Economics for Success – Richmond Style

The Economics for Success curriculum was designed by, and is delivered through, Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC).

On May 1st, I was again fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach Economics for Success to a group of high school students, this time in Richmond, BC.

Without a doubt, the experience will be a highlight of the month, and I’d like to tell you why. 

Economics for Success Background

 

The Economics for Success curriculum was designed by, and is delivered through, Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC).   The course is geared toward engaging grade 9/10 students on topics such as personal budgeting and career planning in a way that they otherwise wouldn’t be in the standard BC curriculum.  Content is delivered by volunteers such as me, and the program is made available at no charge to the schools.   Junior Achievement itself is a not-for-profit and is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business.   Locally, Cheryl Borgmann, Regional Manager, Lower Mainland, and her team do an exceptional job of coordinating us volunteers and supporting us to the deliver the best in-class experience that we can. The Economics for Success curriculum was designed by, and is delivered through, Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC).

Why I Do It

At Iridia, all employees are fortunate to have 3 paid volunteer days per year that they can use to give back in some way within their community.   In looking at the multitude of options, JABC struck a chord with me for several reasons.  Firstly, it gave me the opportunity to teach which I simply love to do – indeed when teaching, time simply flies by.   Secondly, it aligned perfectly with Iridia’s corporate value of Lifelong Learning.   Lastly, it addresses an unmet need.  I feel the course opens the door to a new way of thinking and provides some excellent tactical tools that will serve the students well as they grow up and start a career.  Many of us, even as adults, could improve our planning and budgeting skills, so the chance to help instill some of these basics at an early age is very powerful in my eyes.

The Reward

The rewards for participating in JABC are numerous, and here are a few that really stand out to me. 

–          There is nothing quite like watching students connect new ideas for the first time, make a realization, and then adjust their train of thought accordingly.   Watching this happen in real time, maybe as they realize just how much of their paycheque will be sacrificed to drive that shiny new car, is quite impactful to see. 

–          Watching Cheryl and her team at JABC as they magically bring all the pieces to bear to continually tweak, schedule, and ultimately deliver this program is quite a sight to behold.  Not even a year ago, I knew little of them, nor of the great work they do — but now I do. 

–          Working alongside my teaching partner Ed Gilbert, a consummate professional, is reward unto itself.   Ed’s passion and commitment to this program is infectious, and his in-class enthusiasm resonates incredibly well with the students we teach.   It’s great to see career professionals giving of their time so genuinely. 

–          On a more selfish level, I love the feeling I get from volunteering. We are all busy and have a myriad of commitments.  They can feel all-encompassing and overwhelming.  “If only I had an extra hour/day” inevitably floats to the forefront of our psyche.  The irony, of course, it that it is precisely during such times that a volunteering experience can be maximally beneficial. 

And that’s why May has started off on such a positive note.   The JABC Economics for Success program, as with all JABC programs I’m sure, is always in demand and as such teaching opportunities will be available next year.  I for one, can’t wait! 

In closing, if you have the opportunity to volunteer through your employer, please do give it some considering.  The rewards are numerous, and the opportunity to learn about yourself, your community, and your fellow citizens in unrivaled.

Vern Biccum
President, Iridia Medical

 

What is the BC Naloxone Program?

Naloxone Program Kit

What is Naloxone?

Before we discuss the British Columbia Naloxone Program, it’s best to understand Naloxone use. Naloxone is drug used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose, such as heroin or morphine. Naloxone is often included as a part of emergency overdose kits distributed drug users.

The BC Naloxone Program

Since 2012, the BC Naloxone Program has aimed to provide Naloxone to those at risk of an overdose. At participating sites, potential participants are trained to prevent, recognize and respond to an overdose situation, if eligible they are prescribed a Naloxone kit. The kit includes some of the following: Naloxone, syringes, gloves, mask and alcohol swabs.

Why do communities need a Naloxone Program?

Since 85% of overdoses happen within the company of others, a Naloxone kit offers witnesses the opportunity to save while waiting for the first responders to arrive. In BC, Naloxone was used 2,367 times in 2011, yet there were still 256 deaths due to drug overdose.

