian
Tho I took this course 3 years ago with another company. It felt like it was my first time again. My instructor was both entertaining and informative. I learned so much and there was no question I asked that he couldn’t answer (and I ask a lot of questions). Hats off to Amit and SOS First Aid for making the course so much fun to learn.
tailz maddison
tailz maddison
Just did my Emergency-First-Aid-with-CPR-C from 9 am to 5 pm. Thought it was going to be really boring, but our instructor Alison, made things really fun, and enjoyable to learn, and we also had a really good class!.
Omni
Omni
Amanda C
Amanda C
Excellent first aid course. I was not looking forward to taking the course but the instructors made it a lot fun and very informative. This is the best first aid class I have ever taken.
Daniel Sacco
Daniel Sacco
Took the First Aid and CPR course with Alison. She is such a great instructor and would recommend to everyone! Thanks againBeverly Garcia
Beverly Garcia
Beverly Garcia
I received my first aid and AED certification with SOS. The instructors were very engaging and interactive. The class was very well organized. There were many opportunities for discussion and questions. Overall a great learning experience.
Jordan Candido
Jordan Candido
I took this course a few years ago and it was excellent. The team is very knowledgable, they made the whole class comfortable, created a fun environment, and I still remember much of what I learned then!
Julian D'Angelo
Julian D'Angelo
Fantastic! Nadiya and Julie are such great characters. Will do it again.David DT
mathew jonston
mathew jonston
This review is for the Brampton First-Aid CPR course taught by Colin. Firstly, the course is well organized and although it is only 2 days long, there is a wealth of knowledge that is learned to handle many situations requiring first-aid or CPR. Colin is a wonderful instructor who has real-world experience as a working paramedic. His expertise and experiences helped to prove points and demonstrate different techniques during the course. If you are in doubt about selecting a course that is affiliated with Red Cross, do not hesitate with SOS and Colin as the instructor. Thanks!
Patrick Rodriguez
Patrick Rodriguez
I have done my certifications and recerts here more than once and every time it has been a fluid experience. The instructors make the material easy to comprehend by constantly engaging the class in discussion and providing thorough explanations and demonstrations. SOS First Aid truely sets the tone for first aid instruction in the Mississauga area.
Fabrizio Sacco
Fabrizio Sacco
I took my Standard First Aid recertification course with SOS First Aid and Safety Training, and it was wonderful. The instructor was extremely knowledgeable and used her past experiences to relate the course materials to us. The instructor knew how to teach the material in a very interesting and fun way, in which everyone enjoyed and understood, making the day fly by. I highly recommend SOS First Aid and Safety Training.
Cynthia Higgins
Cynthia Higgins
Carl Messenger-Lehmann
Carl Messenger-Lehmann

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