Home » FR/OFA-3 Upgrade to EMR Bridge Course

FR/OFA-3 Upgrade to EMR Bridge Course

Do you currently hold certification in First Responder (FR) or other advanced first aid courses and are looking to continue in your education?  The next level of care is the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course!

What is an Emergency Medical Responder?

The Paramedic Association of Canada, in conjunction with the Canadian Medical Association, defines 4 levels of pre-hospital EMS care:

  • Emergency Medical Responder
  • Primary Care Paramedic
  • Advanced Care Paramedic
  • Critical Care Paramedic

In British Columbia Emergency Medical Responders are often the first professional health care providers that the patient may encounter.  Emergency Medical Responder is the base level of care provided by the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) in rural and remote areas, and is the starting point for a career in paramedicine.  In remote areas Emergency Medical Responders, working for the ambulance service, provide a vital link in the care of the ill and injured patient in the pre-hospital setting, providing life saving aid and transportation to the hospital.

EMRs are also found working throughout BC providing event coverage, in industrial settings, for some fire departments, in the oil patch, and for some search and rescue organizations.

 The Canadian Red Cross Emergency Medical Responder Upgrade / Emergency Medical Responder Bridging Course meets the national standards for Emergency Medical Responder, and has been accepted by the Emergency Medical Assistant’s Licensing Board (the EMALB).

About the Emergency Medical Responder Bridging course:

Your Emergency Medical Responder Bridging course will be taught by paramedics with decades of experience, who have done thousands of 911 calls. The course provides a mix of lecture, group activities, practical skill stations and practical scenario practice, allowing you to build on your existing First Responder knowledge base while learning and practicing EMR skills.


During the course you will work with the same equipment currently used by providers in British Columbia’s 911 system (fire fighters and paramedics from the BC Ambulance Service). This will allow you to gain comfort and experience using the same pre-hospital equipment you will use when employed as an EMR.

By the end of this course you will feel confident responding to care for car accident victims, people experiencing heart attacks, patients with fractures and spinal injuries, unconscious diabetics, and many more!

What will I learn about?

  • The Professional Emergency Medical Responder
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Prevention of Disease Transmission
  • Managing the Emergency Scene
  • Pharmacology (including the administration of Entonox for pain management, Nitro and ASA for chest pain, and Naloxone for opioid overdose)
  • Patient Assessment (primary and secondary survey, including blood pressure assessment, pulse oximetry (SPO2 monitoring), and chest auscultation)
  • Airway & Ventilation (including the use of oral airways, nasal airways, suction, oxygen therapy, pocket and bag valve masks)
  • Respiratory Emergencies (Asthma, COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, CHF. Also included is assisting with patient medications for asthma/COPD and anaphylaxis)
  • Circulation Emergencies (including care of the angina and heart attack chest pain patient, assisting with patient medications (nitroglycerin and ASA) for chest pain, care of the stroke patient, and CPR and AED use)
  • Shock & Bleeding (including tourniquet application)
  • Head & spine injuries (including spinal grips, spinal rolls, helmet removal, hard collar application, use of the spine board, clamshell, and KED for spinal immobilization)
  • Chest, Abdominal, and Pelvic Injuries
  • Fractures & sprains (including use of the Sager traction splint)
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Sudden Medical Emergencies (fainting, seizures, and diabetes. Included is the use of a glucometer and oral glucose for managing the hypoglycemic diabetic patient)
  • Environmental emergencies (heat and cold emergencies)
  • Poisons
  • Special Populations
  • Childbirth
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Reaching & Moving People (including an ambulance orientation and use of common patient movement devices such as stretchers and stairchairs
  • Multiple Casualty Incidents

Course Delivery Format:

The Canadian Red Cross First Responder to Emergency Medical Responder Upgrade course is comprised of:

  • At least 20 hours of pre-read.
  • 48 hours of classroom time, including a post course exam.

Pre-requisite to take the Emergency Medical Responder Bridging course:

  • Current First Responder certificate, OR….
  • OFA-3 with a valid CPR-BLS certificate.

Course completion requirements:

Successful completion of the Canadian Red Cross First Responder to Emergency Medical Responder Upgrade Course is based on 100% attendance, completion of two practical scenarios (one medical and one trauma), and a 75% or better mark on a knowledge examination.

Upon successful completion of the Canadian Red Cross EMR Bridging course you will receive certification in Emergency Medical Responder, including BLS CPR certification. These qualifications are valid for 3 years, and are nationally recognized.

About Licensing:

In order to practice professionally as an EMR in the 911 System you must obtain EMR certification, and then successfully examine and obtain a license to practice at that level from the provincial body that governs pre-hospital care in your province. In British Columbia this body is the Emergency Medical Assistant’s Licensing Board (the EMALB).

More information on becoming licensed as an EMR in BC can be found on the Emergency Medical Assistant’s Licensing Board’s website HERE.

The process to become licensed in BC and eligible for employment in the 911 system is essentially as follows:

  1. Successfully pass the Emergency Medical Responder bridging course with Priority Care First Aid
  2. Once certified, apply for and successfully pass the EMALB EMR Examinations (2 practical scenarios, one multiple choice medical exam, one jurisprudence exam)
  3. Apply for an EMR license with the EMALB

NOTE: The EMALB Licensing exams are separate from your Emergency Medical Responder course. Any costs associated with obtaining your EMALB license are separate from the course fees paid to Priority Care First Aid for your EMR course.

How much does the course cost:

The Emergency Medical Responder Bridge course costs $775 per participant with a digital copy of the Emergency Care manual (456 pages), or $895 with a full colour printed copy of the textbook.  These prices include all taxes and fees.

How do I register for a course?



Our EMR Bridging courses are offered on a group course basis, and are available to groups of 8 or more throughout the Greater Vancouver area (Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Langley, Cloverdale, Surrey, White Rock, Delta, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver) and the Fraser Valley (Mission, Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Chilliwack).

To book an EMR Bridging course for a group of 8 or more please CONTACT US.