The Trent University Emergency First Response Team (TUEFRT) turned the Great Hall in to a disaster zone one Sunday in February 2012. A mock explosion cast students as casualties of the disaster, complete with fake blood, chest wounds and punctured limbs.
The simulated emergency was part of the four-day First Responders Conference hosted by Trent University. During the final simulation, teams competed by employing their triage and treatment skills on the “victims” of the mock explosion. Each team was judged by their colleagues from schools in attendance from across the province. This year, McMaster University took first place, with Carleton University finishing second and third.
The conference included a full day of seminars on topics like campus responding, and careers and opportunities related to medical responding, as well as practical skills workshops and simulated emergency competitions.
“The final situation was a mass casualty scenario,” explained Trent student Lisa Lin, one of the coordinators of the conference, “where teams were tested on their triaging and treatment skills on a larger scale.”
Ms. Lin and her fellow coordinators from TUEFRT started planning for the conference in November, 2011. They worked hard to plan and organize the logistics of such a large event. “As a coordinator I was responsible for many administrative duties,” Ms. Lin, a second-year Nursing student in the compressed program, said. “We balanced delegating tasks, ensuring deadlines were met, problem solving during planning and the execution of the conference, and maintaining high morale while providing support to all members.”
Preparation for the event included creating a conference schedule and writing up competition scenarios. The coordinators booked seminar presenters, planned social events and committed an extensive amount of time to creating a well-received conference.
“Trying to balance the work load of organizing this conference while staying on top of school work was a challenge felt by all,” Ms. Lin said, “but we supported each other and worked together to accomplish tasks. Planning a conference in three months is not easy; you need a supportive team to work with.”
Building new friendships with fellow coordinators, meeting like-minded students from across the province, and receiving positive feedback on the conference made their efforts worthwhile.
TUEFRT is a volunteer organization comprised of dedicated students who provide medical care to the Trent University community. Working in shifts, students are on call 24/7 and are eager and willing to assist anyone in need.
Ms. Lin joined TUEFRT during her first year of study at Trent. “I wanted to be able to help students and provide a service in which I could contribute positively to the community,” she said, “and I was drawn to the team because of their commitment to each other and close team relationship.”
With aspirations of become an emergency/trauma nurse, Ms. Lin is looking forward to working in a fast-paced environment, where every day is unpredictable and patient care is a priority. TUEFRT offers interested students first-hand experience providing medical care.
“TUEFRT is comprised of a group of students who are passionate about what they do,” Ms. Lin said, “If you are interested in joining us, prepare to have fun, learn skills and create friendships that are bound to last a lifetime.”