Every year in Quebec, over a dozen people suffer a fractured spine after a dive into shallow water, either in natural rivers or swimming pools. This can result in permanent damage to the spinal cord, resulting in quadriplegia which is complete or partial paralysis of the arms and legs. A spinal cord injury can affect anyone, since it is the result of an accident, but they could have been avoided if the victims and/or their families had been informed of the dangers.
During the summer, MEMO-Qc leads a provincial awareness campaign to inform the public of the risks of diving in shallow water. On these occasions, we organize press conferences on the issue and produce and distribute leaflets, posters and videos to create awareness, in addition to distributing press releases to all of the media in Quebec. The message of these communication tools is clear : MEMO-Qc invites the public to enjoy the pleasures of swimming, but avoid diving when you do not know the place nor the depth of water, where the area is not properly illuminated at night, or when you have consumed alcohol.
Some actions taken during the recent campaigns :
Press Release: June 2, 2010
Launch of campaign to prevent diving accidents
Diving accidents: They destroy lives
Press conference to mark the Week for People with Disabilities
Date: June 2, 2010
Location: Complexe Desjardins, on the main stage during the show
Raynald Hawkins, Executive Director of the Lifesaving Society, Dr. Christine Fournier, physiatrist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal Gingras-Lindsay, Richard de Courcy, Head of Programme for people with a musculoskeletal disorder and of the Lucie-Bruneau Readaptation Center, M. Walter Zelaya, General Director of the Quebec Paraplegic Association and three individuals who have suffered a diving accident.
Dissemination of educational materials (posters and flyers) distributed across the entire network of the Ministry of Health and Human Services
Press Release June 20, 2009
Too many diving accidents: a prevention campaign, is launched
Production and distribution of posters and leaflets designed in conjunction with the Lifesaving Society of Quebec with the dramatic tagline “The bottom is often closer than it appears. Talk to David, he will never walk again. “, designed to target young men under 30.