Our 4th year of the “Give Back” Courses to help support the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta is underway! We are offering both the ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) courses within Beaver County.
I set a personal goal to raise over $50,000 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation and my friend Norm has been right by my side all the way. We have not met that goal and we can’t quit now. We are not the kind of people who walk away from anyone in need – and everyone out there needs the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help make our futures healthier and more productive. I knew if we got together we could easily make this goal achievable and that the dream would become a reality.
“Let’s finish what we started with the ‘Give Back’ initiative,” I have said to friends. It’s an amazing gift to “Give Back” to our communities, to the thousands of our patients and ultimately to the hearts of everyone in the province. This year we are going to reach my dream – helping as many people as possible while doing something we love so much to do.
With the help of Beaver EMS, Delta Emergency Support Training, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and especially the Tofield Fire Department, we will make our goal a reality. We are going to teach two more ACLS courses, and one more PALS course to reach our first goal. After we reach this initial target, support will also go to the local fire and EMS services. Instructors are free to decide where they would like to donate a share of the money raised, so the proceeds can go toward personal causes and not just my dream – it’s a “win-win” for everyone involved.
We all know family members whose lives have been changed forever because of heart disease and cerebral vascular disease and we deal with both too often within EMS and health services. Norm and I have shared with many of you the reason we have dedicated our lives to helping people. It’s amazing that through the “Give Back” program we can help so many others all over Alberta.
We have provided in-kind donations based on everyone’s time and effort, and thus far have raised over $45,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. We have some amazing instructors, physicians and other team members who have helped make this happen. We are closing in on the dream of raising the $50,000 this year. We will also start to raise funds to purchase special equipment to enhance the local Fire and EMS services of Beaver County and surrounding counties. Beaver Fire and EMS needs to be ready to support the community 365 days of the year responding to crisis and medical and crisis events.
Change is happening but more work needs to be done. AEDs are making their way into more public spaces, and if EMS members, nurses, doctors and allied staff are trained at a higher level, it can make all the difference. Health education and prevention will ultimately give everyone the chance to beat the odds and avoid suffering a preventable disease.
I would like to especially thank Norm Martineau and Dave Oleksyn from the Tofield Fire Department, and Kevin Fornal, Nathan Taylor, and Dan Nelson from Viking EMS for all they have done with these courses. Thanks to Christy Neufield (Camrose), Cheryl Cameron (Tofield), Willy Lauder (Edmonton), and to Bob Robertson all the way from Calgary who keep coming back to facilitate these wonderful courses to the dedicated practitioners. Also, thanks to other instructors such as Gary Lundman (Edmonton), Len Stelmaschuk (Camrose), Heather Verbaas (Camrose), Debbie Smeaton (Camrose), Shane Heavnor (Edmonton), and Dan Shmick (Tofield) who also have taught for this great cause. Thanks as well to Melissa and Jarrett from Delta Emergency Support Training. Sorry if I have missed naming any instructors or other people who have helped contribute to this wonderful event that can potentially help save so many lives.
As well, a big thank you to the Heart and Stroke Foundation for helping to keep this event alive. With the support of so many people, we can continue to mentor others to be prepared when they are put to the ultimate test - saving a life. I personally want to thank the instructors and excellent emergency physicians such as Dr. Bill Sevcik and Dr. Praveen Jain from the University of Alberta Hospital who continue to be our medical directors without any monetary support. They have taken the time to travel to Tofield and Viking over the last four years to make these “Give Back” Courses a real miracle for so many people.
Thanks again to you all.
Dale M. Bayliss RN/EMT-P/ACN
Contact me for additional information at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 780 781-9111 Text / Cell