Welcome to the Parachute visual and interactive map profiling injury prevention efforts taking place across the country. We received many requests for this tool and it is our hope that this map will provide an instrumental picture of Parachute’s partner network, and will help groups to build linkages and strengthen networks locally as well as more broadly. The map is a work in progress and we encourage organizations to send us their feedback. Anyone interested in joining the map please contact  

This work has been made possible through the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and through the support of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. 

To access the map, click the image below:

What is a ThinkFirst Chapter?

ThinkFirst Chapters are made up of the following:

Advisory Board: 

Chapters are run by dedicated volunteers who have a passion for injury prevention. A Chapter Advisory Board is comprised of a group of committed individuals. Ideally, an Advisory Board will have a mix of medical professionals such as neurosurgeons, doctors, and nurses,  and others that touch on injury prevention professionally or personally, such as teachers, social workers, coaches, police officers, and parents. The Advisory Board, usually four to ten members strong, will help set priorities for the Chapter, build relationships within the community, and fundraise. 

Chapter Leads:

Each Chapter must have a Chapter Coordinator and Director who will advocate injury prevention messages, promote educational programs, and work to increase the Chapter's exposure within the community. The Chapter leads are responsible for keeping in touch with Parachute, ensuring available resources are used for injury prevention initiatives, and reporting to Parachute where appropriate. Chapters may also engage other volunteers for specific tasks.  Volunteer responsibilities can include arranging and participating in school and community presentations and fundraising activities.

Our Networks

A key part of Parachute’s work as a force to awaken and move Canadians is to connect with others, and to facilitate links and collaborations with those in injury prevention.  As such, the Parachute partner network is a vital component of our work.

Parachute’s partner network extends from coast to coast to coast and comprises diverse groups, organizations and individuals, including municipal officials, emergency service workers, community organizers and medical professionals. Parachute’s partner network includes groups begun under the four legacy organizations: Safe Kids Canada, SMARTRISK, ThinkFirst Canada and Safe Communities Canada. 


Our partner network consists of nearly 3,000 professionals and organizations.  Health care professionals, emergency service officers, educators, daycare providers and many others receive information, resources and support from Parachute to enhance their injury prevention efforts.  


Parachute works in high schools across Canada to present the No Regrets Live program and special youth-focused injury campaigns, such as teen driver safety.

We also work in elementary schools presenting our Safe Kids Week, Walk This Way (Pedestrian Safety) and Brain Waves programs.

Public support is integral to the successful implementation of these programs, and the school community, along with Parachute, work with local injury prevention champions, health units, and emergency services to ensure these programs flourish.  To find out more about our school programs and which schools are involved, please contact the Solutions Department at Parachute. 


Parachute’s ThinkFirst Chapters are located across Canada.  They are comprised of individuals who devote their time and energy to prevent head and spinal cord injuries.  Through public awareness initiatives such as school presentations and helmet fittings, volunteers with Parachute’s ThinkFirst Chapters work to let everyone know about the importance of protecting the brain and spinal cord from injury and trauma. 

An Advisory Committee, consisting of medical professionals, educators, coaches, emergency service representatives and parents, guides each Chapter.  These committees help the Chapter Director and Coordinator, as well as other volunteers, build community relations, set priorities and develop strategic plans.  The Chapter Director and Coordinator manage the daily work of the chapter and liaise with Parachute regularly. Read more about what a Chapter is.

Designated Safe Communities:

Sixty-eight communities in Canada have been designated as Safe Communities, with more communities seeking this designation every year.  Linked to an international movement begun in 1989, Canadian Safe Communities believe that a safe life is a basic right.  A designation is a public affirmation of, and testament to, a community’s aspiration to create a safer life for all its citizens.

Communities who have obtained the Safe Community designation have shown considerable commitment to promoting injury prevention and safety promotion locally.  They have brought together local officials from their municipalities at a leadership table, including representatives from local government, public health, police, fire and emergency services, educational institutions, local business, and health and safety organizations.  Designated Safe Communities have completed a formal Priority Setting Exercise and community scan, to inform their programming decisions.

