Iridia in the Community 2016 – Part 3

The holiday season is upon us and, amoungst the hustle and bustle, a group of Iridians ventured out to give back to both their local and international community. Check out how they made a difference:


This holiday season, our Iridia in the Community group chose to support Soup Sisters. Soup Sisters is a not-for-profit, charitable, social enterprise that was founded in 2009 by local Calgarian, Sharon Hapton, who had the simple belief in the power of soup to provide care and warmth for two of society’s most prevalent issues: domestic abuse and youth homelessness.

Thousands of people come across Canada to make, share, and donate over 10,000 servings of fresh and delicious soup for women, children, and youth each month. On December 2nd, we joined this initiative by taking part in one of the many Soup Sisters events offered throughout Vancouver.

We came together with other like-minded volunteers to make soup for Margaret’s Housing for Older Woman. It was a very inspirational evening because we were making soup for women who are 55 years old or older, have suffered domestic violence, and have limited income. So, this resident housing for these women really look forward to this soup.

Our soup not only helps these women financially, but also provides a healthy and nutritious meal. Our team made 27L of turkey meatball soup, contributing to 159L of soup in total to Margaret’s Housing.

One of the most exciting things about Soup Sisters and the evening that we spent together was to really hear the stories about how all the women were very excited about the soup that we made and, in particular, the turkey meatball soup was a big popular one. So that was really refreshing. It was also really neat to be able to write the customized messages on the labels for the soup, knowing that when they went to get it, they would actually read it and maybe feel a little bit of warmth as it came from us to them. So, really exciting night at Soup Sisters.

But then our team also got together and wanted to challenge ourselves and look at how we could define community another way. So that was our local community contribution, but we thought we’d look internationally as well. So, we challenged a few firms that are friends of ours and we asked them if they wanted to join us in supporting Playground Builders. They are an organization co-founded by Kirby Brown who I met at Creative Mornings and they do a really great job of building playgrounds for children in places like Afghanistan and Gaza. The opportunity to play is something that many of us really just take for granted; it’s such a part of growing up and these kids don’t have that opportunity. We wanted to help change that a little bit.

So we reached out and we challenged a few of our friend companies: Blackbridge Search Partners, White Rock U-Lock Storage, and Limulus and we wanted to see if they wanted to join us in supporting Playgournd Builders. And very happy to say that they did. They really bought in to what we were doing and they all contributed in kind. And we were able to make a donation that will help see at least a few more smiles on kids in some of these countries abroad.

And lastly I would just say like, hey take advantage of this as an impetus to see what you can do in your community. Small contributions, in this case $100 apiece, a little bit of time, are all that it took to take meaningfully make a difference in the lives of some people. I hope that you were inspired by this and that you look to do something in your own community, however it is that you define community. Thanks!

To see how other groups decided to make a difference, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Iridia in the Community initiative!

Iridia in the Community 2016 – Part 2

Remembrance Day has has passed a couple weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop reflecting and honouring the sacrifices that veterans have made to protect us. Our second group of Iridians spent their time and resources to raise awareness to these heroes. Take a look at the video below to see how they made a difference:


When we asked Canadians about what they think of when they think about our Canadian troops, many pictured an image of a soldier in uniform, like an Air Force pilot or navy officer. However, many overlook the transition our veterans are going through from an active military career to a healthy, stable civilian lifestyle. This transition can be challenging as they can struggle with unemployment and coping with their physical and/or mental illnesses.

Our veterans have given the entirety of their lives to protect our country, our freedom, and our values. But when they come back, they struggle with many things that we take for granted:

  • Many veterans struggle with physical and mental illnesses.
  • Many veterans have difficulty finding steady jobs afterward.
  • Some veterans can end up losing their families and their homes.

Our veterans once fought for us. Iridia chooses to fight for them.

With our Iridia in the Community project, we have donated our funds to the Royal Legion of Canada and received poppy pins. Then, we took the poppy pins, shared these pins in advance of Remembrance Day, and encouraged conversations as to why we should honour our Canadian veterans. We can continuously show our support to organizations like the Royal Canadian Legion and Vets Canada by volunteering our time and showing financial support through donations. Also, you can share this video to your friends, family, and people around you so that we can raise awareness and start a conversation about veterans around us.

Together, let’s fight for those who have fought for us.

To see how other groups decided to make a difference, check out Part 1 and Part 3 of our Iridia in the Community initiative!

