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First Responder Course


Used by fire departments and other first response agencies throughout Canada, the Red Cross First Responder program is a 45 hour course (40 hours of instructional time) that teaches students the knowledge and skills used by professional responders to care for the sick and injured.

Often the first professional health care providers on scene, first responders provide invaluable care until paramedics arrive to provide more advanced care and transport the patient to the hospital.


Who is this course appropriate for?

The first responder role is usually provided by firefighters working for municipal volunteer and career fire departments, however police officers, coast guard staff, and search and rescue personnel also fill this role. Most fire departments require you to become certified and licensed as a first responder prior to applying with their department.

Outside of the 911 system athletic therapists, disaster team members, emergency management personnel, industrial safety personnel, and ski patrollers may also be first responders in addition to their other work duties.

About the First Responder course:


All of our first responder courses are taught by veteran paramedics who have responded to tens of thousands of 911 calls. The course uses a mix of lecture, small group activities, skill stations and practical scenarios, allowing you to learn and practice first responder skills while working with pre-hospital care providers who have decades of experience.


Priority Care First Aid works with the same equipment used by providers in British Columbia’s 911 system (fire fighters and paramedics from the BC Ambulance Service), which allows you to gain comfort and experience using the best first responder equipment available.

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 in this course?

  • The Professional Responder
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Prevention of Disease Transmission
  • Managing the Emergency Scene
  • Patient Assessment (primary and secondary survey, including blood pressure assessment)
  • Airway & Ventilation (including the use of oral airways, suction, oxygen therapy, pocket and bag valve masks)
  • Respiratory Emergencies (including assisting with patient medications for asthma and anaphylaxis)
  • Circulation Emergencies (including care of the chest pain patient, assisting with patient medications for chest pain, CPR and AED use)
  • Shock & Bleeding (including tourniquet application)
  • Head & spine injuries (including spinal rolls, helmet removal, hard collar application and spinal immobilization)
  • Chest, Abdominal, and Pelvic Injuries
  • Fractures & sprains
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Sudden Medical Emergencies (including managing the diabetic patient)
  • Environmental emergencies
  • Poisons
  • Special Populations
  • Childbirth
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Reaching & Moving People
  • Multiple Casualty Incidents

Note:  This course used to be called “First Responder Level 3 with AED and Spinal Endorsements”.  

What do I need to do to pass?

Successful completion of the Canadian Red Cross First Responder 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.

How long is the certificate good for?

Upon successful completion of the Canadian Red Cross First Responder course you will receive certification in First Responder, BLS CPR, and AED Use. These certifications are valid for 3 years, and are nationally recognized.

What is Licensing?

Professional first responders working in the 911 system must be licensed to provide patient care by the Emergency Medical Assistant’s Licensing Board.  When you take your first responder course with us we will conduct the licensing practical licensing exams for you, so you will be ready to write licensing’s online written exam and move on to providing care as a first responder in BC!

Note:  All Priority Care First Aid First Responder courses INCLUDE the EMALB First Responder practical licensing exams at NO extra charge.  Upon successful completion of the course you will just need to complete the online EMALB First Responder licensing exam to obtain you First Responder license.  Information on this process will be provided to you during your course.

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

How much does this course cost?

The First Responder course costs $655 per participant with a digital copy of the Emergency Care manual (456 pages), or $775 with a full colour printed copy of the textbook.  These prices include all taxes and fees.

How do I register for a course?

We offer our First Responder courses in two formats:

  • A full time Monday – Friday course
  • Over two weekends, with class in session on Friday evening, all day Saturday and all day Sunday



Our First Responder courses are also 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 a First Responder group course for a group of 8 or more please CONTACT US.