Trent University logo  
Daily News
Future Students
Current Students
Faculty & Staff

Calendar of Events

Search the Site

Daily News

Weekly Feature

News Releases

Sporting News

Special Bulletins

Daily News Archives

Weekly Feature Archives

The View from Trent

Trent Magazine

Focus Trent


Award-winning First Responders Demonstrate Defibrillator

DefibrillatorFor every minute someone's heart stops beating efficiently, their chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent.

The award-winning Trent University Emergency First Response Team (TUEFRT) is fighting these odds with the use of a public access defibrillator. First responders carry the defibrillators with them on emergency calls for service.

"Every time you respond to a call for service, you're trying to provide as much care as you can – a defibrillator is a good key to that. The whole premise of the team is that we can be by the patients' side and fill that CPR gap until paramedics arrive," said Patrick McColm, TUEFRT's program director.

TUEFRT has had the public access defibrillator for three years now. Another defibrillator is located on campus at the P.S.B. Wilson Athletics Complex.

First responders Tova Vertes and Simon Wallace gave a defibrillator demonstration at Blackburn Hall on Thursday, November 24. Bill Gibson, Human Resources advisor (Health and Safety), volunteered as the patient. He simulated a heart attack while Ms. Vertes and Mr. Wallace showed how the defibrillator could be used to restart his heart.

A defibrillator delivers an electrical shock to the heart to reset the heart's rhythm. This greatly increases a patient's chances of survival, said McColm.

Public access defibrillators are becoming more visible in public areas across the province in order to increase chances of survival during emergency situations, he added. Locally, arenas have public access defibrillators.

A prime example of how well the life-saving equipment works occurred last week when a defibrillator was used to save the life of Detroit Red Wings hockey player Jiri Fisher, who suffered cardiac arrest during a game.

Mr. McColmMr. McColm, representatives from Peterborough Paramedics, John Bowker of the Peterborough Fire Department's Public Access Defibrillator Program, and Dr. Bill Swales of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre and a TUEFRT Governing Board member were on hand for the demonstration.

Ms. Vertes, a first year arts student, said she has enjoyed being a first responder. "I've met tons of people and made new friends," she says of her fellow team members.

"It's an adrenaline rush when you respond to a call. You feel good knowing you can help somebody," she added.

Mr. Wallace, a second year Canadian Studies major, agrees.

"I have had a lot of First Aid training so putting it into practice is great. There is also the positive aspect of making people feel safe on campus," he said.

TUEFRT provides pre-ambulatory care to any medical emergency on Trent's main campus. The team was created to help sustain survival for victims over the crucial gap of waiting for ambulance to arrive.

The team has 21 full-time volunteers and operates round the clock throughout the academic year. In 2004 TUEFRT responded to more than 170 calls for service.

Recently, TUEFRT has elevated its standard of care, which has resulted in recognition from the team's national board and affiliates. It now operates at the level of Emergency First Responder instead of the standard First Aid response.

In February 2005, two teams consisting of TUEFRT members placed first and fifth out of 15 first response teams at the 11th annual National Conference of Campus Emergency Responders (NCCER).

Photo 1: First responders Tova Vertes and Simon Wallace demonstrate how a public access defibrillator works on Bill Gibson, Human Resources advisor (Health and Safety).

Photo 2: Patrick McColm, program director, Trent University Emergency First Response Team.

Posted November 25, 2005


































Return to Trent University Home
Go to Trent University Site Index
A to Z
Maintained by the Communications Office
Last Updated December 2, 2005