A large populated rural area surrounds the City of Thunder Bay. This rural area is serviced by a dedicated group of 12 volunteer First Response Teams. These first response teams are a vital link in the EMS system. Emergency response times for paramedics to these areas could be in excess of 20 minutes. First Response Teams can have a First Responder on scene in 10 minutes or less resulting in the initiation of Basic Life Support (BLS).

Where are they located?

  • Two to the east: Shuniah and Pass Lake
  • Two to the north: East Gorham and Lappe
  • Five to the west: Conmee, Kaministiquia, O'Connor, Oliver/Paipoonge, and Shebandowan
  • Three to the south: Neebing, Gillies and Nolalu

What do the teams do?

  • Provide emergency first response services until the arrival of paramedics
  • Provide service to their communities
  • Dedicated volunteers
  • On call 24/7
  • Respond to medical emergencies, motor vehicle collisions
  • Provide standby support for their fire department during a fire

What training do they need?

  • 44 hour Canadian Red Cross First Responder course
  • Mandatory recertification for all team members every three years
  • Training sessions held anywhere from one to four times a month

Each team has their own instructor who has undergone a 20 hour instructor course and a 44 hour co-teach session with another qualified instructor.

Coordinators oversee all aspects of the team, including all paperwork submitted to Superior North EMS, maintaining of supplies and reporting to their superiors.

Superior North EMS

  • Provides support
  • Provides supplies and equipment
  • provides expertise in the field of emergency care

Team coordinators report to the Professional Standards division:

  • Andrew Dillon, Deputy Chief Professional Standards
  • Tamara Carruthers, Professional Standards Support Person

Because of the dedication of these volunteer First Responders, the lives that have been given a second chance are countless.

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