Sirius Wilderness Medicine

Sirius instructors are professional educators who have advanced training and extensive experience teaching and leading groups in the outdoor environment.

André-Jean Maheu, PCP, W-EMT

André-Jean is a Primary Care Paramedic, Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, professional avalanche forecaster, ski patroller and has been working in the outdoor industry as instructor and guide since 1990. For more than 10 years André-Jean has worked for Sirius Wilderness Medicine as a senior instructor and a medical attendant on remote worksites in the high arctic. He teaches Sirius programs in the Wilderness Leadership program at Capilano University and trains professional ski patrollers in first aid, avalanche rescue, critical decision making and leadership. Over the years he has gained experience in rock and ice climbing, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, as well as white-water and sea kayaking.

David Mepham, MSc, EdD (in progress)

David is Professor and Director of the Outdoor and Adventure Tourism  Program at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). He also heads the University’s Outdoor Expertise and Research Laboratory (LERPA). His principal areas of expertise include remote emergency response, risk management and experiential education. David actively contributes to various sectors of outdoor pursuits, including remote public safety, search and rescue, technical and professional training. He runs several university and government projects including a cross-faculty regional project in adventure tourism and ecotourism at UQAC, a user safety project for the Haute-Gaspésie backcountry, and a project sponsored by Quebec’s Department of Public Safety and the National Secretariat for Search and Rescue to develop a training program for search and rescue volunteers in Quebec. David is a Master Instructor of Sirius Wilderness First Aid programs.

Matt Cruchet, HBOR, BSc, PCP

Matt is one of Canada’s leading experts in outdoor risk management. He is founding president of Direct Bearing Inc., a safety and risk management consulting firm. He regularly speaks at conferences and symposiums and his various publications are used by outdoor professionals in the field as well as in academic curricula throughout North America. He is a part-time professor at Algonquin College (ON), where he teaches in the Outdoor Adventure Programs. Matt has degrees in Outdoor Recreation and in Natural Sciences from Lakehead University (ON), and is a primary care paramedic currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Paramedicine. He is also Deputy Fire Chief and a Community Emergency Management Coordinator. Matt has been with Sirius since 1996 and is one of our Master Instructors.

Dominique Ballet, EMT

Dominique has more than 20 years of experience in pre-hospital emergency care. He is an emergency medical technician and a wilderness first responder. He has been a Sirius instructor since 2001, and has taught our courses all across Canada. Dominique combines his passion for pre-hospital emergency care and his love for the arctic in his work for Sirius. He has frequent mandates in the Canadian north, both as remote medic and as instructor. He is also a First Aid Instructor for Québec’s Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), and has guided extensively across Canada and abroad.

Yannick Sisla, W-EMT

Yannick is a senior Sirius instructor, remote site medic and a member of our administrative staff. As a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, Yannick divides his time between working as a medic on remote work sites in the Canadian north and coordinating Sirius’s many Medical Support Services projects. He teaches the full range of our remote worksite safety programs, from wilderness first aid to search and rescue and wilderness readiness.

Joannie Venne, BSc

Joannie is a flight paramedic with Airmedic, a former member of the Canadian coast guard’s search and rescue team and an ambulance technician. She works as guide for the adventure therapy program at the Coopérative Intervention Nature Aventure Québec (INAQ). Joannie brings all of her rich field experience to her teaching as a Sirius instructor. She has a degree in adventure tourism and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biology at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

Julien Henry, RN, BScN, PCP

Julien is a Registered Nurse, licensed in Quebec, Nunavut and the NWT. He works for Sirius in a number of capacities. He is an active Sirius instructor, a regular nurse and paramedic on remote camps for our medical support services and a member of the Sirius administrative team in Sainte-Adèle. His administrative tasks involve program development for our medical support services, including developing medical ERPs and protocols and producing site documentation. In between his assignments for Sirius, Julien works as a paramedic on the streets of Montreal and Laval and as a professional ski patroller at Mont Tremblant. As a nurse, Julien worked for two years in a busy Montreal emergency department. He gained experience in the wilderness through many years in summer camps where he guided groups of youth on white-water canoeing and hiking expeditions.

