The Cypress Health Region is offering assistance in completing the Red Cross First Responder program, in an effort to establish first responders in southwest communities this spring.
A First Responder is a volunteer who can provide care, comfort, and potentially lifesaving emergency medical services until the ambulance arrives, due to the fact that weather and other factors may delay the arrival of an ambulance to the scene.
First Responder Coordinator with the health region, Bob Dyke, says the only prerequisite for this program is obtaining a CPR-C card.
“This particular program that Cypress Health is running right now is through your local municipal offices, so what you need to do is stop by your municipal office and just have a chat with the folks there,” he said. “There are four of us in the Cypress Health that are doing the training. The training takes 40 hours, typically we deliver it over two weekends. What we do is, you need to be licensed through the Ministry of Health, and once your training is completed we do that application for you and get you registered. Then you get your gear and you’re out in the community.”
The Cypress Health Region will cover up to $650 per person for the 40-hour Red Cross First Responder program in Eastend from March 13th to 15th and 27th to 29th, Morse from March 20th to 22nd and 27th to 29th, and Ponteix from April 10th to 12th and 17th to 19th.
“This is a place to start, and we like the concept of building a team. We want to emphasize that it doesn’t necessarily have to be right from inside the community, the team can be made up of folks who live outside, it can be made up of folks from another community that is fairly close,” explained Dyke. “What we’d like to see over the next few years, is add a couple more here or add a couple more there, with the idea being that you’d never go on a call alone and that you’d always have a partner with you. The concept of First Responders going out by themselves, it’s done and men and woman go out and do it, but it’s always nice to have a partner. This is a place to begin, but this is definitely not the ending. We want to keep building this and growing it, and over the next several years we’d like to see between 25 and 30 real decent First Responder teams across the southwest.”
Dyke adds the goal is to have around 120 First Responders trained within the next nine months or so and have them situated in southwest Saskatchewan.
There are approximately 1200 registered First Responders in the Saskatchewan.