Find out more about designated Canadian Safe Communities:

To find out more about becoming a designated Safe Community, please read the Parachute Safe Communities Program Designation Guidelines.  

Information for designated communities and those seeking designation:

Parachute is part of the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network, established by representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zeland and the United States. 

ThinkFirst North Bay

Contact Information:


Pat Cliche


Telephone: 705-472-8172

ThinkFirst St. John’s

Chapter Contacts:


Dr. Falah Maroun



Cathy Burke


Nancy King


Viola Finn


Jeanette Holman-Price


ThinkFirst Ottawa

Chapter contacts:

Medical Director: 

Dr. M. Vassilyadi

Phone Number:  613- 738-3985


Tassy Lyras


About us:

The Ottawa Chapter was formed in 2005 and has been active on an ongoing basis since formation. 


The Ottawa Chapter does the following:

  • Promotes the ThinkFirst for Kids curriculums in schools
  • Provides school presentations at the classroom/auditorium level
  • Organizes Brain Awareness Week with the University of Ottawa medical students
  • Provides education and reference materials to sport coaches/trainers/parents/players
  • Organizes helmet fitting clinics
  • Disseminates head injury prevention information at community events including CDs and DVDs
  • Distributes helmets/helmet vouchers to children in low-income families
  • Performs research in: Education, helmets, concussion
  • Responds to and supports media requests to promote head injury awareness, prevention and treatment


The public can contact Parachute or Tassy Lyras, the Ottawa Chapter Coordinator.

ThinkFirst Winnipeg

Chapter Contacts:


Dr. Patrick Macdonald


Telephone: 204-787-7259


Jodi Dusik-Sharpe


ThinkFirst Vancouver

Chapter Contacts:

Coordinator name: Diana Samarakkody
Directors: Dr. Shelina Babul, Dr. Brian Hunt 
Phone number: 604-875-2000, Ext.3252
Email address:

About Us:

ThinkFirst BC started in North Vancouver in 2003 under the guidance and enthusiasm of Dr. Brian Hunt and Jennifer Burns. Dr. Hunt has continued to be the driving force behind the BC Chapter and has enlisted Dr. Shelina Babul of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit to co-direct with him. ThinkFirst BC prevents brain and spinal cord injuries by raising awareness and educating children, youth, parents, teachers and coaches in and around Metro Vancouver. Our goal is to educate as many children, youth and adults in BC as possible to motivate them to stay safe and avoid brain and spinal cord injury.

What We Do

TD ThinkFirst For Kids Safety Curriculum

TD ThinkFirst For Kids is a free easy to use 6-lesson safety curriculum available in both English and French for Kindergarten to grade 8 students that addresses:

  • Understanding the brain and spinal cord
  • Pedestrian, cycling and vehicular safety
  • Recreational, playground, sports, winter & water safety
  • Creative problem solving
  • Avoiding the hazards of choking, suffocation and strangulation

Teachers choose how they wish to teach the six lessons. The curriculum was designed to be integrated into class schedules according to the teachers′ discretion or preference.

Building on students′ knowledge of the TD ThinkFirst For Kids, the students are invited to participate in the national "I ThinkFirst!" contest. By submitting a creative art project, entrants have a chance to win helmets for themselves or helmets for their entire class.

Elementary School Presentations

Our school presentations engage students through stories and demonstrations to illustrate reasons to protect your brain. The children learn about the brain and spinal cord, and how to protect them, proper helmet fitting and also get to hear a survivor′s story.

Our presentations include a powerful safety message to all the students in school. A ThinkFirst presenter, accompanied by a brain or spinal cord injury survivor will spend a half-day at your school making 20-45 minute presentations to two or four grade levels at a time (K/1, 2/3, 4/5 & 6/7 or K-3 & 4-7). Our presentations are very well-received by students, teachers and principals.

Fee: $290 (covers materials, mileage, and honorarium for our speaker and brain-injury survivor)

Brain Waves

Brain Waves is a fun and engaging half-day neuroscience presentation that teaches students ingrades 4-6 about the brain and spinal cord. Through interactive lessons, Brain Waves introduces all the senses and parts of the brain; teaches students proper helmet fitting and the importance of protecting themselves.

