Paddle Canada is very pleased to enter into a New Initiative Fund (NIF) Contribution Agreement with National Search and Rescue (Minister of Defence) and partners Parks Canada. The project called “Introduction of PaddleSmart Program and Training” will run from July 2013 to March 31, 2014 and provide a series of Master Trainer workshops across the country, with an enhanced focus on survivability for the paddling community and those who want to paddle. Final development of teaching resource manuals and materials, plus public outreach and marketing material is also part of the project.
It differs from other PC programs in that is not water based and is not a course or certification. There is no evaluation of participants and can be delivered in a little over an hour at minimum. It is simply a basic awareness safety program to educate paddlers, new and interested ones alike on principals of being safer and smarter in their paddling activities.
The PaddleSmart program will be the water safety component to compliment the other existing land based AdventureSmart programs. These programs are offered as a free community service by volunteer instructors. Our goal is to have 400 trained PaddleSmart instructors nationally by next spring 2014. The longer term goal (Phase 2 of the project / another NIF project likely), will see more volunteer instructors trained both within the Paddle Canada membership and also within staff at national and provincial parks, the search and rescue volunteer and professional organizations, along with law enforcement groups such as city, provincial and national marine police units.