Rick Wise, BA, BEd

Rick is director of Horizons Adventures, where he leads expeditions and teaches many of the courses. He has been paddling the North Shore of Lake Huron and Lake Superior for more than 25 years. He is a Level 4 sea kayaker and Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Trainer for Paddle Canada, where he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. He is a part-time, on-call Fire Fighter for the Greater City of Sudbury and an occasional elementary school teacher. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in Recreation and Environmental Studies. He has been involved with a number of Northern Ontario programs including part-time teaching at Laurentian University and Cambrian College. Rick is a Senior Instructor with Sirius and a First Aid and CPR instructor for the Canadian Red Cross.

Lise-Anne Masson, RN, BSc, W-EMT

Lise-Anne has been a Sirius Instructor since 2001 and a Master Instructor since 2006. She has taught all levels of Sirius courses to a wide variety of clientele and helped to develop Sirius training programs. As a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, she worked on numerous projects on Baffin Island and assisted in the development of our remote medical support services in the Arctic. After working as a clinical nurse in critical care, she now teaches nursing. She is a graduate of the Outdoor and Adventure Tourism program at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. An avid paddler and traveller, she worked as a guide in various fields, particularly therapeutic adventure.

Dominic Lavallée, BSc, SAR Tech, PCP

Dominic is a Search and Rescue Technician for the Canadian Armed Forces. He is a Primary Care Paramedic, skydiver, diver, vertical mountain rescuer, has his Avalanche Operations Level 1 certificate from the Canadian Avalanche Association and is a specialist in survival skills for all of Canada’s climates. He graduated from the Outdoor and Adventure Tourism Program at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and subsequently taught the program’s Emergency Intervention course. Before becoming a SARTech, Dominic was a rock climbing and kayak guide and taught swift water rescue for the Société de sauvetage. Dominic is a Senior Instructor with Sirius. He has taught the full range of our wilderness first aid programs and he has assisted in the training of new Sirius instructors.

Jim Little, BSc (Applied Science in Engineering)

Jim Little is full-time faculty and program coordinator of the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. His current area of research examines the relationship between caloric intake and energy expenditure in backcountry travel. He has been involved in the tourism sector for north-eastern Ontario since 1999 when he co-founded a four-season backcountry guiding and outfitting business. He is a certified instructor in moving water and canoe tripping disciplines. His passion for travel is by canoe in the summer season and by snowshoe and toboggan in the winter. Jim has been a Sirius instructor since 2003, predominantly teaching 80 hour courses for the University.

Serge Savard, BPhE, BSc

Serge has several years of military service, a Bachelor’s of Physical Education and a Bachelor’s of Science in Outdoor and Adventure Tourism from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. He has been guiding since 1990 and heavily involved in sea kayaking since 1995. He was instrumental in developing the national and provincial sea kayaking programs, among other organizations for Paddle Canada (formerly the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association) and the Fédération Québécoise du Canot et du Kayak. He also helped to develop the white-water rescue program for the Société de Sauvetage. Since 2005, Serge has taught survival skills to pilot trainees at the Centre Québécois de Formation Aéronautique. His passions include cycle touring, cyclo-cross, kayak marathons and hockey. Serge joined the Sirius Instructor Team in 1997 and has worked for Sirius as a First Responder on remote work sites in Nunavut.

Catherine Pinard, Bsc, MSc

Catherine is a biologist specializing in fauna. She is currently based in Kuujjuaq, in Northern Québec, where she works for Parcs Nunavik helping to establish new provincial parks. From 1999 to 2007, she worked as a biologist with Native groups and government agencies in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Her passion for outdoor pursuits and travel has led her to work as a guide in Asia, Africa and North America. It was during her days with the Canadian ski patrol that she started teaching first aid in 2003. She joined the Sirius Instructor Team in 2009.

