What You Need to Know: 2018 Updates to the Professional Responder First Aid Standards

In December 2017, the Paramedic Association of Canada updated its standards to reflect new research and best practices in Paramedicine. These changes have now been put into practice, and the BLS (Basic Life Support) standards for Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), First Responder, and other first aid programs are being updated to be in-line with the standards from the Paramedic Association of Canada.

What was changed?

The changes that were made to the BLS standard are some of the most significant changes to be implemented within the last decade, and go against standards previously being taught. Two major updates that have been made are to the treatment standards for people with suspected head or spinal cord injuries and the use of backboarding, and changes to how and when oxygen is administered.

Based on the latest research, the Paramedic Association of Canada updated their guidelines allowing for fewer incidences where the use of a backboard would be indicated as an intervention.  This is a major change to practice for EMS to reflect the latest best practices.

The update made in relation to oxygen administration is to reflect current research findings related to the effects of high flow oxygen on people with different types of medical emergencies.

Updates to Advanced First Aid Programs to reflect changes to BLS Standards:

The change in Paramedic Association of Canada standards have led to an update to Red Cross’s Professional Responder programs, and we are excited to be one of the first Red Cross training partners offering this new curriculum in fall 2018.  Our Professional Responder Programs including our EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) program will now be offered with a BLS (Basic Life Support) level CPR, in-line with the new December 2017 PAC standards.

These updated programs ensure that professional responders are receiving the most up to date information based on research and industry best practices, while creating synergy between first responders and paramedics. 

This update is a reflection of the importance of First Responders with an EMR level of knowledge and training, and the integral role they play in medical response.

Learn more about our Advanced First Aid programs.