Saving lives for over 100 years.
The Lifesaving Society has a long and proud history of
teaching lifesaving skills to Canadians.
We trace our roots back to the late 19th century in
London, England where we began as The Swimmers' Life Saving Society
in 1891. In 1894, Arthur Lewis Cochrane brought the lifesaving
skills he learned in his homeland to Canada. And he passed them
along to students at Upper Canada College in Toronto. In June 1896,
18 of his students were the first recipients of our distinguished
Bronze Medallion award, the first award created by the Society.
In the 1950s, we were the 1st Canadian organization to
adopt mouth-to-mouth as the method of choice over manual methods of
artificial respiration. We started our first CPR training program
in the 1960s.
In the 1980s, we initiated a project to design an economical CPR
training manikin -- now known as the ACTAR 911; and we launched a
public education campaign to make all Canadians Water Smart®.
In the 1990s we developed safety management services for pool
and waterfront operators; and organized the international symposium
on ice safety and ice rescue. We introduced innovative new programs
like Boat Operator Accredited Training, the Junior Lifeguard Club
and the Canadian Swim Patrol Program. We expanded our First Aid
training programs and completely revamped the Bronze medal and the
National Lifeguard training programs to suit the needs of the new
In 2001, we defined the Canadian Swim to Survive® Standard and subsequently launched our Swim
to Survive Program to teach Canadians the minimum essential skills
they need to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. Our
learn-to-swim program is our latest drowning prevention
We became The Royal Life Saving Society under the patronage of
King Edward VII in 1904. Her Majesty The Queen is the Commonwealth
Patron of the Society and HRH Prince Michael of Kent is
Commonwealth President. (www.princemichael.org.uk).
Today, we are known to Canadians simply as the Lifesaving
Society, a national volunteer organization and registered charity.
And while we've expanded our strengths over the past century to
include research and public education, we haven't forgotten the
ideals that formed the foundation of our organization.
The Lifesaving Society has always been - and will continue to be
- Canada's lifeguarding experts.
A Century of Saving Lives video
In 2008 the Lifesaving Society celebrated its 100th
Anniversary. The year-long celebration culminated in a gala dinner
on the same weekend as the Society's Annual General Meeting and
Area Chair Conference. To commemorate the event we commissioned a
video entitled "A Century of Saving Lives" that pays tribute to
our 100 years of serving Ontarians as the lifeguarding experts.