Annabelle Brossard, BSc

Annabelle has a degree in Outdoor and Adventure Tourism and a diploma in Youth Intervention from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. She served as coxswain on a search and rescue vessel for the Canadian coast guard and as a guide for the Coopérative Intervention Nature Aventure Québec (INAQ). She joined the Sirius Instructor Team in 2011. Her passion for first aid and search and rescue enhances the learning environment of each course she teaches.

Patrick Gagnon

Patrick has worked in remote areas around the world for 20 years from mustering sheep in the New Zealand highlands to tuna fishing in the Coral Sea south of Papua New Guinea. He was a trekking guide in the Nepalese and Indian Himalayas, in Eastern Europe and in Africa, and led desert expeditions on camel back in the Egyptian Sahara desert. Patrick joined the Sirius Instructor Team in 2012, where he teaches six months of every year. During the other six months, he is a safari guide in the remote Kenyan and Tanzanian savannah, an expertise he has developed over many years. His “hands-on” experience in many and varied fields of work, climates and environments allows him to respond with ease to the specific needs of a wide range of clients.

Frédéric Noël

Frédéric Noël is a graduate of Selkirk College, BC, where he studied Recreation, Fish and Wildlife technologies. He has been working as trail development manager and GIS technician for the city of La Tuque, QC, since 2009. His wide experience as a remote field worker was acquired from teaching forestry in Northern Quebec for the James Bay School Board, working as fishery technician, guiding various outdoor activities such as dogsledding and whitewater rafting, as well as motorized activities such as snowmobiling and ATV riding. His interest in safety issues and risk management in the workplace led him to Sirius, where he joined the Instructor Team in 2007. His primary clientele with Sirius are professional field workers in the forestry, mining and outdoor recreation industries.

Joël Deshaies, EMT

Joël is an emergency medical technician, a wilderness first responder and firefighter, with more than 5,000 medical volunteer hours (with the Red Cross and as a first responder). He teaches natural disaster management. Since 2006, he has helped establish emergency response plans for the deployment of emergency disaster teams and for the protection of essential infrastructure. He is an avid seakayer, hiker, canyoner, winter camper and parachutist. Since 1998, Joël has also worked as an explosives technician for an international geophysics firm. He joined the Sirius Instructor Team in 2012.

Malcolm Taliano, BPHE

Malcolm has been an instructor with Sirius since 2012. He graduated from Laurentian University’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership program in 2012 and has recently got his Ontario Teacher’s License. He draws on both his classroom and outdoor experience when teaching Sirius courses. Malcolm currently works for Windigo Adventures, and is a Chief Experience Officer for G Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. He is a regular practitioner of trekking, canoeing, winter sports and traditional crafts and methods.

Sara Harrison, BA, ACCP, EMT

Sara is co-owner of Momenta in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has an undergraduate degree in Criminology, completed the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training Program, is a graduate of the Applied Counselling Certificate Program and is a provincially licensed EMT. She specializes in leadership development and the design and implementation of therapeutic adventure and outdoor education programs across Manitoba. Sara has been instructing Sirius Wilderness Medicine courses since 2006. She also teaches canoeing and kayaking through Paddle Canada.

Céline Jaccard, BSc, W-EMT

Céline is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, has a diploma in adult education and a Bachelor’s of Science in Outdoor and Adventure Tourism from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Passionate about the outdoors and first aid, Céline has joined the local volunteer search and rescue team wherever she has chosen to live. She recently moved to Qikiqtarjuaq on Baffin Island, where she is partnering with members of the community to develop an adventure tourism program. Formerly a ski patroller and ski instructor in Alps, she is an avid backcountry and alpine skier. Céline joined the instructor team in 2012. She regularly works for Sirius as a medic in the arctic and as a Sirius instructor across Canada.

