JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) of Canada organized its Let’s Make History Again event around Canada to raise funds for Diabetes – which more than 300,000 Canadians live with. On Monday, April 4, 2022, Safety First Consulting volunteered to assist some of the five brave Canadians who were setting out to make history by sitting 40 feet above ground for 100 hours. Elevated Work Platforms (called flagpoles) were set up within Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and two in Toronto. The event helped to raise funds and awareness that it’s time to move beyond Insulin and cure type one diabetes.
Safety First Consulting’s Role
Excitedly our safety consultants left on their journey the week of April 4th by plane and automobile to reach the event in time to work with the individuals who were harnessing up, going from one elevated work platform to the next, tying off, and staying safe for 100 hours.
“It was really a great experience, even if the weather wasn’t the warmest, everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves. It was for a good cause, and it showed that everyone there was proud to help out in any way possible“. – Dwayne Ellis, NCSO Safety First Consulting
Putting on a harness is a main component of Working at Heights training, which Dwayne (pictured left) teaches weekly. It’s not the easiest task to do and it isn’t always clear where the straps go or even how to tighten it afterwards.
For someone who has never put on a harness before, having a safety professional there from start to finish is vital – especially when that person is also going to be lifted up and expected to hop from one platform to the next!
Not only did our consultants have to train how to put on the harness, they had to train how to secure their harness and lanyard safely to an anchor point, how to detach safely from the anchor point, learn about guard rails, and how to hop from one platform to the next without mentally being freaked out by being 40 feet in the air.
The Flagpole: How it came to be and how it worked
In 1990, Peter Oliver was the first to live on top a 40-foot flagpole to raise funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes (T1D), with a goal of raising $250,000. This event – was in memory of him and had a 100 million goal! These flagpoles were designed and painted “JDRF blue” by volunteers and staff of Walters Group Inc., a steel construction company that designs, creates, and constructs industrial and commercial projects across Canada. The flagpoles were distributed across Canada to each Let’s Make History Again event and housed all five people who chose to spend 100 hours in it – would you?!
Flagpoles were placed in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. The sponsors sitting in the flagpole were affected directly by diabetes, and completing this challenge meant a lot to them. They didn’t have to stay within it for the whole 100 hours alone though, they had periodic check ins and visits!
Our consultants were there to make sure the harness (which was worn the entire time) was put on comfortably and could connect safety to anchor points to assist with these visits and check ins.
What was accomplished within 100 Hours?
While it appears it may be uncomfortable within these flagpoles, it was quite the contrary! Everything needed was provided to participants!
The five who were staying in the flagpoles across Canada, aka, Leaders in History – shared their 100 hours by participating in IG lives, posting to social media, hosting special guests, participating in media interviews, and contacting donors by phone. They shared what it was like to be atop their flagpole, what the event meant to them, the diabetes technology that has impacted their daily life, and how a cure would change the world for the better.
JDRF Flagpole Diabetes Awareness Event 2022 Conclusion
As of April 21, 2022, the Let’s Make History Again event has raised close to $11 million in support of the most promising Type 1 Diabetes research.
Diabetes has touched the lives of all of us from Safety First Consulting, and sponsoring/volunteering this event meant a lot to us – we are proud to be helping with the effort of moving beyond insulin.
Canada discovered Insulin, Canada can cure Diabetes!
Want to see about how to make a donation? Right now all donations are being matched by the Temerty Foundation – Click here to learn more!