Thunder Bay

St. John Ambulance, in Thunder Bay, offers online first aid course during pandemic

St. John Ambulance in Thunder Bay, Ont., is offering a free first aid awareness course on its website until May 31.

Group says demand for first aid kits and automated external defibrillators (AED) is high

(photo: St John Ambulance )

St. John Ambulance (SJA) in Thunder Bay, Ont., is offering a free first aid awareness course on its website until May 31.

Although the course is not certified, it is a good a refresher to those who have taken basic first aid, said Brian Edwards, the organization's fund development and volunteer coordinator in Thunder Bay.

Edwards also said there are ongoing concerns about personal health and hygiene during this pandemic, including the unsafe discarding of things like latex gloves.

"How to take off your gloves. That is a big one," he said: "I have some friends in retail..and they are finding gloves in shopping carts...and in the parking lot. That's not the way to dispose of your gloves."

(photo: St john Ambulance )

Edwards said many people are taking stock of what they have at home now, and are deciding they need more safety gear.

He said SJA is also selling first aid kits and automated external defibrillators (AED).

"We're selling a lot of workplace first aid kits," said Edwards" We just did a big order for AED. I mean they say save lives. So we're taking those physical orders. People are ordering, they're paying for them and then we have drop off times so we'll leave the item in the lobby area and people will come in and pick them up and it seems to be working really well right now."

Edwards said SJA is also aware of misinformation about whether community members can still perform CPR during this pandemic. He said there's really been no change when it comes to first aid, as long as people are taking the correct precautions.

"The first thing that we need to do is make sure that we're wearing our PPE (personal protective equipment)," he said. "So we're never gonna put ourselves at risk. You make sure you have your face shield on the casualty if you are doing rescue breaths or if you're comfortable just doing chest compressions."

Edwards said there is more information on the group's Facebook page.

Ticket still available for annual trailer raffle

There has also been a change to the group's annual trailer raffle, which is the main fundraiser.

Edwards said normally, the group would have the trailer set up in the parking lot of Canadian Tire selling tickets.  However,  due to concerns about social distancing, that has not happened.

He said there are other options for people who want to purchase tickets.

"What we're doing is urging people to call my extension at St. John, leave their information and I'll call them back at home," he said. "It's time consuming, but that's kind of the only way that we're able to adapt right now and I'm physically mailing out their tickets to them."

The phone number for St. John Ambulance in Thunder Bay is (807)345-1712.