Each team member is certified as an Emergency Medical Responder, a level that is becoming widely accepted as a standard for Emergency First Response Teams across Canada. This is an intensive 104-hour course providing instruction on oxygen therapy, spinal immobilization, Automatic External Defibrillation (AED), symptom relief and advanced first aid. In addition, SERT members are certified in Mental Health First Aid by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Screening & Training
SERT does not take the skill level of our members for granted. Applicants and recruits come to us from diverse backgrounds with a variety of experience. Consequently, we have developed a stringent process that allows us to select candidates capable of performing to the high standards we set. One of our foremost priorities is to assist all of our members in attaining and maintaining this skill level. This is accomplished by a dedicated group of training evaluators, which are selected from senior team members based on their first-aid abilities, background knowledge and instructional abilities.
Each team member undergoes monthly trainings and biannual practical skill evaluations, all of which are mandatory. We evaluate our members on knowledge and performance through regular practical situations. Any member found to be performing under our prescribed standard of care is immediately removed from active duty until the problem is rectified. We do everything in our power to ensure that we have the best trained responders on-duty at all times.
Regular training is only one component of ensuring that our team is able to provide the best service possible. Our responders are carrying top quality, modern equipment at all times. We use a state of the art, Automated External Defibrillator, that is equipped with multiple safeguards, allowing us to offer the most effective treatment possible. We also carry oxygen and symptom relief drugs including Epinephrine, Ventolin, Aspirin, Benadryl, and Narcan. The combination of AED, oxygen, symptom relief drugs and other advanced equipment allows our responders to deal with any situation they encounter.
Due to the size of Western’s campus, SERT’s primary response vehicle is our Toyota Tacoma truck. The truck is operated by a senior team member with an excellent driving record and an Ontario Ministry of Transportation “G” license (or equivalent). Depending on the proximity of our responders to the call location we often make the decision to respond on foot.