Brain Waves will be presented by trained volunteers — usually University students in Neurology, Health Sciences, Education etc. — usually during reading week in February/March.

Brain Waves volunteers needed: Students interested in becoming a Brain Waves presenter please contact us at


Concussion Awareness

We raise awareness on the topic of concussion through:

  • Arranging concussion presentations (information on signs and symptoms, how to assess, when to seek a health professional and when to return to normal activities, etc.)
  • Handing out concussion resources to management staff, coaches, trainers and parents (smart hockey DVD, concussion cards, etc.)

Fundraising Initiatives

Financial assistance goes directly to ThinkFirst BC programs and is always much appreciated.

For more information about injury prevention in BC or getting involved with our program, please contact Diana Samarakkody. Thank you!

We also encourage you to visit the Community Against Preventable Injuries website at

ThinkFirst Saskatoon

Chapter Contact

Coordinator:  Julie Gerwing


Phone Number: 306-655-8433

About us

The Saskatoon Chapter was formed in 1997 and began school presentations in the early part of 1998.  Our volunteers include health professionals who are registered nurses and therapists, university students with a neuroscience or medical focus and brain or spinal cord injury survivors. We have also recently partnered with the Saskatchewan Central Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Team. 

Main Activities

TD ThinkFirst For Kids Safety Curriculum

TD ThinkFirst For Kids is a free, easy to use 6-lesson safety curriculum available in both English and French for Kindergarten to grade 8 students that addresses:

  • understanding the brain and spinal cord
  • pedestrian, cycling and vehicular safety
  • recreational, playground, sports, winter & water safety
  • creative problem solving
  • avoiding the hazards of choking, suffocation and strangulation.

Teachers choose how they wish to teach the six lessons. The curriculum was designed to be integrated into class schedules according to the teachers′ discretion or preference.

School Presentations

Our Saskatoon Chapter presents to school age children about the brain and spinal cord and how to protect them. Students also learn how to properly fit a helmet and hear from a brain or spinal cord injury survivor.  

Brain Day

Our Chapter along with an interdisciplinary team of Health Sciences students from the University of Saskatchewan enjoys putting on Brain Waves for grades 4-6 in Saskatoon during Brain Awareness Week in the month of March.

Partners with the Non-profit Organization Care and Share

We have had the opportunity to partner with the non-profit organization Care and Share to provide bike helmets to children receiving gently used bikes during Rock 102’s Bikes for Kids program in May.   


Donations are greatly appreciated and go directly to the Saskatoon Chapter Initiatives.  Please contact our Coordinator (contact information above). 

ThinkFirst Nova Scotia

Chapter contacts:

Medical Director: Dr. Simon Walling


Phone Number: 902-473-8453

Coordinator: Lynne Fenerty, RN


Phone Number: 902-473-7895

About us:

During the summer of 1990, a dramatic increase in spinal cord injuries due to diving was noted in Nova Scotia along with similar Canadian trends of 60 spinal cord injuries related to diving from 1987-1999.  Although improving outcomes for persons who suffer a spinal cord injury is paramount, equally important is the prevention of these devastating injuries.

SCIP Nova Scotia was formed from a committed group of neuroscience health care professions and community agencies to promote the prevention of traumatic central nervous system injuries.  SCIP NS was formed and adopted from the SCIP model developed in British Columbia, a joint project of the University Hospital-Shaughnessy Site and the British Columbia Paraplegic Association.

In 1991, SCIP Nova Scotia (NS) concentrated efforts on promoting awareness and educating the public in the areas of water safety and injury prevention.  The Honourable George Moody, Minister of Health proclaimed May11-18, 1991, Spinal Awareness Week.

SCIP NS was supported by Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurse, NS Chapter, Department of Neurosurgery, Victoria General Hospital, NS Rehab Centre, Canadian Paraplegic Association, Red Cross Society of NS and Royal Life Saving Society of NS. Financial assistance was established by the Paul Macleod fund for Spinal Cord Injury. This fund was set up by the family of Paul, who died as a result of a spinal cord injury. Dianne Pottie, Neurosurgical ICU Nurse was the Chairperson of SCIP.