Julie Leblanc, BSc

Julie is an avalanche forecaster for the Centre d’avalanche de la Haute Gaspésie and teaches avalanche safety at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts in the Chic Choc mountains of the Gaspé region of Québec. She is a certified Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance ski instructor and an avalanche search and rescue technician. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the Université du Québec à Rimouski and a diploma in Adventure Tourism from Thompson Rivers University (BC). In the summer months, she works as an ocean biologist with Exploramer in the Gaspé. She is also a certified sea kayak and rafting guide and holds a guide membership with Aventure Écotourisme Québec. Julie has been an instructor with Sirius since 2011.

Emmanuel Daigle, BBA

Emmanuel has been guiding internationally since 1995 and has developed a special expertise in and love for high altitude climbing. He is regularly called upon to share this expertise as a technical consultant and as a lecturer. He is currently writing a book on high altitude, which is due out in the fall of 2013. Among his many accreditations, Emmanuel is a No Trace Instructor, has his Avalanche Operations Level 1 certificate and is a member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. Emmanuel joined the Sirius Instructor team in 2009.

Craig Beattie, PCP

Craig has worked in outdoor safety and tourism since 1998, including at Whistler Blackcomb as a ski patroller, with BC Ambulance Service as a Primary Care Paramedic and, for more than 9 years, with Pemberton Search and Rescue. His accreditations include Ground Search and Rescue and Canadian Avalanche Association – Level 1 Ski Operations. Craig is currently General Manager at Canadian Wilderness Adventures, and is helping to develop a training module on mechanized guiding levels 1 and 2 for the BC Commercial Snowmobile Operators Association. Craig joined the Sirius instructor team in 2006 and has travelled, among other places, to the Yukon and Nunavut to teach our programs.

Véronique Fortin, B. Sc.

Véronique has worked in adventure tourism since 1998, including as a first aid attendant in Canada’s north, as a ski patroller and as a rafting, sea kayak, mountain and trekking guide. She has also guided internationally, leading groups in South America, Europe and Asia. She graduated from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi’s Outdoor and Adventure Tourism Program in 2003. Currently, Véronique coordinates and teaches in the Recreation and Outdoor Program at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, a program she helped to develop. Before turning her focus to adventure tourism, Véronique competed at the international level as an elite athlete. Véronique joined the Sirius team in 2008. She has taught our courses and led projects for Sirius throughout Quebec and in the north.

Nicolas Létourneau, BSc, WFR

Nicolas divides his time between two passions: wilderness first aid and river running. In the last few years, he has transitioned from guiding to teaching, which has led him to work with different organizations across North America such as the National Outdoor leadership school (NOLS), Capilano University and the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. As an active Sirius instructor since 2010, he has taught our courses across Canada with a special focus on northern communities. His extensive background both as a river instructor and a dogsledding expedition guide have given him a wealth of hands-on first aid experiences to draw from and share with Sirius participants. Nicolas has a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor and Adventure Tourism from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, is a certified white water instructor and an active NOLS course leader.

Amir Fishman, BA, BPHE

Amir Fishman is Director of Overhang Adventures Inc. where he leads many of the trips and teaches many of the courses. He spends the vast majority of his free time in the backcountry and logs more than 100 nights in a tent in any given year. He is passionate about all self-propelled outdoor activities, including rock climbing, sea kayaking, white water and flatwater paddling, hiking and biking. His passions have taken him around the globe, and have even landed him positions such as Assistant River and Mountain Guide in Hokkaido, Japan. A graduate of Laurentian University’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership program, Amir has been a Sirius Instructor since 2012. He is based out of the Toronto region.

Sébastien Rojo, BSc, MSc, MA, DEd (in progress)

A wilderness first aid teacher for many years and a former member of a high risk tactical unit, Sébastien has taught all levels of Sirius courses to a wide range of clients. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a professional guide throughout the world and has taught for numerous national and international organizations. His preferred areas of travel are the backcountry and altitude. Passionate about teaching and pedagogy, he teaches at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi in Education and in the Outdoor and Adventure Tourism program. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Education. Sébastien is also president and senior facilitator at the Coopérative Intervention par la nature et l’aventure – Québec (INAQ). Fascinated by the use of nature and adventure as psychosocial tools, he conducts numerous research projects in this area.