Naloxone Program in British Columbia

Naloxone kits are now available in 35 sites across BC

The dilemma for first responders

What happens when a first responder arrives at the scene of an overdose but they don’t know if it’s Naloxone or more opioid in the syringe? This question was recently presented to Iridia’s Medical Director, Dr. Allan Holmes by BC first responders. Here’s what he had to say:

“If first responders arrive at the scene after the medication has been drawn up, then they should look for:

  • A Naloxone kit
  • An opened vial
  • A used syringe from the kit
  • Clear liquid in the syringe

If confirmed, then there’s strong evidence that proper procedures are being followed. It would be highly unlikely in this scenario that someone would use components of the kit and THEN switch to an illicit drug.”

The bottom line

Placing Naloxone in the hands of patients using opioids is proven to save lives. First responders should not stop individuals from administering the medication. If the Naloxone kit is present and the individual is prepared, then the injection should be allowed to occur. 

Refusal to permit the Naloxone treatment should only occur with significant cause. For example, there is a full syringe that someone is about to inject and the kit is nowhere to be found or is unopened.

Dilemmas presented by the BC Naloxone Program and other similar programs are some of the major reasons Iridia continues to advocate for enhanced education for our first responders. Particularly, in the case of an overdose, they should have appropriate training and access to lifesaving equipment.

Learn how Iridia is helping to enhance first responder training: http://blog.iridiamedical.com/2014/02/26/first-responder-licensing/

 

AEDs in Canada, Brought to You by Team Iridia!

AEDs in Canada

It’s already been an active year for Iridia Medical’s AED department. Late in 2013 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) were making headlines in the media with the CBC Marketplace feature “Shock to the System.” This publicity has kept us busy working to further raise awareness of AEDs in Canada.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. You never know when your CPR skills and an AED will be needed, and you might need to know one day exactly where they’re located. That’s why we’re tracking AEDs through our AEDs Everywhere campaign – a crowdsourcing campaign to map the location of AEDs all around the world.

Check out Iridia’s AED scavenger hunt in action:

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Last November we saw the launch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Federal AED Program. Iridia is a preferred distributer for the 3-year program and we have already placed AEDs and provided training across BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

We are continuing to work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC on their Public Access to Defibrillation Program (PAD). To date the BC PAD program has placed 178 AEDs into Communities across the province. We have already seen a life saved, and we know that many more will be saved over the course of the program! 

Richmond Save Visit

Minoru Aquatic Centre - AEDs in Canada

Earlier this year, Iridia’s AED team was lucky enough to meet a group of local heroes. We met with the Lifeguard staff at Minoru Aquatic Centre in Richmond responsible for saving an individual’s life with CPR and an AED. We were proud to present them with a Save Certificate honouring their impressive lifesaving actions!

Buildex

In February, we attended Buildex 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. We spoke to many contractors, construction companies and property management firms about starting AED programs at their work sites. We would love to see AEDs required as part of BC’s building code. This type of legislation would be a great leap forward in creating wider public access to defibrillators.

Pacific Dental

AEDs in Canada

The College of Dental Surgeons of BC are in the process of adjusting their Dental Sedation Guidelines. Some of the proposed changes include the recommendation of an AED at all dental offices offering sedation and requiring dentists to be Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certified. At the Pacific Dental Conference, we answered questions and provided information about the proposed guideline changes and Iridia’s dental solutions. Iridia’s AED and education teams are prepared to help all BC dentists create programs to meet the new sedation guidelines.

Lunch and Learn @ YVR

The Iridia AED team has been taking our show on the road lately! In January, we packed up the Ambu-Smartman and delivered a Lunch and Learn at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The talk covered SCA and the benefits of using an AED, while our Ambu-Smartman competition saw some of the highest scores we have ever seen from one group!

American Heart Association’s CPR Kiosk

Airports have been at the forefront of CPR and AED programs for many years now, and many are actively promoting CPR and AED training. Last year we saw the Dallas-Fortworth Airport unveil the American Heart Association’s CPR Kiosk, which allowed people to practice their CPR skills while they waited for flights.

Iridia’s AED Department is always available to answer questions and provide information about starting an AED program in your community or workplace. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help.