In 1992 ThinkFirst Canada, Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program was founded and was incorporated within the SCIP NS program. ThinkFirst had developed resource material and binders for school programs. This program was delivered to schools throughout NS. In 2000, Lynne Fenerty joined the Division of Neurosurgery and became involved in the SCIP/ThinkFirst activities with Director, Dr. David Clarke and Coordinator, Dianne Pottie.  Later, Dr. Simon Walling became director and Lynne became the coordinator.

Over time with the growth of ThinkFirst and expansion of programs, ThinkFirst/SCIP NS has also grown in its scope and delivery of programs. There has, however, been more work done with regards to brain injury prevention and research than spinal cord injury prevention to date. Although all school programs and community education programs delivered include both brain and spinal cord injury prevention, the majority of program development and growth has been related to brain injury prevention and helmet programs supported by the Department of Health and Wellness, ThinkFirst and the Division of Neurosurgery. In NS, we have become leaders in injury prevention; advocacy, education, research, and programming.


  • Injury Prevention - advocacy, eduation, research and programming
  • Ski and Snowboarding Helmet observational studies and marketing campaigns
  • Operation Headway: Noggin’ Knowledge, a helmet enforcement and fines alternative education program, designed and delivered by Neurosurgery since 2004; adopted as a ThinkFirst Canada National Program.
  • We continue to deliver brain and spinal cord injury prevention and concussion management programs for schools, community groups and professionals throughout Nova Scotia and Canada.
  • We act as a major referral base for helmets, brain injury, concussion and injury prevention research; fulfilling many requests for support and resources throughout Nova Scotia and Canada. 


QEII Foundation                  

   Tel 902.473.7430     

   Fax 902.473.7491                 

Div. of Neurosurgery: ThinkFirst Injury Prevention.

ThinkFirst Kingston

Chapter contacts:

Medical Director: Dr. Karen Smith


Phone Number: 613-634-2568

Coordinator: Allan Herrington


About us:

ThinkFirst Kingston (est. 1992) is one of 16 chapters across Canada that promotes messages about brain and spinal cord health. We spread our message through in-class presentations, sports and summer camp visits, and by participating in local events such as Junior A Hockey games, Perch Derby, Summer Safety Days, and Rolling on the Runway. Importantly, we provide helmets to area children and youth in need through the Give-A-Kid-A-Helmet program.


  • Comprehensive Education Program: presentations to elementary schools including Brain Days (Grade 4, 5, 6) and Summer Safety Days (Grade 7 & 8), youth summer camps, daycare facilities, and hockey schools. Presentations included jell-o brain molds, Atlas egg helmets, glow wrist bands, and ThinkFirst educational CD’s.
  • Give a Kid a Helmet Program – ThinkFirst Kingston fundraises to purchase helmets for kids in need.  Bike helmets are distributed at events such as the Kingston Get Active Fair, and hockey helmets are distributed to elementary schools for use as “loaner” helmets.
  • Helmets Work Program
  • Brain Day
  • Community Events Demonstrations (vary from year to year)
  • Concussion information distributed to Secondary Schools and Recreation Facilities
  • Secondary School teacher in servicing regarding concussion awareness


  • Lobsterfest
  • Bergeron/Clifford Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Canadian Tire (Cataraqui Store) *provides our helmets at discount pricing
  • Swanson and Associates team Volleyball Tournament
  • Individual donors
  • Canada Summer Jobs
  • Golf Tournament
  • Partners: Rehab Dept. Providence Care; Pro Kids Positive Recreational Programs; KFLA Public Health; Safe Communities; and Canadian Forces Base Kingston
  • Community Foundation of Greater Kingston

Safe Communities

Designated Safe Communities:

Sixty-eight communities in Canada have been designated as Safe Communities, with more communities seeking this designation every year.  Linked to an international movement begun in 1989, Canadian Safe Communities believe that a safe life is a basic right.  A designation is a public affirmation of, and testament to, a community’s aspiration to create a safer life for all its citizens.