Audrey-Anne Lapointe

Audrey-Anne joined the Sirius instructor team in 2012. She is currently undertaking a teaching degree in physical education at Université Laval. She is also a ski patroller at Mont Ste-Anne and has worked as a guide throughout Western North America for Windigo Adventures since 2008. Audrey-Anne is a passionate telemark skier and white water kayaker.

Martin Hanzalek, ACP, CCP

Martin is an Advanced Care and Critical Care Paramedic with ITLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP and IV therapy endorsements. He holds multi-provincial registration and is experienced with air medical transport, helicopter long line operations and remote site clinic management. Martin has a decade of experience instructing Advanced Wilderness First Aid programs, Marine First Aid, Emergency Medical Responder programs (EMR) and all levels of CPR (including healthcare provider). Martin is a registered Search & Rescue Manager experienced in staging, search methodology and resource allocation, and an experienced rock and ice climber, skier, scuba diver, paddler and adventure guide. Martin has been actively working with Sirius since 2005.

Darren Wilcox W-PCP

Darren was an instructor for the Atlantic Paramedic Academy from 2009 to 2010 and a student preceptor from 2005 to 2010. He has worked as a Primary Care Paramedic and Wilderness First Responder since 2000. He has also worked as a medic on a remote mine site in Nunavut where he was a member of the Emergency Response Team and a certified member of the mine rescue team. He became a Sirius instructor in 2013. When he is not on a remote camp-site, Darren enjoys the outdoors in his native New Brunswick and can always be found landscaping out on his land.

Annik Shamlian

As graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Resources, she lives her passion. Her full-time work for a company that offers educational linguistic excursions for Canadian and American students, allows her two principal interests to complement one another: education and the outdoors. Additional employment opportunities have also led her to guide European groups on hiking and canoeing excursions in Quebec and Labrador regions, and cultural trips across Quebec and Ontario. She also spent a year traveling aboard a tall ship on the Pacific Ocean with “SALTS”. She also participated in numerous expeditions of more than 25 days but since 2013, she has returned to her first love, as a guide at Camp Minogami, on the Broadback river in the James Bay region. In 2015, she completed an 190 days canoe trip from Montreal to Inuvik.

Aymie Rioux

For Aymie, the outdoor is a way of life  and a daily work reality. After obtaining a Collegiate Diploma in horticulture and environment, Aymie decided to combine her passion for nature and adventure and set her sights on the great outdoor world in 2012. She completed her training as a guide at Collège Mérici and obtained various certifications With the Quebec Canoe and Kayak Federation and the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Her work as a guide took  her across the planet, from the desert to the Arctic Circle through the Canadian Rockies. When she is not guiding you will find her aboard a sea kayak on the St. Lawrence, on the winding paths of the Himalayan mountains, cycling through Central America or aboard a sailboat on the South China Sea.

Bryce Gartner BCRSP, CQA

Bryce worked as a paramedic for a hospital based ambulance service in North Bay, Ontario for over 10 years before moving into a management position with the provincial air ambulance program in 2002. Within the airline industry Bryce became part of the Quality and Risk department responsible for occupational safety, internal auditing, emergency response, transportation of dangerous goods and incident investigation. Now employed by the Local Health Integration Network, Bryce works to ensure infection control, patient safety and incident investigation programs are developed and implemented. Bryce has worked as a canoe tripping guide in Northern Ontario in the areas of Algonquin Park, Temagami and the French River. He continues to enjoy mountain biking day trips in the summer and spending time on the slopes as a snowboard instructor in the winter. Originally an independent CPR & First Aid instructor with the Canadian Red Cross, Bryce joined the Sirius Team in 2017.