The life of a lifeguard; advantages of getting involved in CRT
One has to only look at popular media to be inspired to become a lifeguard or paramedic. From Baywatch to Grey’s Anatomy, the responders are glorified, and for good reason too. Maintaining a cool head and knowing what to do in situations which are beyond the ordinary realm requires a tremendous amount of training. Saving or safeguarding one life, however, makes all of the hard work worth it.
The Campus Response Team at the University of Waterloo, is a group of dedicated volunteers from all faculties and years. They are continuously learning life-saving skills, buffering the UW Police Services and helping make campus events safer. One of the largest funded Feds services on campus, it is the epitome of what a well-oiled campus should look like. It usually consists of about 40-55 volunteers, lead by a group of 8 members acting as the organizing committee. The office for the team is located on the second floor of the Student Life Centre, and boasts a very well equipped storage of first aid supplies. To become a first aid responder on the University of Waterloo’s Campus Response Team, the standard first aid CPR level C along with the Health Care professional standard is required to qualify for an interview.
The interview process consists of a half day of skill testing activities, usually organized at the Student Life Centre. This usually occurs within the first month of a term, so it is paramount to apply and get involved at the right time. It’s also required that you obtain your certifications before the interview weekend. There are numerous subsidized HCP CRP-C training sessions available every term at the University by the Lifesaving Society. Most of these sessions occur over a weekend and require the entire day, with the qualifying tests being administered on the last day.
The average qualified and selected responder spends close to 8-12 hours of volunteering over a term at campus events. It also includes mandatory weekly training of about 2 hours, participation at the Causality Stimulation event held by the team and travelling to neighbouring universities to participate in competitions. It would be to your advantage to take this into consideration with the demand of handling a full course load.
That being said, the members enjoy a lot of perks. Not only would you know how to react and what exactly to do, in the case an emergency arises, and potentially save lives, you also form a strong social group to support you through your academic efforts. There is a lot of fun to be had: there are socials of very novel and constructive natures with awards and certificates designed to hone and appreciate skill and dedication. There are many health related disciplines where these qualifications are required, and the skills developed desired. The application of the skills that you learn from this process can prove to be invaluable in real-life emergency scenarios. Joining this team early on in your undergrad career will enable you to be highly efficient in time management, develop interpersonal skills and introduce you to a new perspective, that, of a lifeguard.