The official designation of a municipality as a Safe Community indicates a publicly articulated commitment to work towards a safer locality for all. It is not an end point, but rather, the beginning of a concerted effort to make injury prevention and safety promotion a top community priority with tangible results, ultimately creating safer places where citizens can live, work and play. Communities that choose to see the designation process through to the end and commit to a collaborative relationship with Parachute, members of the Parachute network and others in the domain of health and safety, are also agreeing to some guiding principles, namely leadership, sustainability, community engagement and prioritization of injury prevention.

Communities who have obtained the Safe Community designation have shown considerable commitment to promoting injury prevention and safety promotion locally.  They have brought together local officials from their municipalities at a leadership table, including representatives from local government, public health, police, fire and emergency services, educational institutions, local business, and health and safety organizations.  Designated Safe Communities have completed a formal Priority Setting Exercise and community scan, to inform their programming decisions, and they have a proven plan for sustainability.

Find out more about designated Canadian Safe Communities:

Designated Safe Communities in Canada
Safe Community Microsites

To find out more about becoming a designated Safe Community, please read the Parachute Safe Communities Program Designation Guidelines.  

Information for designated communities and those seeking designation:

List of designated Safe Communities in Canada

1 Brockville, Leeds and Grenville, ON June 1996

2 Medicine Hat, AB (South Eastern Alberta) October 1996

3 Waterloo, ON October 1996

4 Lakeland, AB December 1996

5 Peterborough, ON December 1996

6 Strathcona County, AB December 1996

7 Kingston, ON June 1997

8 Smith Falls, ON September 1997

9 Sarnia, ON October 1997

10 Rainy River, ON November 1997

11 Belleville, ON June 1998

12 Owen Sound, ON September 1998

13 Orillia, ON November 1998

14 High River, AB November 1998

15 Ajax/Pickering, ON November 1998

16 London, ON April 1999

17 Brantford, ON May 1999

18 Slave Lake, AB June 1999

19 Muskoka, ON September 1999

20 Grande Prairie, AB November 1999

21 Hamilton, ON January 2000

22 Sault Ste. Marie, ON February 2000

23 Cambridge, ON May 2000

24 Chatham-Kent, ON May 2000

25 Thunder Bay, ON December 2000

26 Perth, ON May 2001

27 Timmins, ON November 2001

28  Dufferin County , ON (Hill Country) January 2002

29  Avalon East, NFLD March 2002

30  Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo, AB June 2002

31  Annapolis Valley, NS (Wolfville) October 2002

32  Brampton, ON January 2003

33  Calgary, AB April 2003

34  Halifax, NS June 2003

35  Red Deer, AB (Central Alberta) September 2003

36  Elliot Lake, ON October 2003

37  St. Thomas-Elgin, ON October 2003

38  South Shore, NS November 2003

39  Ottawa, ON December 2003

40  Brandon, MB June 2004

41  Sudbury, ON June 2004

42  Kamloops, BC August 2004

43  Leduc, AB (International Region) October 2004

44  Richmond, BC November 2004

45  M’Chigeeng First Nation, ON November 2004

46  Dryden, ON November 2004

47  Kenora, ON November 2004

48  Prince Albert, SK May 2005

49  Welland, ON May 2005

50  Whitehorse, YK May 2005

51  Espanola, ON September 2005

52  Humboldt, SK November 2005

53  Bruce County, On September 2006

54  Winnipeg, MB September 2008

55  Cranbrook, BC February 2009

56  Port Colborne, ON March 2009

57  Midland, ON March 2009

58  Kawartha Lakes, ON March 2009

59  Assiniboia, SK May 2010

60  Carman-Dufferin, MB June 2010

61  Squamish, BC April 2011

62  Woodstock, ON February 2012

63  Sherbrooke, QC October 2012

64  Wellington County, ON June 2013

65  Halton Hills, ON January 2015

66  Northumberland County, ON April 2015

67  Windsor, ON June 2016

68 Bruce Peninsula, ON January 2017

Priority Review Exercise

Parachute Safe Communities Program

Priority Review Exercise

If it has been three years since your initial Priority Setting Exercise, your Leadership Table must organize a Priority Review Exercise (PRE).

What is a Priority Review Exercise?

