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Tag Archives: Red Cross First Responder

Upcoming Courses:
First Responder: January 27-31
First Responder: January 27-31
First Responder: January 27-31
First Responder: January 27-31
First Responder: January 27-31
First Responder: January 27-31
First Responder: January 27-31

First Responder or First Responder Level 3?

I have heard so many different names applied to the First Responder Course.  What is the difference between an FR, a First Responder, an FR 1, FR 2, FR 3, First Responder level 1, First Responder Level 2, First Responder Level 3, First Responder Level I, First Responder Level II, First Responder Level III?   I have heard of First Responder Level 3 with Spinal and AED endorsements.  What is the First Responder Provider Course, or the Canadian Red Cross First Responder Course?

It can be very confusing, can’t it?

The First Responder program in British Columbia started in 1989, to provide a basic level of professional medical care to pre-hospital care patients until the BC Ambulance Service paramedics arrived.

Initially this program provided 3 levels of First Responder.  First Responder Level 1 was a one day course, First Responder Level 2 was a two day course, and First Responder Level 3 was a four day course.  Two endorsements were later added:  a 16 hour Spinal Management endorsement, and a 4 hour AED endorsement.

Over the last few years there has been a movement to simply have one comprehensive level of First Responder care that combines all of these levels.  Certain training agencies have named this combined level First Responder Provider.

At Priority Care First Aid we offer the Canadian Red Cross First Responder Course.  This comprehensive course exceeds the content of the older British Columbia First Responder Level III (3) with Spinal and AED endorsements, and is the course that the vast majority of fire departments in British Columbia now use as their program of choice.  When you complete this course with Priority Care First Aid, which includes your practical provincial licensing exams, you will be more than ready to provide high quality First Responder care!

To learn more about this course click HERE.

And, to view upcoming course dates you can click HERE.

Occupational First Aid Level 3 versus First Responder

I am an Occupational First Aid Level 3 (OFA-3) ticket holder. What is the difference between the Red Cross First Responder course and the Occupational First Aid (OFA) courses?

The WorkSafe BC Occupational First Aid program was designed specifically to focus on the needs of injured workers. The vast majority of the course focuses on assessing and managing traumatic injuries in the workplace, and the training is tailored to that environment. An example of this is the delegation of tasks to others on the accident scene. Because a workplace typically only has one trained Occupational First Aid attendant students are taught that all people assisting on the call are untrained. This is a realistic assumption in the workplace, but one that impacts how the patient management occurs. The Occupational First Aid courses also do not include specific training on pediatric emergencies, because workers are usually adults.

The Red Cross First Responder course was designed to train professional responders working in a wide variety of environments, including working within the 911 system, to respond to emergencies of all natures.

Because of this the course focuses on a wide range of medical and traumatic emergencies, including pediatrics, childbirth, etc. First Responders are taught to work in teams to provide optimal care. The patient assessment model is flexible, to reflect the realities of calls that occur in ever changing environments.

To learn more about the First Responder program click HERE.

And, to view upcoming course dates you can click HERE.

Should I take the First Responder course for my firefighting application?

Should I take the First Responder course if I want to be a firefighter?

It is important to always consult the actual hiring practices of the department you are applying too, but as a general rule the answer is definitely yes.  Most fire departments in British columbia (ie The Vancouver Fire Department, The Burnaby Fire Department, The Coquitlam Fire Department, The New Westminster Fire Department, The Port Moody Fire Department, The Pitt Meadows Fire Department, The Maple Ridge Fire Department, The Langley Fire Department, The Surrey Fire Department, The White Rock Fire Department, The Richmond Fire Department, etc) practice at the First Responder level (which used to be called First Responder Level 3 with Spinal and AED endorsements).

Completing your Canadian Red Cross First Responder course with Priority Care First Aid, which also includes your Emergency Medical Assistant’s Licensing Board practical exams (the EMALB) qualifies you at the same level as firefighters currently working in BC!

To learn more about the First Responder program click HERE.

And, to view upcoming course dates you can click HERE.



“For the last 10 years Ian has taught courses for our SAR team in First Aid, Medical First Responder, ITLS, and many other medical topics.

Ian is a gifted teacher who brings his many years of experience as a paramedic into the classroom and who delivers content in a fun and very relatable way. Our members return from his courses with new found knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm, and a deep appreciation of their role in patient care.

On top of that, Ian has been extremely supportive of our team. First Aid is a key skill for all SAR members. We are lucky to have Ian. His training adds great value to our organization and to our community.”

Training Officer
Search and Rescue Team


“I want to commend you and your team of Instructors for the outstanding courses I attended at Priority Care First Aid. As a retired Paramedic returning to the practice of Paramedicine part time, coupled with being a volunteer firefighter and first responder, I attended both the First Responder and Emergency Medical Responder programs put on by Priority Care First Aid and I am completely satisfied with the training and hands on experience that I have received. Ian and his team bring decades of real life experience into the classroom, relating course content to real world emergency situations, which further aids in bridging course content to actual events where one may find themselves assisting the injured or ill. As a Deputy Chief of the local fire department in the Fraser Valley Regional District, I was so impressed with Ian and his group that I have arranged to have the fire department firefighters and first responders attend a First Responder program with Priority Care First Aid.

I highly recommend Ian and his team at Priority Care First Aid.”

Fire Department Deputy Chief
BCEHS Paramedic


“I have been a member of Search and Rescue for over 20 years, and have taken first aid courses since my teens. There is something special about learning and training with Priority Care First Aid.

Ian is effortlessly able to keep you engaged throughout the program with his charisma, stories and experience. Even with the most extreme scenarios we throw at him, his answers are clear, calm, and thoughtful… giving you confidence that you can respond correctly. This wisdom is then bolstered in the practical exercises securing your technical proficiency.

Ian creates a memorable and dynamic learning environment. You leave his skilled training knowing that when you are called upon to help someone you can deliver quality accurate care.”

SAR Team Member


“Ian attended our office in December, 2019.

Ian provided exceptional service to 6 of us who took his First Aid Instructor Course.
Ian’s personality, professionalism, limitless knowledge and teaching skills were at the forefront of a perfect week of learning.

Thank you Ian for your support before, during and after the course.”

RCMP Training Section


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