Blog - The Raven Speaks

Gaps: Workplaces and First Aid Training

If you work in a remote setting, chances are you’ve noticed some interesting gaps between the first aid training you’ve received, and the things that could actually go wrong for you in the field.

Provincial, territorial and federal OH&S standards exist to protect workers.  But in spite of the legislated hazard assessments and risk analyses provided for employers to evaluate their workplaces, reality throws curveballs. Workplaces evolve. No amount of legislation can replace an employee’s best protection – their own critical mind.

So here’s the real test: when you put your mind to your workplace, and the first aid training available to keep you safe on the job, what stands out to you?


What Do You Really Need to Know?

Canada is a huge country, with a wide variety of non-traditional workplaces.  Many of these workplaces are in remote locations, and are a challenge to access. Workers travel to these jobsites on their own or in small teams, at all times of year.  All of these factors contribute to the complexity of carrying out an effective first aid response.

As we said in our 2013 article More Than Mountains – Applications of Wilderness Medicine, field workers are likely to be faced with complex challenges in an emergency, “such as triaging, formulating a treatment plan in the field, and implementing an evacuation.”  We went on to note that due to the nature of their environment, “field personnel will further benefit from having a background in survival, incident command systems, and search and rescue.”

Will these skills increase your odds of carrying out an effective first aid response?


Are these skills you’ll see in your average 16-hour Standard First Aid course curriculum?  


As you evaluate your workplace with a critical mind, gaps like these should set off alarms.


Change How Canada Trains

At Raven Medical, we believe in leading the industry.  There are times when this means critically evaluating established guidelines, standards and legislation.  We appreciate that the individuals who wrote those documents had the same interests in mind as we do now – to keep workers safe and efficient in their workplaces.

We deal with thousands of Canadians across the country, a privilege which enables us to maintain a pulse on worker needs.  It is in our nation’s best interest to integrate real-time feedback into the revisions and updates of guidelines, standards and legislation.  As an international training provider, we take our potential seriously – we hear concerns from across the country, and are able to synthesize them and give them a voice on a larger scale.

This is your chance to add your voice.

Our newest 5-question survey aims to collect information about your workplace first aid experiences and opinions.  By sharing your perspective on challenges in workplace first aid training, you’ll be adding fuel to the fire that will lead to industry-wide change.

Take the survey here.

Results will be collected and summarized in a future post. Stay tuned.


Learn about our other feedback-inspired initiatives:

Flood Legacy Bursary

In 2013, we took a poll of Alberta’s emergency responders involved in flooding events.  The results of that poll led us to establish the Flood Legacy Bursary.

Surface Ice Field Safety

In 2014, we took a poll of workers whose jobs take them on or near frozen surfaces.  The results of that poll led to the creation of two downloadable resources, and a brand-new course designed specifically for Surface Ice Field Safety.


April 5-7

Wilderness First Responder - Recertification

  • $499
  • Squamish, BC

April 6-7

Ice Rescue Technician

  • $449
  • Thunder Bay ON

April 25-28

Wilderness Advanced First Aid

  • $499
  • Squamish, BC

April 26-28

Wilderness First Responder - Recertification

  • $449
  • Canmore, AB
See Full Schedule

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Lyndon Brecia
Environmental Emergency Response, LTL Group

Our course was awesome. The instructors did an excellent job as well. What these guys did over the last three days is the way all training should be. I have been disappointed with training providers in the past, and you guys have reassured me there is still hope! Greatly appreciated. We had an awesome time, and will never look at a river the same again. We look forward to working with you again.


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