A Canadian in Paris – Canadian Red Cross Blog

Diane Story is one of ten Master Educators in First Aid delegates selected to participate in the International Trainer of Trainers project through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Global First Aid Reference Centre (GFARC). Participants from around the world recently met in Paris to develop a Trainer of Trainers curriculum.
Guest post by Diane Story, International Master Educator in First Aid

Diane standing on the streets of Paris at night with buildings and trees behind her.When I was asked to write this blog it was going to be about my experience and perspective as a volunteer and educator.  However, in light of the traumatic events recently in Paris and around the world, my focus of this blog has changed. 


The key takeaway from our brief stay in Paris was the powerful connections that we made. We all came with a shared history, because we share the same family – the Red Cross. We had common values and were living the seven Fundamental Principles. When you looked at the experience and expertise in the room, along with the individual long-time commitments to the Red Cross, you knew we were “walking the talk”. Each and every one of us was living out the mission of the organization. I am forever connected to this wonderful group of ten. Yes, I am an educator and the experience with the GFARC team and the International Master Educators in First Aid changed my life. The experience in Paris allowed me to grow as a facilitator and more importantly as a learner.


So what did the events in Paris mean for this group who had walked the streets and sat in similar restaurants only a few short weeks ago?


We immediately connected via email and texts and surrounded our Paris family with support and good wishes for health and safety. The Trainer of Trainers curriculum and course concerns were put aside; there were bigger things at play. We are Red Cross volunteers and that means being on the streets, treating the wounded. One of our facilitators is an emergency physician who was headed downtown as we were emailing. We provide emotional support, we raise money and we are training First Aiders who help others. 

Diane will be traveling to one of the five IFRC zones this Winter (destination still unknown) to test the draft course with another Master Educator.  We will share her experiences as an educator and international delegate.

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