Iridia in the Community 2016 – Part 1

After a weekend, or in some cases an entire week, of shopping deals, Giving Tuesday is a day to step back and consider how our thankfulness can flow outward to those in need. With so many causes to stand up for, Iridia is launching our 3rd annual Iridia in the Community initiative. This initiative highlights our value of social responsibility by enabling employees to find ways to give back to their community.

This year, we’ve divided Iridians into three groups and challenged them to give back to their communities in a way that is meaningful to them. Take a look at the video below to see what one group is fighting for.


You and I may have to decide between pasta and rice for dinner. But hundreds of thousands of Canadians are faced with a much harder decision: groceries or rent. Poverty brings over 850,000 Canadians each year to food banks in order satisfy one of their most basic needs: safe, good-quality nutritious foods. And, 36% of these people are children and youth.

This year, as part of our Iridia in the Community, we chose to combat hunger. In Fort St. John, we donated $100 worth of gift certificates to the Women’s Resource Centre for their food bank.

In Vancouver, we will be volunteering at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and have started a virtual food bank fundraiser. For every $1 donated, the food bank will be able to buy up to $3 worth of food. Join us in this fight against hunger by donating to your local food bank or by helping us hit our $500 goal. If you donate food, please ensure that it matches your food bank’s needs. Contact your local food bank and see how they could use your support.

Spread the word and raise awareness as to how you can help this holiday season. Talk about it. Share this video. Together, we hope to make a difference.

To see how other groups decided to make a difference, check out Part 2 and Part 3 of our Iridia in the Community initiative!

Iridia Does Vegas: Learn, Innovate, and Experience


How does Iridia become one of the fastest growing companies for 5 years running? A large part of it is our focus on client experiences. In order to deliver exceptional client experiences, we have developed and continue to refine our Ideal Client Journey. Vegas, as a city built around delivering an Ideal Client Journey to all its visitors, provides a perfect platform for inspiration and motivation.

Our annual trip to Vegas is centred around 3 objectives:

  • Learn – We are all students on this trip, and our instructors are be the city, its people, and the world’s biggest brands
  • Innovate – Vegas gives us exposure to ideas and concepts that we can bring back and include in Iridia’s success formula
  • Experience – Iridia Does Vegas is an opportunity for us to step fully into the role of a participant and observe everything that contributes to the experiences Vegas has to offer

The city of Vegas provides a spectrum of learning opportunities. We’ve highlighted some of our favourites for you.

Consumer Electronics Show – Innovation Central

Every January, the city of Las Vegas hosts the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the largest trade shows on the planet. With over 180,000 attendees and 2.4 million square feet of floor space, the conference takes place in 3 separate convention centers. For many companies, this is their primary platform for announcing new products and showcasing the greatest in consumer electronics technology.


An industry-only event, Iridia attends as a way to learn from the exhibitors and to identify any products that we may eventually look to retail ourselves. Exhibitors use a lot of ways to engage the attendees. For example, all you need is a valid license to take a BMW i3, m4 or i8 for a spin. Or, step into the massive Samsung booth and view hundreds of their products. If seeing is not enough, their demonstration models allow you to personally experience their products. You don’t have to look far to see innovation.

Zappos – A Client Focus Role Model

Zappos is the largest online shoe retailer in America, with their headquarters in Downtown Las Vegas. Their focus on superior customer service makes them a prime learning opportunity. They have built a company culture that has boosted them to over $1 billion in sales, on top of being featured in Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For, for 6 years running.

From an open work environment, interest in employee well-being, and work flexibility, Zappos is one of the top companies to learn from. In an hour and a half, the Zappos headquarters tour provided us with an intimate overview of the company and how they operate, as well as unique ideas for our own office and employees.

Can’t get to Vegas? Their CEO’s book Delivering Happiness gives you a great taste on the company’s culture.

Group Picture at Zappos_FinalZappos2015_450x338

Other Iridia Does Vegas 2016 Experiences

From its beginnings in the early 20th century, Las Vegas has blossomed from being a haven for gamblers and illegal activity to a city that focuses on providing world-class entertainment experiences.
What is it about certain atmospheres that create a longing for more? We visited some of the best hotels, shows, and restaurants with a strong experiential element to learn. From breath-taking themes to top-notch service, these were just two of the businesses that kept us on the edge of our seats.

  • Rose.Rabbit.Lie was experiential dining at its finest. A meal was made vibrant by live music and dynamic entertainment. The restaurant itself moved and shifted throughout the night!
    Caption: Part of Rose.Rabbit.Lie wasn’t even a restaurant!
  • Cirque Du Soleil is a world-class circus for good reason. We went to see Zarkana and were not disappointed. Outside the theatre, every detail was purposefully designed to revolve around the show’s theme. Once we got inside, the staff’s guidance to our seats and the pre-show performances set up the circus mood, building anticipation for the show itself. The main event kept us intrigued and engaged. There was always something happening and virtually no downtime. From a live band, scenes switching on the fly, moving stages, and the performers seamlessly switching in and out, the experience, it was perfect.

