Who are we?
The EFRT is a group of approximately 30 McMaster student volunteers who provide 24/7 emergency medical services to the McMaster campus. All of our team members are trained at the level of Emergency Medical Responder, and most of our older team members have also taken International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) training at Toronto EMS facilities. Our responders come from a variety of faculties and backgrounds, including Life Science, Engineering, Nursing, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences. Above all, we are a bunch of friendly students - so don't be afraid to say hello!
What does EFRT do?
We provide emergency medical care to all those on the McMaster campus, including students, faculty, staff and visitors. During the academic year we are operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except for Thanksgiving weekend, Winter break, and Reading week). During the summer months, we operate on weekdays from 9am to 5pm. At any given time, there will be 3 responders on call to attend any medical emergencies on campus.
We respond to a variety of calls including musculoskeletal injuries, soft-tissue injuries, heart attacks, cardiac arrest and psychiatric episodes. Some of our most common calls include ankle injuries, lacerations, drug or alcohol intoxication and general malaise.
How is EFRT activated and how does the response work?
EFRT can be activated in several ways. We are dispatched through McMaster Security Services, which is quite similar to how EMS, Fire, or Police are all contacted. To have EFRT dispatched, you can dial "88" from any campus phone (e.g. residence phones), or you can call the dispatcher directly at 905-522-4135 on any cellphone.
EFRT responders will then be dispatched to the emergency over our radios. Our average response time to emergencies anywhere on campus is between 2-3 minutes. Once responders arrive at a call, the patient(s) will be assessed and treated to the best of our abilities. If further medical attention is required, patients will either be sent to the Urgent Care Center or nearest hospital with Hamilton EMS.
How long has EFRT been around?
The team was started in 1982 by (now Dr.) Eddie Wasser, who was an undergraduate student at the time. Wasser, who was trained as a paramedic before pursuing studies at McMaster, was disturbed by the lengthly EMS response times for medical emergencies on campus. Recognizing the need for improved access to emergency care, Wasser obtained support from the McMaster administration and started running the EFRT out of his residence room in McKay. As the first campus response team in North America, EFRT has acted as a model for numerous other reponse teams all over the world! Dr. Eddie Wasser now sits on the board as EFRT's Medical Director and has been a huge part of its evolution throughout the years.
How can I join EFRT?
Our team hold an annual try-out process at the beginning of each academic year. In order to apply for the team, you must have a current Standard First Aid and CPR-HCP certification and be a McMaster undergraduate student.
For more information on the try-out process, please visit the Become a Member page.
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