Working as a Certified First Responder in Canada

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Certified first responder
First aid responder

A certified first responder refers a person which has undergone through a course and certified to provide pre-hospital care for emergencies. They possess more first aid skills compared to people who have taken standard first aid. However, they cannot provide advanced care offered by emergency medical technicians or paramedics. Some of the emergencies provided by first responders include emergency child birth, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, bone and spinal fracture immobilization and more advanced first aid.

Requirements for a Certified First Responder

There are many options available in Canada in order to get certified as a first responder. There are many courses provided by many sources such as the St. Johns ambulance, Canadian Red Cross and the national defense department. The courses are categorized into two i.e. the emergency medical responder and first responder. A certified first responder you must have taken forty hours doing the course. This is the minimum level training requirement for crews who offer medical standby at events or to get employment with most of the recognizable transport companies that provide transfer of patient from one hospital to another. The courses for emergency medical responder align with the profile of paramedic association of Canada’s national occupational competency. Those who receive this certification can provide emergency medical services in some provinces in Canada. Some of the emergency first responders include volunteer fire departments, St. John ambulance patient care divisions, Canadian ski patrol system and campus response teams. The Canadian Red Cross also provides first responders care during sporting and cultural events in Quebec.

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Limitations of the First Responders

Any certified first responder in Canada must be covered by the Good Samaritan laws. This depends on the jurisdictions where the laws are enacted. Certified medical responders offering medical services to events, for instance, the Red Cross and those employed by campus response teams, or volunteer fire departments all have the duty to act.  Even if you are a certified first responder you cannot provide aid to ill or injured persons. However, of you work in the above organizations you can be accused of negligence if you fail to respond when notified of any emergency. If the care offered is not up to the standards set or cause more harm to the patient first responders can also be prosecuted. However, if the care was given in good faith up to the limits of training and certification, then a certified first responder is immune of the prosecution.

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