In conclusion

A trip to Vegas may not seem like the most obvious catalyst for growth, but it has brought us excitement, inspiration and ideas. Whether it was CES 2016, the Zappos tour, a show or the city itself, each one of us took something special home with them from their time in Vegas.

Think about it this way, if going into a business was as fun and memorable as going to Vegas, wouldn’t you want to go?

Make Way, Here’s the Future of CPR

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) has always demanded the utmost skill and accuracy from first responders. Unfortunately, without intensive training and re-certification, CPR skills can deteriorate over time – even in as little as six months (learn more about CPR Retention).

For this reason, Iridia Medical has partnered with Physio-Control to help distribute their innovative TrueCPR coaching device to Canadian first responders.



In simple terms, TrueCPR is a portable device that measures CPR quality on the fly. TrueCPR is able to take the guesswork out of CPR by providing real-time feedback to healthcare professionals – leading to better outcomes.  

From Physio-Control:

“The best outcomes demand the best CPR. Simple enough to say, but in the heat of a cardiac resuscitation, accurately assessing CPR performance—even knowing your true chest compression depth, rate and recoil—can be anything but easy. And in your world, the constant drive for performance improvement makes the challenge of measuring CPR quality more critical than ever.”

TrueCPR differs from other devices in two important areas: TrueCPR works in conjunction with any brand defibrillator and it measures sternal-spinal displacement using three-dimensional magnetic fields.

During an Event

Once the device has been placed on the chest, it immediately begins to analyze, measure and benchmark the quality of CPR delivered – establishing a feedback loop for response teams.


During chest compressions TrueCPR shows you exactly what you are doing right and where you need improvement. Compression depth, rate and recoil are displayed in real time on a highly visible dial on the patient’s chest. In addition, a CPR metronome and ventilation prompts guide responders to provide CPR per recommended rates.

After an Event

After CPR has been performed, statistics such as average rate, percentage of compressions at the correct depth and recoil, hands-on time and total event time are displayed and provide a snapshot of event performance.


Up to 180 minutes of CPR information can be assessed, which will allow reviewers to evaluate overall performance and establish feedback loop for continuous CPR improvement.

Iridia believes TrueCPR will give healthcare professionals the tool they need to deliver the best possible CPR and the continued feedback necessary to retain their CPR skills.

We are very interested in TrueCPR feedback from healthcare professionals such as fire rescue personnel, physicians, paramedics, nurses, life-guards and other first responders. If you would like to test this device out for yourself, we invite you to stop by our office in Vancouver. For more information, please contact us.


Iridia Founder Dr. Allan Holmes giving TrueCPR a test drive.

Learn more about TrueCPR


Why Iridia Medical?

In a previous blog entry (Global Became Iridia, But Why?) we shared that a simple desire to tweak a logo led to a rebranding effort that lasted nearly two years. We stopped short of outlining how we landed on Iridia Medical as our new name, but would like to tell that story now.

Midway through our rebranding project, we began scrutinizing the name Global Medical Services. With a goal of becoming a Top 100 employer, we asked ourselves if the name would help us get there. A bit of research highlighted that British Columbia has over 450 companies with “Global” in the name. Across the country, over 2200 companies used “Global”. We feared that as we continued to grow, we would get overlooked – picture standing up in a crowd of hundreds and calling out “John” only to have dozens of people respond. Worse still, we were also at risk of being confused with Global Medical Solutions, Global Medical Products, Global Health Network, or Global Health Ventures, to cite but a few similarly-named companies. And so, the push to rename was born.

We started out with our naivety on full display. Equipped with our “sit down, map it out” approach, we tabled a half-day, and fully expected to knock it out of the park. After all, we were a hard-working, creative lot, so it shouldn’t have been a huge deal, or so we thought.

Toward the end of our session, we realized that a genuine challenge lay ahead. With a half day under our belts, we had few, if any, quality names. To be fair, we were our own worst enemies. From day one, we tabled two non-negotiables when it came to a new name. Firstly, it had to resonate with us. In our mind, a clever name was useless if it didn’t connect to us in a significant way. Secondly, it had to tell a story. More specifically, it had to tell OUR story. With these two criteria in mind, our hope was that our new name would embody who were and would naturally open the door to further conversation should anyone inquire as to the name’s origin.

