Dominique Graf RN, BScN, owner of Breath for Life Inc., has been in business for 16 years delivering Canadian Red Cross and Heart and Stroke courses to the public. The company, Breath for Life, was founded 16 years ago, when a hiring freeze prevented the newly graduated nurse from finding employment in nursing. “I started this business because I needed something to do. I needed to work and I needed an income. What started as a way of making a living, has turned into a livelihood. I have a passion at several levels: educating the public about life saving principles, keeping my prices affordable and thus competitive, delivering a service that is rooted in knowledge (most company instructors have a degree in a medically based discipline), and being attentive to specifics.”
In the early years, the main focus of Breath for Life was the childcare program. “I did a gap analysis and realized that few companies were offering this program. Business was tough to begin with, as the company name was not well known. I spent a lot of time with my Dad making cold calls and distributing pamphlets.”
I eventually got a job in nursing, but by then the company had a foothold in the community. “I worked for about seven years as a full-time nurse, and managed Breath for Life after work. My Dad was a huge support during this time; he would take phone calls, and ensure that customers were scheduled into their required courses. The business grew over these seven years.”
“I eventually had to make a choice: do I pursue the company full-time or keep it as a hobby in the background. I decided to manage Breath for Life full time for various personal reasons. I enjoy the multifaceted aspects of business: it can be a huge rush. This does not mean it is easy or without stress; it keeps me going.”
Breath for Life provides first aid and safety training courses to public and private sector clients in Edmonton.
Breath for Life’s portfolio of courses includes: EMR/Advanced First Aid, Standard/Emergency First Aid, Childcare, Healthcare Provider CPR, recertification courses, and more…. “It takes a lot of coordination to ensure that weekday and weekend courses run smoothly. Sometimes I work many hours a week to ensure quality controls are in place.”
Breath for Life currently employs 14 subcontracted instructors. “They are the lifeblood of the company. Without them I am not sure where the company would be today. They are a great crew to work with and their dedication makes my life easier.”
“When Origami Accounting was introduced to me, I was impressed with their business model, their pricing and the range of service. The company is efficient and reliable. When they say something, they do not keep you dangling. I have been with a few accountants over the years: so far I am impressed.”