We wish to respond to the January 30, 2019 article in Arthur entitled, “TUEFRT: Our Responders are the Last to Respond.”
As a student-run and -funded organization, TUEFRT is always open to feedback and suggestions for improvement. While we are aware of some of the issues raised in the article, it is important to note that the article covered a range of concerns that occurred over a broad timespan under a variety of TUEFRT leaders and team members. Regardless, we would like to address the issues raised, acknowledge past mistakes, and share information that can inspire confidence in our work. To respect the word limit for letters to the editor at Arthur, we have posted a longer version of our response on the TUEFRT website.
TUEFRT Culture, Training, and Behaviour:
TUEFRT strives to create an inclusive environment and has worked especially hard this past year to change the culture to be more welcoming and accepting to everyone on the team. Rookie parties where the former responder had a negative experience are no longer an accepted practice.
We are transitioning to be at the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) care level, and our Training Coordinators are dedicated towards continuous informal and monthly formal trainings to improve responder skills. We believe our atmosphere to be encouraging of each other and one that takes pride in helping the Trent Community.
TUEFRT Response Time and Patient Care:
TUEFRT’s average response time for attending calls is under seven minutes. The incident mentioned in the article with a response time of 35 to 40 minutes has been investigated and the suspected incident was found to involve an issue with dispatching. Once responders were notified of the call, they arrived in under five minutes. This specific event was investigated, and immediate action was taken to ensure this does not happen again.
TUEFRT is overseen by a Governing Board, which consists of representatives from Trent Security, Health and Wellness, Housing, and the TCSA. We are also required to submit our expenses to the TCSA in order to receive levy checks.
As a first aid team, we are not permitted to diagnose and as such we must treat each call as a new experience despite potentially seeing a patient regularly. We are also subject to confidentiality and cannot reveal patient status to responders who have not previously encountered that patient.
TUEFRT’s Response to Hazing:
Hazing is not an accepted practice in TUEFRT or at Trent University. We would like to extend an apology to anyone who has ever had a negative experience as a member of TUEFRT, and in our longer statement online, we outline the many steps we have taken in recent years to address these concerns and to change the team culture around hazing.
We hope this has unraveled some of the concerns related to our management, care for the Trent Community, and team activities. We encourage everyone to view the longer version of our statement, which is posted on our website.
The Responders of TUEFRT 2018-2019