ECSpeRT takes the top spot

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 10:18am
Brittney Hall

The Erindale College Special Response Team (ECSpeRT) has brought home the John F. Bassett award, recognizing their excellence and performance throughout 2009. On Saturday, March 27, the ECSpeRT team was chosen to receive the award, a trophy and a cheque for $500, over the 150 other eligible community service divisions across Ontario.

There are very strong teams in Ontario, says Dianne Rende, executive director at St. John Ambulance Mississauga, but in 2009, ECSpeRT stood head and shoulders above the rest.

What an incredible group of student volunteers who have managed to surpass all expectations in training and commitment. They are a very impressive group and we are very proud of their commitment to the safety of the Erindale Campus community, said Rende in a press release from St. John Ambulance.

The decision was based on leadership development, training, membership development, diversity/uniqueness of service, total hours of volunteer service and recruitment and retention.
Working along with the Campus Police, ECSpeRT plays a large part in keeping U of T Mississauga students safe.

ECSpeRT is the campus response team for University of Toronto, Mississauga, said Daz Kambo, member of the ECSpeRT. The responders are all trained as medical first responders (through St. John Ambulance) and are thus able to provide advanced first aid in emergency situations. Right now, we have a on-call program which runs from September to April, Mondays to Fridays from 10a.m. to 10p.m. During this time, should any medical emergency arise on campus, ECSpeRT is dispatched by Campus Police to the scene. We are currently looking at increasing our coverage hours to 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Along with on-call campus services, ECSpeRT provides medical coverage to events city-wide, said Kambo.

Rende said that the students within the program are trained to use defibrillators and many other types of first aid equipment. They leave fully qualified as first aid medics.

The team is always training new recruits because participation within the program is on a voluntary basis.

St. John Ambulance has trained over 140,000 Ontarians in first aid and other health care services over the past 125 years. St. John Ambulance has been training students from U of T Mississauga since 2003, and giving them the experience to pursue careers as doctors, chiropractors, police officers and nurses, said Rende. The program took about three years to become officially recognized, said Rende, but to see the large growth of the program makes it a worthwhile endeavor.