The reality was that that the naming process took a full five months to complete.

As we dove into the process, we quickly found that most one or two word names that might seem viable had already been taken by other firms. In response, we listed a series of adjectives that we felt described us and/or what we do. Words like unique, empowering, and enabling came to mind. From there, we began translating these words into other languages, and splicing syllables together to form candidate names.

Some worked (e.g. Emgen) and others clearly did not (e.g. Fapalena).

We made efforts to draw from science nomenclature, riffling through all subjects imaginable. Again some held promise (Cingulate – a fold in the brain: Mito – drawn from mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell), but most did not. We scoured plant and animal species names looking for parallels to our company, but again, came up empty. We even briefly explored using names of famous Sherpas as a way forward.

All told, the fruits of our labour produced more than 300 candidate names. Through an aggressive whittling exercise, the list was reduced to 11. Through further discussions, the final four candidates were tabled, and our staff was asked to make the final decision. On the basis of the criteria listed below, our team ranked the candidate names.

GMS Naming

A sample of the 300 names.

• How easy it was to pronounce
• How memorable it was
• How it sounded when it was said
• How credible it sounded
• How it “fit” with the company
• The quality of the story it told

When voting was finished, Iridia Medical stood apart in the minds of our staff.


The name is borrowed from Iridium, an element with properties that align perfectly with our company, as outlined below.

• It is very rare, much in the same way that our team is a very unique collection of people, interests, and expertise.
• It connects with other metals to form alloys, as we engage stakeholders to build solutions.
• It is a standard of measure for weight, and we set the standard for practical, effective solutions for our clients.
• It is durable as are we in having weathered economic slowdowns, competition, and a changing market landscape.

Lastly, and most intriguingly, is the fact that Iridium is found in very high concentrations in meteors and asteroids when compared to the amounts found in the earth’s crust. This finding has led to the idea that an asteroid colliding with the earth triggered an ice age and the eradication of the dinosaurs. This “out with old, in with the new” paradigm aligns perfectly with our company, as going back to our founding days, we are perpetually challenging the status quo in the interest of finding new ways to bring about improvements.

In the end, we find ourselves with a name that might trigger a double take when first heard, and we’re perfectly happy with that. In our view, it gives us license to tell our story and share how Iridia resonates so well with us.

Iridia Medical Comes to Life

March 11th, 2013.

A day much like any other for most, but a day unlike any other for us. With the arrival of this day comes a mix of emotions for our entire team.

On the one hand, it is time to say goodbye to the name Global Medical Services (GMS) and the familiar heart rhythm logo to which we have grown so accustomed over the years. No longer will the GMS name and logo adorn our employee manuals, our educational handouts, or any other documents that our team produces. Indeed, the final paramedic daily report with a golden oval has been completed, reviewed, and filed for safe keeping.

On the other hand, we have cause for emphatic celebration! We are blessed with an incredibly rare opportunity to breathe life into a fresh new brand identity. But not just any brand identity – one into which we have poured our hearts and souls to develop over the past year and a half. One that we feel perfectly reflects who we are and what we represent. And, best of all, we have the chance to shape this new brand with the very same people that have made Global such a success.

So, while it is not easy saying goodbye to the GMS name which has served us so well over the years, we will forever be grateful for the memories and successes realized under it. And, as we look forward, we enthusiastically embrace a bright future under the Iridia Medical banner.

To kick things off, here are some of the biggest changes you’ll see:

  • The Iridia Medical name and logo, as pictured in this blog, will feature prominently on everything our team produces.
  • Enabling Peace of Mind is our new company tagline. 
  • We also have four new divisional taglines: We have a snazzy new website at that is filled with fresh new content, has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, and allows for online purchasing of AED accessories and course registration. 
    • Tools to Save Lives (Products), 
    • The Right Care at the Right Time (Paramedics), 
    • Facilitating Practical Healthcare Solutions (Consulting), and 
    • Empowering People to Save Lives (Education).
  • Our Social Media accounts have been given a facelift. View these on the the menu to the right.

Beyond today, the year ahead will be exciting and frenetic as we write the first of many chapters in the story of the Iridia Medical brand. There are vehicles to be branded, divisional launch promotions/events to be held, and a great many more things to come. Stay tuned!

As we embark on this new journey, we invite you take it with us. Please let us know how we are doing. If any of our team members or a product/service we provide has made a difference to you, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve made it as easy as possible to get in touch — on every page of our website there is a blue banner along the bottom with a “Feedback” button. Simply hit it and fill in the form that pops up!

Here’s to a great first year with Iridia Medical!