A Priority Review Exercise permits your Safe Community Leadership Table, and other representatives and interested parties, to review the priorities initially set out when your community undertook its Priority Setting Exercise (PSE). Your Leadership Table must organize a meeting where the priorities, and related activities, programs and projects, can be reviewed and assessed. The outcome of your PRE should be a clear picture of what is happening in your community to address your injury prevention priorities. 

The purposes of the PRE are to:

  • Assess whether the priorities established at your PSE are still valid
  • Assess which priorities have been addressed, how and to what effect
  • Determine which priorities have not been addressed, if any, and why
  • Determine which interventions have not been effective, and why

How do we run a PRE?

The following steps will help you organize a successful PRE:

  1. Gather your Leadership Table. The majority of your Leadership Table must attend this event.
  2. Invite other interested parties. Organizations that were represented at your PSE should also be at your PRE. Make particular note to invite representatives of partnering organizations of your Safe Community.  
  3. Assign a facilitator to lead the exercise. This person should clearly lay out the intention for the meeting, your objectives, and the process you’ll move through to achieve these.
  4. Review your original priorities. Take note of what you decided were your community’s top priorities, and assess what has been done to address these since your designation. Consider breaking into groups, where each group looks at one priority and its activities, and reports to the larger group. Or consider each priority and its activities as a larger group.

What do we do with the information?

Once you’ve assessed your original priorities, focus your energy on looking forward. Create a plan for the next two years that will allow your Safe Community to meet its injury prevention objectives. Ask yourselves the following:

  • Are the priorities we set out to address still valid for our community? Should we refocus our efforts?
  • Have we been addressing issues other than those that were originally laid out in the PSE? Does this mean our community really needs a fresh PSE?
  • Have the programs we’ve chosen to address our priorities been evidence-informed?  Can we do some evaluation to judge their effectiveness?

A strong Leadership Table and facilitator will help make your PRE successful. With the information gathered, you will set a path for the future and hold people accountable for their roles in this plan.  

If it has been more than five years since your last Priority Setting Exercise, your Leadership Table is required to lead the community in a new PSE. Please see the Priority Setting Exercise Guide for information about how this activity should be organized and executed.

Safe Communities Re-designation Guidelines

Parachute Safe Communities Program

Re-Designation Guidelines

Parachute requires that all designated Safe Communities renew their designation status every five years. The process is very straightforward. Achieving re-designation is a far simpler process than applying for the original designation.  

To initiate the re-designation process, Safe Community co-chairs are asked to submit a letter stating their intention to seek re-designation, accompanied by a letter of endorsement from the municipal authority.  Please note, the re-designation process should not be initiated until these letters are received by Parachute.

Once confirmation is received from Parachute, Safe Communities should prepare their application for re-designation, which should include the following.  Please submit an electronic package which includes:

  • The letter of intention from the co-chairs expressing their intention to seek re-designation, and the accompanying letter of support fomr a representative of the municipal authority .
  • A membership list of the Safe Community Leadership Table with affiliations listed.  You must show evidence that your Leadership Table is comprised of a variety of community officials, which must include representation from local government, public health, police, fire/EMS and other recommended bodies such as educational institutions, local businesses, NGOs, youth and seniors’ groups, health and safety organizations, recreation groups or appropriate provincial ministries.  
  • The adopted Terms of Reference and any addendum made since designation.
  • The Safe Community’s Succession Plan, revised as necessary.
  • A description of the Priority Setting or Priority Review Exercise and results.
  • Evidence and results of the Community Scan. This survey was originally administered prior to designation, and should be re-administered prior to re-designation. You should specifically explain how you intend to liaise with other community organizations that could enhance and coordinate injury prevention efforts locally.
  • Copies of minutes from the last two meetings of the Leadership Table, which must have taken place within the previous 12 months.
  • A copy of the operating budget for the Safe Community, which accounts for the next three years of operation.
  • Proof of administrative capacity.  
  • A copy of the community action plan, which guides the Safe Community’s activities for the next three years.
  • A formal letter signed by the co-chairs which makes reference to the Safe Community’s commitment to meet at least three times a year and to participate fully in the Parachute partner network.

Parachute will respond to your package with a letter to the local government official, e.g., Mayor, Warden or their designate. Copies will be sent to the co-chairs.