On February 24, 1993 in Leuven, Belgium, the Fédération Internationale de Sauvetage Aquatique (FIS) and the World Life Saving (WLS) were merged into a single, worldwide lifesaving organization known as the International Life Saving Federation (ILS). The merger united the world’s great still-water and surf lifesaving bodies and their shared tradition of dedication to the protection and preservation of human life in the aquatic environment.

ILS was officially constituted by the ILS General Assembly in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, on September 3, 1994. At the same time, FIS and WLS were dissolved. Since then, ILS has been the single uniting force of lifesaving throughout the world.

Vision:

The International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) is the world authority in the global effort to prevent drowning.

Mission:

ILS is the International Federation for Lifesaving and Lifesaving Sport. In these roles ILS leads, supports and partners with national and international organisations committed to drowning prevention, aquatic safety supervision, emergency response and sport.

Values:

In the spirit of lifesaving ILS believes in:

  • humanitarian principles
  • effective governance
  • tolerance and respect for all
  • ethical conduct and behaviour
  • equity through diversity
  • environmental responsibility
  • evidence based decisions
  • learning
  • friendship and camaraderie

Code of Conduct / Behaviour

  1. We are frank and open, in our communication with full disclosure of information;
  2. We support each other and value the wealth of experience and knowledge each of us brings to our common goals;
  3. We identify and address issues, problems and conflicts in a timely manner;
  4. We work towards the common good, while respecting our differences;
  5. We seek first to understand then to be understood; we listen carefully;
  6. We are open-minded, accountable and committed to our decisions;
  7. We are respectful of diversity and encourage participation.>

Currently Canada participates actively on the Board of Directors of ILS and as an active or corresponding member of the Rescue Education Commission, Medical Commission, Development Commission and Sports Commission. Canada also acts as the Regional Secretary for the ILS Americas Region, whose purpose is to offer assistance to developing countries in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean region.