A student-run team at Acadia University is providing medical response services at campus events, keeping students safe and healthy.
The school’s Medical Campus Response Team was co-founded by twin sisters Jenna and Sarah Robertson. The third-year students say the program provides first aid services at several events.
“We provide first aid services at football games, any type of sports games, residence events, student union events, any sort of event where there might be a lot of people around," says Jenna Robertson.
The campus response team is an initiative through St. John Ambulance. All 22 members are trained in Advanced Medical First Responder One, learning basic first aid and other specialized skills.
"We are able to take vitals, which is really good for first response, just to see what's going on with someone,” says Sarah Robertson. “Also we are able to administer oxygen in cases that that's needed. We're also able to hold somebody in c-spine."
Team members are also able to use an automated external defibrillator and act as the first point of contact for emergency services. But sometimes it's just about offering reassurance.
"A lot of the time, too, it's just a lot of people asking 'Am I O.K? Are we good here? Is there anything else we need to do?' Sarah Robertson says.
Annette Deagle of St. John Ambulance says the program has improved safety on campus.
“There's a go-to person at public events that are on campus, and I think it's just really helped create health and wellbeing on the campus," she says.
Acadia's Medical Campus Response Team has only been operating since September. The program first launched at Dalhousie University in 2014. St. FX started their team last year, and the initiative continues to grow.
"We're actually looking at expanding into Saint Mary's in January 2018. We're looking at CBU and we're also looking at expanding into P.E.I.," says Deagle.
The Acadia team hopes to offer even more services by training members in mental health first aid in the near future.
"We really want to be able to offer that service not only for our volunteers when they're on a duty, but also when they are in personal situations where they may have to deal with a mental health situation,” Jenna Robertson says.
Jenna and Sarah say response has been very positive on campus so far, and they would like to see the program grow and carry on well after they graduate.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jayson Baxter.