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Summer is a great time to entertain friends and family outdoors. Before you plan your next outdoor party, be sure to follow these simple tips to pull off a successful soiree. 

Have a plan B

When planning a party, always expect the best and prepare for the worst. For example, it is a good idea to have alternate options such as having a pop up gazebo for your guests in case it rains.

Be safe

Have a first aid kit handy in case something happens to one of your guests. Throw some ice packs into the freezer before the party so they are ready if anyone needs them. Another thing to keep in mind is to have designated drivers or cab services available to ensure guests arrive home safely should they consume alcohol.

Keep the bugs away

If you are outside, it’s inevitable there will be a few unwanted guests at your party. Have citronella candles and bug spray on hand to keep the bugs at bay. Be sure the candles and bug spray are in a safe spot and out of reach of children.   

Have enough seating

You want your friends and family to feel comfortable and relaxed. If you don’t have enough chairs, an option is to lay blankets on the ground and have a picnic-style party. Alternately, you can use cushions or poufs as extra seating. Make special arrangements for your guests who use wheelchairs or walkers; have chairs with extra back support for those who may need it.


Set the ambience

If the party is happening during the evening, use string lights, lanterns or candles to create an enchanting atmosphere for your guests. Have old wine bottles lying around? Use them to hold candles for a rustic feel. You can also draw inspiration from your favourite era or movie for a theme that will make your outdoor party memorable!



Don’t forget the music

Music can play a big part in setting the mood of a party. Have a variety of music from different genres available. Let your friends and family be guest DJs; let them choose what music to play during the party.   

Keep your drinks cool

Keep drinks cool for hours by filling a giant bucket with ice, a splash of cold water and table salt. The salt lowers the temperature in the bucket so that the ice won’t melt as quickly.

Label your foods

Label your foods so your guests don’t have to guess what they are eating. A small chalkboard can serve as a menu and clean Popsicle sticks can be creatively fashioned into condiment labels.

Popsicle sticks.jpg

Have entertainment ready

Set out Frisbees, balls and outdoor games to keep your guests of all ages entertained. All you need to create an outdoor Twister game is some spray paint and grass. 


Whatever idea or theme you have for your outdoor party, don’t forget the most important thing is to have fun. You want to be able to enjoy your party as much as your guests.

Share with us your favourite tips for throwing a successful and fun outdoor party at @SPS_SEMS

Works cited:


Summer.jpgJune 21, 2017 is the official First Day of Summer! To help kick off the start of warmer weather, here are some free events you can attend in the city. It will be easy on your wallet and will help you discover Toronto – a city that truly comes alive in the summer!

Na-Me-Res Traditional Pow Wow
June 24, 2017, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Fort York
A community festival celebrating Canada’s National Aboriginal Day complete with traditional dancing, drumming, kid’s area, crafts and booths.

Pedestrian Sundays
June 25, July 30, August 27, September 24, 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Kensington Market
The streets of Kensington Market are closed off to traffic the last Sundays of June – September. Performers, food vendors, musicians and artists take over the streets to make this bustling neighbourhood THE IT place to be!

The ROM Free Admission Day
July 1, 2017, 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
The Royal Ontario Museum
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the ROM will be opening its doors for free admission. Visit the permanent galleries and enjoy live music by local artists.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
July 14 – 16, 2017, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Nathan Phillips Square
Enjoy Canada’s largest and longest running contemporary outdoor art fair. The event showcases works by over 320 contemporary visual artists.

Beats, Breaks & Culture
August 18 – 20, 2017, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage
Check out the new up-and-coming Canadian artists as they perform hip hop and dance music on an outdoor stage.

Waterfront Night Market
August 11, 2017, 4:00 PM – Midnight
August 12, 2017, 2:00 PM – Midnight
August 13, 2017, 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Be transported to Asia’s famous night markets as you experience T&T Night Market’s food, entertainment and arts.

Sail-In Cinema
August 17-19, 2017, gates open at 6:00 PM, film starts at 8:45 PM
Sugar Beach
Experience Toronto’s largest outdoor movie theatre as you watch movies under the stars. Be sure to get there early to get a good spot on the beach.

Share with us your favourite free summer activities in Toronto @SPS_SEMS

Spectrum Event Medical will be attending some exciting health care events in the next few weeks. Drop by for a visit and see what we're all about!

Primary Care Conference
International Centre 
Hall 2-6900 Airport Road
Toronto, Ontario
May 10 - 13, 2017
We will be at booth #2115!

It’s CPR Awareness Month! The campaign challenges all individuals to get their CPR training so that we can work together to save more lives. We’ve put together some frequently asked questions about CPR and CPR training:

1.What does CPR stand for?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The term cardio refers to the heart, and pulmonary refers to the lungs. CPR is the same as Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS). CPR is a combination of breathing and chest compressions (Prepare First Aid Training).

2.What are the 3 steps of CPR?

Remember CAB:

1.    C: do chest compressions

2.    A: check the airway

3.    B: do rescue breathing

Source: Kids Health 

3.When should someone use CPR?

