Third year students Jenna and Sarah Robertson want to help create a safe and healthy campus. Together they’ve founded the Acadia Medical Campus Response Team (CRT), a division of St. John Ambulance that provides emergency response services to the Acadia campus and community on a request based service.
“St. John Ambulance contacted us saying they really wanted to start a CRT at Acadia,” says Jenna Robertson. “We thought it would bring a lot of great opportunities for students at Acadia, as well as fill a gap in terms of first aid response on campus.”
Jenna and Sarah worked with Anthony Saikali, Campus Response Coordinator for St. John Ambulance, other members of the St. John Ambulance management team, Acadia’s departments of Safety and Security, Student Services, and Residence Life to begin the necessary steps to establish the team. It was a year-long process, with the team launching in time for Homecoming Weekend. "Safety & Security has been supportive throughout our journey in starting up the team,” says Jenna. “We're looking forward to working with them regularly as well as working towards our common goals of providing a safe and welcoming campus for students, faculty, staff and community members."
To get the response team up and running, Acadia Medical CRT signed a memorandum of understanding with St. John Ambulance. Seed funding from St. John Ambulance will provide: first aid kits, trauma kits, a back board, an Oxygen D Cylinder and kit, portable AED, and training to the University CRT at no cost for the first year. In future years, the team will be responsible for costs including training new medical first responders and replenishing supplies.
There are 22 members of the Acadia Medical CRT, each is a volunteer medical responder who are trained as an Advanced Medical First Responder. “We have a very diverse team,” says Jenna. “We were looking for people who want to create common good and who want to create a healthier, safer campus. You can be from any faculty or program as long as we have the common connection of wanting to help people.”
Working as residence assistants last year, the women saw first-hand the impact a team like this could have on campus. “Being an RA really fuelled our desire to start the team,” says Sarah Robertson. “It is unfortunate that there is a stigma around approaching Safety and Security because students are afraid they will get in trouble.”
“Acadia Safety and Security is a wonderful group of hardworking individuals who care about the students’ health and wellness,” adds Jenna. “Our team is a good tool to encourage a culture of asking for help because health and safety should always be the top priority on campus.”
“The Department of Safety and Security are thrilled to have this additional level of emergency medical response on campus,” says Patrick Difford, Director of Safety and Security. “The Acadia Medical CRT and Safety and Security have a common goal of ensuring students, staff, faculty and visitors are as safe as possible while on campus so having this added level of expertise will progress that goal.”