Heart Month – Teaming Up to Teach Students to Save Lives!

February is Heart Month and what better way to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest than by helping to bring CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to the youth in our communities!

In a new initiative supporting our value of corporate social responsibility, Iridia has partnered with the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation to bring such training into high schools in British Columbia.

The ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in all Canadian high schools as a regular part of the school curriculum. The program is built on a model of establishing community-based partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners to donate equipment – such as training mannequins, AED training units and AED units – that schools need to set up the program. Training is also a key component. Teachers in secondary schools are trained in CPR and defibrillator use and they, in turn, will act as instructors for their students. The aim of the program is to ensure that all youth prior to graduation could effectively treat someone who is having a sudden cardiac arrest.
Until recently, the ACT High School CPR Program has been established in 220 public standard secondary schools throughout British Columbia. Approximately 235,000 students have already been empowered to save lives using CPR skills.

These numbers were increased on 1 February, when eight teachers from Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Secondary School and North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John participated in the teacher-training workshop. In addition to Iridia’s contribution of AED training units, and funding for the AED training mannequins and program resources, Iridia’s CPR Instructor-Trainer, Jeff Kain, flew to Fort St. John to conduct the teacher training. As a follow-up to the workshop, and as part of the program, each school also received from Iridia an AED so that potential life-saving equipment is on hand in the event of an in-school cardiac arrest emergency.

The training conducted on 1 February will result in 350 students trained annually by their teachers to use these lifesaving skills.


“Since our inception, Iridia has been passionate about increasing community access to AEDs and CPR training within BC”, said Vern Biccum, President of Iridia Medical. “The work conducted by the ACT Foundation aligns with this passion, and we are very proud to be collaborating on such a meaningful opportunity that will equip the youth of Fort St. John with the skills and knowledge necessary to save lives.”

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

Check out the following links for more information about the ACT Foundation and the recent workshop conducted in Fort St. John.

Act Foundation
News Story – Training Teachers Save Lives
News Story – Learning to Save a Life

Fastest Man in the World Teaches Us a Lesson about Social Responsibility

Social Responsibility is an important measure of success.

We believe that the bottom line is not the sole measure of company success. As a responsible player in the global marketplace, we are committed to running our business in a way that is socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and economically profitable.

social responsibility

One of the most talked about athletes heading into the 2012 Games was a Jamaican sprinter by the name of Usain Bolt. Having broken on to the Olympic scene in 2008 in Beijing, Bolt shattered the world record in the 100m and won gold, leaving his competitors in the dust.

This year, all eyes were on him to see if he could do it again. Not only did Bolt defend his gold in the 100m, he also won gold in the 200m and the men’s 4×100 relay, breaking another world record; the first person in Olympic history to do so.

Social Responsibility – Giving Back

Olympic gold, especially in an area as popular and visible as athletics, often leads to endorsements and opportunities to earn significant money. It certainly did for Bolt, a charismatic and dynamic individual, who benefitted financially from his skill and his title as the fastest man in the world in the years following his Olympic win.

Bolt grew up in Trelawny, a small, poor town in Jamaica. He attended public schools that often didn’t have the things we would consider basic in an educational environment.

When fame and wealth came his way, one of the first things he did was to give back to the schools in his home town – from computers, structural improvements, sports equipment and teachers’ salaries, Bolt gave back to his elementary, middle and senior schools.

He has also provided financial support for the establishment of several health centres in Jamaica, and has supported environmental and other causes around the world.

Social Responsibility

Bolt set up a foundation for the continued funding of the causes that are important to him.

The Usain Bolt Foundation’s mission is “the creation of opportunities through education and cultural development for a positive change.” The foundation is “dedicated to the legacy for happy children; to enhance the character of children through educational and cultural development, as they live their dreams.”

Bolt’s commitment to social responsibility doesn’t end with simply providing financial support. His presence is seen and known in his home town, as he spreads his message of hope, encouraging kids to believe in and work toward their dreams.

Usain Bolt believes in being responsible with the fortune he has earned and giving back to a community that doesn’t have much.

Social Responsibility Value

Social responsibility is one of Iridia’s core values because we also believe that’s important. For this reason, we offer our employees paid days off to participate in volunteer activities, as well as contributing financially to worthy local, regional and international causes.

We may not all be as rich as a high-profile Olympic gold medal winner, but all of us can do our part. Whether it’s spending your time or your money, there will always be people who need what you have to give. The question is, are we willing to give it?

Social Responsibility

Many would look at Bolt’s career and say without argument, that he has achieved unparalleled success in his career – shattering records and leaving in his wake a trail of wins. And yet, he would say that success is measured by more than just his achievements on the track.

“I’m honored to be able to put my Olympic win to good use and spread awareness about the causes that are important to me,” says Bolt. “It’s a great feeling to know you have the ability to reach out to so many different people.”

All of us can reach out somewhere and make a difference in our sphere of influence. Those efforts are an important measure of our success.

Corporate Composting

As part of our Social Responsibility company value – we have recently partnered with Growing City in an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint and waste. 

Corporate Composting - growing city

The benefits of implementing a corporate composting plan

New to our lunch room is a “silver garbage receptacle.” Listed on top of this receptacle are all of the items which our office staff can compost. 

What to compost - Corporate Composting

The Plan

We currently have a 50L composting bin to start with and we will monitor the load capacity to see if we need to speak with Growing City and upgrade to a larger size.

We have also gone and switched our garbage bags to compostable bags and put them in each of our washrooms for paper towel use only.  They will be emptied into the compost bin in the kitchen at the end of each day.

We have also placed additional small bins in our coffee areas upstairs throughout the office to gather compostable waste to be transferred to the compost bin in our lunch room at the end of each day.

We look forward to working together with Growing City and their community oriented projects around the city.

Fun, Laughter and Motivation at Womens Weekend 2012

Iridia is a provider of paramedic services to the resource exploration industry in northern British Services. As such, we are often working in small communities in remote regions.

These northern communities are full of those who we call an extension of the Iridia team here in the Lower Mainland.

We believe it is important to invest in these communities; they make it possible for us to deliver high-quality care to workers in the surrounding oil and gas industry. We are committed to social responsibility; after all, it is one of our core values. 

“We believe that the bottom line is not the sole measure of company success. As a responsible player in the global marketplace, we are committed to running our business in a way that is socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and economically profitable.”

Womens Weekend

Fort Nelson is one community we are actively involved in and recently we were provided with an opportunity to reach out and give a little back for womens weekend.

In February, Fort Nelson was to host its annual Women’s Weekend. When we heard about the chance to become a sponsor of the event, we jumped on it.


The goal of Fort Nelson’s Women’s Weekend is to bring women together to meet and establish relationships amongst all women in Fort Nelson and provide a safe, nurturing environment in which women can explore their own potential while learning from one another.

The event was a success with over 200 attendees. The women were able to enjoy a wide variety of activities including first nation’s history, photography, glass fusing and self defense. Also on hand was keynote speaker Linda Edgecomb, a motivational speaker for women.

Women’s Weekend helps to build lasting support networks in the community of Fort Nelson. Women, who have never imagined sharing their talents, find themselves starting volunteering, facilitating workshops and some go on to start their own small businesses.

Iridia is excited to have been a part of the 2012 Women’s Weekend. We are thankful to the planning committee for organizing a wonderful event and allowing us the opportunity to get involved.