The steps in CPR (compressions, airway, and breathing) should be used whenever someone is not breathing and when the heart is not beating.

Someone can stop breathing and/or have cardiac arrest from:

  • heart attacks
  • strokes (when the blood flow to a part of the brain suddenly stops)
  • choking on something that blocks the entire airway
  • near-drowning incidents (when someone is underwater for too long and stops breathing)
  • a very bad neck, head, or back injury
  • severe electrical shocks (like from touching a power line)
  • being very sick from a serious infection
  • too much bleeding
  • severe allergic reactions
  • swallowing a drug or chemical

Source: Kids Health

4.Why is learning CPR important?

Learning CPR is easy and inexpensive. The short time it takes to learn CPR could make a real difference to someone’s life. Since most cardiac arrests happen at home, you could be saving the life of a friend or family member. (Canadian Red Cross)

5.How can I become CPR certified?

Check out the Canadian Red Cross website to find a course near you.


Whether you’re a child, parent/caregiver or a homeowner, we all play a part in keeping neighbourhoods safe during Halloween Here are some quick tips to keep yourself and others safe:

Children and youth

  1. Bring a cell phone.

  2. Travel in groups of 3 or more at all times.

  3. Don’t run back and forth across the street. Visit all the houses on one side of the street and then cross the street and visit the houses on the other side.

  4. If you’re going without your parents, plan out a route beforehand and let your parents know.

  5. Use reflective tape on your candy bag, and glow sticks on your arms so you are more visible by cars and other trick-or-treaters.

Parents and caregivers

  1. Make sure your children’s costumes fit properly to prevent trips and falls.

  2. Accompany young children and wait for them at each house they visit.

  3. If you’re letting your child go without supervision: give them a cell phone, a flashlight, and discuss in advance a route that they should follow.

  4. Dress your child for the weather. Depending on the temperature you may need to add layers underneath their costumes.

  5. Put reflective tape on candy bags and costumes so drivers can better see your child.


  1. Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway.

  2. Turn on at least one outdoor light.

  3. Use alternative candles in your pumpkins such as battery-operated candles.

  4. Remove items from your yard that a child may trip on.

  5. Keep pets that are easily excited away from the front door.

Happy Halloween!


Safe Kids Worldwide

Caring for Kids

This time of year brings on runny noses, scratchy throats, coughs and body aches of the seasonal flu. Recognizing the symptoms early on and knowing what to do if you get sick will help you get back on your feet much quicker. Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions about the flu:

What are some symptoms?

Symptoms usually start 1 to 4 days after exposure to the virus. In most adults, the flu lasts 2 to 10 days. It sometimes lasts longer for the elderly, children and people with chronic illnesses.

You may have the flu if you experience:

  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • runny eyes
  • stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • extreme weakness and tiredness
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

What can I do if I get sick?

If infected, be sure to:

  • stay home and get plenty of rest
  • drink lots of fluids
  • avoid drinks with caffeine
  • take basic pain or fever relievers
  • treat muscle pain using a hot water bottle or heating pad — apply heat for short periods of time
  • take a warm bath
  • gargle with a glass of warm salt water or suck on hard candy or lozenges
  • use spray or saline drops for a stuffy nose
  • avoid alcohol and tobacco

Still not feeling better? You may need to call your doctor or health care provider if:

  • you don’t start to feel better after a few days
  • your symptoms get worse
  • you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms

Source: Ontario Flu Facts

Did we miss any tips that you use? Share your tips for avoiding the flu on Twitter @Spectrum_HC or on our Facebook page.

First responders are rewarded for their bravery, courage and effort towards keeping our communities safe. They are faced with extreme situations which can sometime result in personal injury. We often recognize their physical injuries such as broken bones or cuts and bruises ­but we tend to forget about the injuries first responders may face to their mental well-being.

Research has shown that first responders including paramedics, police and firefighters have a greater risk for Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with statistics showing that an estimated 22% of all paramedics may develop PTSD (Suicide Info).  

Today is World Mental Health Day. We’d like to encourage you to make yourselves aware of the signs and symptoms related to PTSD and ASD.

Know the signs

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of PTSD and ASD will help you better identify and support yourself, your coworkers or your loved ones. Some common symptoms and behaviours include:

  • Dissociation from the self - emotional numbing, reduced awareness of one's surroundings, depersonalization, amnesia
  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event (spontaneous memories; flashbacks)
  • Avoiding distressing thoughts, feelings, or external reminders of the event
  • Blaming self or others due to distorted sense of reality
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Inability to remember key aspects of the traumatic event
  • Aggressive, reckless, or self-destructive behavior
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hyper-vigilance

Source: Suicide Info.

Where to go for help

Check out the resources below to learn where you can to turn for help:

Suicide prevention

  • Find a local crisis centre here.  

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

  • Find mental health information, tools and resources here. 

  • Canada’s primary source of information on government and community based health and social services

Mental Health First Aid

  • The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague
  • Call toll free: 1-866-989-3985

Drugs and Alcohol Helpline

  • Call toll free: 1-800-565-8603

For more, visit Global News resources.

