Your heart rate is racing, your blood pressure is through the roof, you can feel the adrenaline running through your… EpiPen?

Over reading week, members of McMaster’s Emergency First Response Team competed at the National Conference of Campus Emergency Responders. After a morning filled with informative lectures, a team of three members− Chris, Sachin, and myself− ran through 15 different simulations meant to represent medical emergencies that could be seen on campus.

Chris was able to regain a central pulse on an electric shock patient after 10 intense minutes of CPR. Sachin manually immobilized the cervical spine of a patient who fell down the stairs. I was able to catch a carbon monoxide leak that could have left all three responders unconscious. Along with these individual efforts, we competed as a team to tackle a mass casualty simulation. After all the marks were counted up the McMaster team came second overall out of 16 teams from other campuses in Canada.

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While the conference was fun and informative, going to competitions such as these is not our main objective. The main goal of this team is to respond to medical emergencies on the McMaster campus and serve the students, employees, faculty and visitors.

Over 30 volunteers are part of the Emergency First Response Team and provide 24-hour coverage seven days a week during the school year and 9-5 coverage five days a week during the summer months. We also teach a number of first aid courses throughout the year. All team members are certified as Emergency Medical Responders and more senior members are trained in International Trauma Life Support and Advanced Medical Life Support. We are trained to respond to a variety of calls including cardiac arrests, syncopal episodes, musculoskeletal injuries, allergic reactions and diabetic emergencies and have an average response time of 2-3 minutes.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to contact EFRT there are a number of ways we can be reached. The direct number, 905-522-4135, or simply “88” from any campus landline puts you straight through to McMaster Security Services which dispatches us. We can also be called through the “MUSST” app or by pressing the emergency button on any red emergency pole on campus.

On March 24, we will pair up with SHEC to perform our annual Impaired Driving Simulation. At this event we will simulate how we respond to a call in front of University Hall in between classes every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We encourage you to come check out this action-packed simulation. If you ever have any questions about the team come by our office, MUSC 103, or contact efrtpr@msu.mcmaster.ca.

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