Application process related questions

Q: Is there any preference for applicants in certain programs and years?

A: No. We accept applicants from every program and every year including first years, graduate students, and even veterinary students! Historically, we’ve had responders from all programs such as biomedical science to criminal justice and public policy, English, and engineering. We really appreciate when we have a diverse applicant pool. In particular, we value our first-year applicants who are a great investment for the team. We hope to have responders in their first year who will have long term development on the team.

Q: Do I need any special training/experience to apply?

A: You only need Standard First Aid (SFA) and CPR-C from any organization! This includes but is not limited to Red Cross and Heart and Stroke. We usually host Red Cross SFA courses as well. We are not paramedics, and we don’t require any additional training. We provide training for our applicants at the Red Cross First Responder level or above. No specific experience is required. We enjoy receiving applications from a diverse group of applicants with different assets. All you need is a desire to help your campus community! 

Q: Do you do a winter intake?

A: No. Unfortunately, FRT only accepts applicants in the beginning of the fall term. However, there are many other ways to get involved on campus. We hope you consider applying in the fall! Our applications open in June or July and they close in early September. 

Responder responsibility related questions

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: Our responders are required to work 4-5 shifts per month to keep FRT a 24/7 service during the school year. Our weekday day shifts run from 8:00AM-6:00PM (10hrs) and our weekend day shifts are 10:30AM-6:00PM (7.5hrs) to accommodate weekend bus schedules and weekday classes. Our overnight weekend shifts are from 6:00PM-8:00AM (14hrs) and our overnight weekend shifts are from 6:00PM-10:30AM (16.5hrs). Responders submit their availability in advance to a scheduler who schedules shifts for a month at a time. It is very easy to schedule shifts around your schedule. 

Q: Can you sleep on call? What can’t you do?

A: Yes, to sleep! Responders can sleep on call. We have a base of operations in the Lambton Residence building in North campus where responders can relax and sleep while on call. While responders are not actively responding, they are free to do whatever they want as long as they can leave promptly. For instance, responders cannot shower or go swimming on call, but we can go to class or get lunch!

Q: Do responders get paid?

A: No. All of our responders are volunteers. Each shift, we give responders a $5 (soon to be $7.50) meal card voucher and drink ticket to help responders eat nutritiously while on call. 

Q: How many calls do you receive per shift?

A: It varies based on the day or night! Sometimes we get 0 calls for our shifts and sometimes we don’t get much sleep on an overnight shift due to having so many calls and paperwork to write! Usually, we get 1-2 calls per shift.

 

Q: What type of supports do you have for responders?

A: We greatly value our responders and try to support them the best we can. We have a Responder Wellness Advocate Liaison who takes leadership initiatives to ensure all responders have knowledge and access to resources on and off campus. We are currently training an alumni responder on critical incident and stress management course and developing a protocol to manage the aftermath of difficult calls.

Patient-related questions

Q: What COVID precautions are you taking?

A: As responders, we always are trying to keep patient and responder safety a top priority. Our responders are always wearing medical masks in base, and always wearing N95 masks and gloves to calls. We are trained on utilizing N95s effectively and how to properly apply PPE for each situation to ensure a safe environment. Other PPE we use include gowns, goggles/glasses, and face shields. In our base of operations, responders sanitize all equipment and surfaces in base at the start of their shift and 2 HEPA filters are present to ensure safety in base.

 

Q: What types of calls can you respond to?

A: The First Response Team attends a variety of calls on campus including but not limited to musculoskeletal injuries, sports injuries, traumas, medical emergencies (including fainting), intoxication, and even mental health calls when the mental health worker from CMHA is not on campus.

 

Q: What is the range of locations where FRT responds?

A: Our responders are able to travel anywhere on the University of Guelph campus. This includes the West Residences, OVC, and Arboretum. FRT has a small electric-powered cart to help us get to call in at a far distance in a timely manner.

 

Q: I don’t know if my case is severe enough to call. What should I do?

A: If you are not sure whether to call us or not, please call us anyway! That’s why we’re here. We are happy to give you a baseline assessment of your vitals and chat with you about your options. Please never be embarrassed or nervous to call us because we love going on calls and getting to help the University of Guelph campus community.

 

Q: What other supports are available for students on campus?

A: The University of Guelph Student Health Services and Student Wellness Services offer a lot of support for students.

If you are in an emergency, please call us at 519-840-5000 or 911!