Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
March 06, 2001
First Response Team fares well at national competition
The University of Guelph’s First Response Team recently competed at the National Conference of Campus Emergency Responders at McMaster University, capturing third- and fourth-place finishes. The team also received accolades for “Best Web Site of the Year,” and two members were awarded individual honours.
Each year, university emergency response teams gather for a competition and national conference sponsored by the Association of Campus Emergency Response Teams. Guelph’s 43-member team is made up of student volunteers who have undergone rigorous first-aid and life-saving training. At the competition, held Feb. 16 to 19, teams vied to see who best responded to different training scenarios.
“The competition is crisis simulation to the extreme,” says Adam Gruszczynski, team supervisor and one of the co-ordinators of Guelph’s First Response Team. “There are tense situations everywhere. You are judged on how you handle the situations as well as scene management, which includes things like dealing with bystanders.”
U of G’s team was broken up into four smaller teams, and two of the teams advanced to the finals. In addition, team member Angus Ross was named the 2001 “Beyond the Call of Duty” winner, the highest award a first response team member can obtain. “Angus is just an amazing responder,” says Gruszczynski. “His first-aid skills are superior, and he has excellent judgment, great leadership skills and a very clear head on his shoulders.” Another team member, Jessica Brown, was named to the 2001 President’s List, which is a list of finalists for the “Beyond the Call of Duty” award.
U of G’s First Response Team works in groups of four on weeknights from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and for 24 hours over the weekends. Team members, most of whom already have basic CPR and first-aid training, are selected each fall after an interview process and undergo a rigorous two-week training period. The “on call” team stays on campus during its shift and is dispatched through U of G’s Security Services to calls requiring medical assistance.
“We see everything, ranging from people who are sick or have athletic injuries to those with serious medical conditions — as well as students who are just stressed out from exams,” says Gruszczynski.
Keith McIntyre, director of Security Services, lauds First Response Team members for the “excellent service” they provide to the University community. “Absolutely everyone on campus benefits from their services. They are a wonderful, highly qualified and well-trained group.” While Lynda Davenport from student health services adds: “These students are very dedicated and are doing a great job in responding to first aid requests from students and visitors.”
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