Lifesaving Society marks 100 years of saving lives during National Drowning Prevention Week



    OTTAWA, July 24 /CNW Telbec/ - When the Lifesaving Society, Canada's
lifeguarding experts, opened their first office in Toronto in 1908, Arthur
Cochrane (along with John Crocker, Arthur Hardy, Arnold Morphy) could not have
fully envisioned the significance and impact that bringing lifesaving skills
to Canada would have on the future of Canadians. The first class of graduates
consisted of just eighteen students, with each being awarded the now highly
recognized Bronze Medallion (the first award created by the Society) - a far
cry from the millions who have subsequently gone on to earn the distinction
since then.
    The dedication demonstrated by these enterprising pioneers lives on as
the Lifesaving Society prepares to mark 100 years of saving lives in Canada
during National Drowning Prevention Week (July 19 - 27, 2008).
    Today, the Lifesaving Society is a dynamic, rapidly growing, National,
volunteer based organization and registered charity who (in conjunction with
their provincial branches, countless volunteers and over 2000 affiliates)
continue to advance their drowning prevention mandate via a combination of
National Drowning Prevention Week initiatives, public education, key messaging
and program offerings including: Learn to Swim, Bronze Medallion, Bronze
Cross, National Lifeguard Service, Lifesaving Sport and the popular Water
Smart(R) Program.
    Over the last 100 years the Lifesaving Society has issued close to
7 million awards to Canadians. In 2008 alone the Lifesaving Society will
provide training and certification to over 500,000 nationally.

    
    Significant Lifesaving Society milestones include:

    - 1908 - The Examination for Bronze Medallion fee is set at $0.75.

    - 1945 - Lifesaving Society introduces Bronze Cross.

    - 1964 - The establishment of the National Lifeguard Service award, later
             to be the single recognized standard for lifeguarding across
             Canada.

    - 1992 - The establishment of a program of Drowning Research, the results
             of which drive the Water Smart messaging.

    - 1999 - Lifesaving Society launches the new Boat Operator Accredited
             Training (BOAT)(TM) Program, accredited by Canadian Coast Guard
             under new federal government regulations.

    - 2001 - The Lifesaving Society defines the Swim to Survive standard. It
             influenced programming and Water Smart(R) education messages
             across Canada and has also had an impact internationally.

    - 2007 - The Lifesaving Society established Lifesaving/Savauvetage Canada
             (LSC) as Canada's National Sport Organization for lifesaving
             sport. LSC is recognized by the International Lifesaving
             Federation, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the
             International Olympic Committee.
    

    In recognition of the achievements of the Lifesaving Society, Canada Post
will honor the Lifesaving Society with the release of a 52-cent domestic
(Canadian) stamp on July 25, 2008. The 2.25 million stamps being produced will
be available at all Canada Post outlets and will be sold in booklets of 10.
The Official First Day Covers (OFDC) will also be available.

    About the Lifesaving Society:

    The Lifesaving Society, Canada's lifeguarding experts for the past
100 years, is a national, volunteer organization and registered charity whose
mandate is drowning prevention. The Society's programs include: Learn to Swim,
Lifesaving, Lifesaving Sport, Water Smart(R) Public Education, Research, First
Aid and Boating. The Lifesaving Society remains the leader in lifeguard
training, and in 2008 will provide training and certification to over
500,000 nationally.

    About National Drowning Prevention Week

    National Drowning Prevention Week is an annual, public education and
drowning prevention initiative of the Lifesaving Society with the goal of
reducing the number of water related fatalities and near drowning incidents
through the promotion of key water safe messages, including:

    
    Monday July 21, 2008      "400+ Drowning Deaths a Year Still Too Many"

    Tuesday July 22, 2008     "Children Among Those At Greatest Risk of
                              Drowning"

    Wednesday July 23, 2008   "Alcohol and Water a Potentially Deadly
                              Combination"

    Thursday July 24, 2008    "Lifesaving Society Celebrates 100 Years of
                              Saving Lives"

    Friday July 25, 2008      "Canada Post Releases Stamp Honoring Lifesaving
                              Society"
    




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Mr.
Simon Rolfe, Manager of In-House Marketing Projects, Lifesaving Society
National Office, (613) 746-5694 ext 27, srolfe@lifesaving.ca or visit
www.lifesaving.ca; In Quebec, to arrange an interview, please contact: Mr.
Raynald Hawkins, Executive Director, Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch, (514)
252-3100 ext 3101, rhawkins@sauvetage.qc.ca or visit www.sauvetage.qc.ca


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