Fort William’s Mervin Howson learns how to do CPR as instructor Shawn Cavar looks on during the community’s Basic Security Training course, held Jan. 23-27 at the Fort William First Nation Community Centre.

By Rick Garrick

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION—Fort William’s Robyn Cornell-Maclaurin is now more prepared to take charge in an emergency situation after completing a Basic Security Training course along with four other community members.

“It’s helping me learn to become calm and to take charge in a situation like that,” Cornell-Maclaurin says. “I learned a lot through this course because if you ever happen to have that situation, you’re going to know how to take that control into your hands and you’re not going to have that anxiety — you’re going to know what to do right away.”

Cornell-Maclaurin says she also learned what to look for if she was doing any type of security patrol.

“I know now what I need to concentrate on,” Cornell-Maclaurin says. “I’m going to know what I need to protect and who I am going to watch out for.”

Cornell-Maclaurin says she would like to try out a security job now that she has taken the Basic Security Training course.

“I don’t think I will keep doing it forever as a career,” Cornell-Maclaurin says. “But I wouldn’t mind trying it out just to see what the experience is like.”

Cornell-Maclaurin and the other trainees took the 40-hour Basic Security Training course from Jan. 23-27 at the Fort William First Nation Community Centre. The training was provided by Shawn Cavar, an instructor with Safety Net Security and Health and Safety Manager with Domcor Health, Safety and Security in Thunder Bay.

“You have to successfully complete this course to get a training number to write a ministry-approved test and then apply for your license,” Cavar says. “Once they pass this course and write the test and pass it and apply and become a security guard, you can work for any security company that will hire you.”

Cavar says the course included information on CPR and first aid training, the duties of a security guard, the regulations that govern security guards, uniform regulations and how to respond to emergencies.

“To be a security guard, first of all you have to be bondable, you have to be trustworthy,” Cavar says. “You have to be observant, you should be level-headed. If there is an emergency situation, you should be able to stay calm, but the main thing is communication, staying calm and just following procedure.”

Mervin Howson, from Fort William, says the CPR training was good. It was provided on the last day of the course.

“I work in construction every year,” Howson says. “I just take it because it’s good to have in the area that I work.”

Howson says the course was good overall for him.

“Everything they teach you is good,” Howson says. “I’ve been enjoying the people that are here. It’s a good learning experience.”

Mandy Bannon, from Fort William, enjoyed the hands-on training during the course.

“It could really help in a life-and-death situation, especially because we are so far out here,” Bannon says. “It’s always good to have that training.”

Bannon says the defense training was “pretty cool,” noting that she learned some “pretty good arm bars.”

“I loved doing the CPR training,” Bannon says. “I’m learning stuff that I didn’t even know that I was supposed to do when you see someone on the ground.”

Terry Landry, from Fort William, also appreciated the CPR training.

“I’ve taken it before but it’s good to refresh it,” Landry says.