Know of other helpful mental health resources? Share them with us on Twitter at@SPS_SEMS.

Planning an event? Wondering how to keep your volunteers motivated? Here are 5 tips to help!

Volunteers often are the back bone to many events. Although volunteers are often behind the scenes, they provide tremendous amounts of support with event planning, logistics and execution.  An important aspect of event management is keeping volunteers motivated and happy to ensure they continue to give their time and support to your organization.  Here are 5 simple ways to get the most out of your volunteers:

1. Get them involved before the doors open. Schedule a meeting with your volunteers and get them excited about your event. Provide volunteers with background information on the event, your brand personality and where they align with the marketing strategies and tasks for the event. This is also a great way to determine whether this is something they are interested in and if they can benefit from this opportunity (Brightq).

2. Motivate and challenge volunteers and make it fun: Find out what your volunteers are interested in and what skills they have to offer. Try to fit the volunteer with tasks related to their interests in order to keep them motivated. Also listen and be open to their ideas and suggestions. Even though there's lots of work to do, try to make this a fun and rewarding experience too (WildApricot). 

3. Calendar and schedule the volunteer assignment as soon as possible. Respect the calendars of your volunteers. Try to give as much advance notice as possible.  They will respect you for the notice and appreciate your organization! (Eventstant)

4. Volunteers have needs, too!
While volunteer positions are typically established to fill an event need, it’s important to understand the needs of your volunteers as well. Are they looking for a free pass? Special access? Cool giveaways? Asking why volunteers are interested in your event can help you add the right perks to your program (Event Manager Blog).

5. "Thank you so much."
Let your volunteers know you appreciate their help, whether they donated an hour or a week, whether they did the most difficult task or the easiest. (PTO Today). 

The summer has come to an end, kids are back in school and team sports are starting up again. Along with the risk of various other injuries, concussions are a frequent concern for individuals playing sports. Concussions can happen in a variety of different ways and the effects can vary for every person.

Determining whether or not you’ve had a concussion can be difficult. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms to ensure a better road to recovery. The following graphics from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital provide information on what concussions are, signs and symptoms and how to best support yourself or your loved ones for recovery. 

What is a concussion?

What are the signs and symptoms?

How can you recover from a concussion?

Educate yourself to make this upcoming school year a fun and safe time for you, your kids and those you care for!

The summer weather is not over yet and there’s still lots of time to put your bike to use! Whether you use your bike to commute to work, for exercise, or just for fun, road safety rules are essential to know for safe bike riding.

Around 7,500 Canadian cyclists are seriously injured on their bikes every year (CAA). Biking is both environmentally and economically friendly, however without knowledge of safe riding rules, it can be dangerous for both the riders and other drivers on the road.  Here are some bike safety tips from Greatist to help keep you and your loved ones safe:

Rules of the Road

  • Bike on the road in the same direction as traffic. Even though they lack a motor, bicycles are considered road vehicles just like cars and trucks.
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs, and obey other traffic signs (i.e. one-way street, yield, etc.), just like you would in a car.
  • Use marked bike paths or lanes when they’re available.

Safety Gear

Prepare yourself with the following pieces of safety equipment before starting your ride:

  • Helmet
  • Bell or horn
  • White headlight and red taillight when riding around sunrise, sunset, or at night
  • Working brakes
  • Reflectors on the front and back of the bicycle

Good Habits for Busy Streets

  • Put down the phone. We shouldn’t even need to say this, but talking on the phone, texting, or checking Instagram while biking are major no-nos. Also refrain from listening to headphones because they can make it more difficult to hear approaching cars and pedestrians.
  • Ride in a straight line.
  • Stay on the right side of the lane, in a single-file line with other cyclists (not two or three abreast). If the street is too narrow for cars to pass, cyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of the lane to increase visibility. Keep an eye out for parked cars (or rather, doors from parked cars opening into the street).
  • Stay out of drivers’ blind spots, especially at traffic lights or stop signs.
  • Always keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
  • Signal well and make eye contact with drivers before making a turn or slowing down.
  • Stay visible. Wear bright colours for daytime riding and reflective materials for night.
  • Consider sporting a mirror to keep track of cars behind you.
  • Travel with a mini tool kit. If your trek is more than 10 minutes or down a lonely stretch of road, you’ll thank us. Take the time to learn how to do a few quick repairs in advance of any big rides so you don’t get stranded!

And lastly, don’t forget to have fun! Biking is all about enjoying the great outdoors, so don't forget to smile while you signal.

Happy cycling!


Spectrum Advantage

When you choose Spectrum Event Medical Services you get the Spectrum Advantage. With over 30 years of experience providing clients with event medical services, we can develop a customized event medical services plan that is tailored to the needs, attendees and location of your event or venue.

Contact Us

For more information about our services contact us by phone at 1-866-527-9191 or fill out our Contact Form  or Get a Quote form and a Spectrum Event Medical Services representative will contact you as soon as possible.

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For more information or to book an onsite medical team for your event call: