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The McMaster Students Union Emergency First Response Team (EFRT) is a group of approximately 30 student volunteers who provide emergency medical services to the McMaster Campus, with an average response time of 2-3 minutes. All responders are certified Emergency Medical Responders and are trained to help in any emergency, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe trauma, mental health crises, and incidents requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The team is equipped with packs containing life-saving equipment including an AED, Oxygen, airway support tools, suction devices, and medications including Aspirin, Epinephrine, Ventolin, and Naloxone.

For emergencies on campus:

Dial 88 from any campus phone or dial 905-522-4135 from all other phones.

Expandable List

The EFRT office is located in MUSC Room 103.

Hours of Operation:

24/7 throughout the academic year (September through April, except Thanksgiving, Easter, campus holiday breaks and both reading weeks)

Summer Hours (May through August): Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm (except on statutory holidays)

How to Contact EFRT

  • Dial “88” from any campus phone.
  • Call a McMaster Security Dispatcher at 905-522-4135 on any cellphone.
  • Contact Security Services through the red emergency poles located around campus.
  • Use the McMaster University Security Service and Transportation (MUSST) app, which is available for download on your smartphone.
  • Visit the EFRT office located in the McMaster University Student Centre room 103, to the right of the Compass

What to Expect When You Call EFRT

If the EFRT is called, a team of three responders carrying various medical equipment will be dispatched to your location through Campus Security. When on scene, responders are trained to assess many different situations including musculoskeletal and soft-tissue injuries, airway and breathing compromises, intoxication or drug related emergencies, diabetic emergencies, cardiac arrest and many more. If further medical attention is required, the EFRT will contact Hamilton EMS or advise patients to visit the Urgent Care Center. Although the EFRT deals with patients in many different states and situations, we are a strictly confidential service.

The Emergency First Response Team offers First Aid and CPR courses throughout the year under Canadian Red Cross standards. These courses are approved by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and will meet the requirements set out by your employer and/or faculty. Please remember to register early as our courses tend to fill up weeks in advance. All certifications last for 3 years except the CPR-BLS certification (which lasts 1 year) and all courses are certified by the Red Cross.

Please contact your employer or faculty if you are unsure which course you should be taking as there are several options which may or may not include the first aid component.

First aid training courses include:

  • CPR/AED (Level A or C)
  • CPR/AED (Level A or C) Recertification
  • CPR/AED (Basic Life Support)
  • CPR/AED (Basic Life Support) Recertification
  • Standard First Aid & CPR/AED (Level A or C)
  • Standard First Aid & CPR/AED (Level A or C) Recertification
  • Standard First Aid & CPR/AED (BLS)
  • Emergency First Aid & CPR/AED (Level A or C)
  • Emergency First Aid & CPR/AED (Level A or C) Recertification

For full descriptions and details of each course please visit the Red Cross website by following the link below:

Red Cross First Aid Courses

Note: If you need any special accommodations to take a course (difficulty hearing, vision, etc.) please contact after signing up. Be sure to include the course you are taking and how we can best accommodate you.

To coordinate a private or group course, or if you have any additional questions, please contact the EFRT Assistant Director at All courses are held on McMaster campus. Participants will be sent an email with room number and further details the day prior to the course.

Need a new certification card?

The Red Cross is no longer handing out paper copies of certifications. If you have lost your card, please contact the Red Cross (1-877-356-3226) to verify your certification. They will email you a link to access an online account through which you can view your certifications.

Course Fees

Course MSU Member Price Public
Standard First Aid & CPR-C $100 $120
Standard First Aid & BLS $120 $140
CPR/AED- Level C $55 $70
Basic Life Support (BLS) $65 $80
Standard First Aid & CPR-C Recertification $90 $110
Standard First Aid & BLS Recertification $110 $130
CPR-C Recertification $45 $65
BLS Recertification $60 $75
Blended Standard First Aid A & CPR-C $105 $125
Blended CPR-C $65 $80
Blended Standard First Aid A & CPR-C Recertification $100 $120
Blended CPR-C Recertification $60 $85

Note: If you are registering for a blended course you must register before the Wednesday prior to the course in order to ensure you have time to complete the online content prior to the in-person segment. Please register for any in-person courses by 12:00 noon the Thursday prior to your course. Any exceptions must be approved by emailing

Registration and payment can be completed using one of the following options below. Depending on the option you choose EFRT accepts cash, debit, credit, wire/e-transfer or PayPal.

Option 1: Online registration & payment by clicking the button above or following the link here.

Option 2: Contact the MSU Accounting office at 905-525-9140 x27301 (can only pay using a credit card through this option)

Participants are only eligible for a full refund if the cancellation is made at least one week in advance of the course start time. After this date, participants can only receive a refund for half the course value, or schedule a new course at half of the course value.

Please ensure that you contact the MSU General Accounting office at 905-525-9140 x27301 prior to the one-week deadline during their regular office hours.

Please keep in mind that if you miss a course with no prior notice, we will not be able to provide you with any reimbursements.

Thank you for your interest in joining McMaster’s Emergency First Response Team (EFRT). EFRT applications for the 2023-2023 academic year are now open, start the process by clicking here.

The tryout process occurs once per year at the beginning of each academic year, and is split up into four separate sections:

  1. Online application and presentation of certifications.
  2. A written standard first aid test.
  3. An interview and practical CPR test.
  4. Two orientation weekends filled with fun and learning.

Important Dates:

Events Date
Application Release Date August 22, 2022
Virtual EFRT Candidate Info Night (optional) September 7, 2022
Application Due Date September 14, 2022
Online Written Standard First Aid Test September 17-18, 2022
Interviews September 24-25, 2022
Candidate Workshops (optional) September 28-29, 2022
Orientation Weekend 1 October 1-2, 2022
Candidate Practice Nights October 3-7, 2022
Pr-Evaluation Sit Night October 7, 2022
Orientation Weekend 2 October 8-9, 2022
Orientation Results Week of October 10

*Please note that these dates are subject to change

Online Application

In this part of the tryout process, candidates are required to fill out an online application, which involves providing personal information and answers to a few written questions. At this time, applicants will need to submit a photocopy or image of their valid Standard First Aid and CPR-C certification. If evidence cannot be provided by the application deadline due to a course that is in progress or other extenuating circumstances, please email for potential accommodation. This certification is necessary in order to continue in the tryout process, and thus candidates will not be administered tests without providing proof. The online application is available here.

Written Standard First Aid Test

All applicants who apply online and are able to supply valid SFA & CPR-C certification will be required to attend a written SFA test during a chosen time slot. If you cannot attend any of the time slots, please email, and we will do our best to accommodate you. It is recommended that applicants review their Standard First Aid and CPR-C course content prior to this stage. From the initial applicant pool, approximately 84 of the top candidates will be chosen to move on to the next step.


The top 84 candidates from the written SFA test will be granted a spot in the interview stage of the tryouts. A Doodle Poll sign-up link will be emailed to the top 84 candidates, and applicants must sign-up for a time slot in order to interview. If you are unavailable for any of the interview time slots, please email, and we will try our best to accommodate you.

Candidates will participate in several short (5 min) standard interviews, followed by completing a practical CPR test and scenarios. It is recommended that candidates review their first aid skills prior to the interview. Out of the interviewed applicants, approximately 42 of the top candidates will be chosen to move on to the next step.

Orientation Weekends

Orientation is a process that attempts to bring all candidates to the same level of training, works on candidate team skills, and gives each candidate an inside look into the workings of the team. The candidates that move onto this final step will receive the EFRT Candidate Manual. This manual will give the candidates all resources necessary to learn the material that will be taught throughout the rest of the tryout process. Additionally, there will be a series of optional workshops held in the week between interviews and the first weekend to reinforce this material. It is recommended that candidates attend as many workshops as possible, and review the material within the manual prior to attending the first orientation weekend.

There are two orientation weekends that candidates must attend. On the first Friday, candidates will be given the opportunity to meet the active EFRT team members, who will be responsible for candidate training and evaluation over the orientation process. Candidates will also be split into small groups and will get a chance to participate in icebreakers with other candidates in their group and with the EFRT group leaders. On the Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, candidates will learn the material required for the tryouts in a series of lectures and small group practice sessions. Lectures will be taught both by active team and alumni members.

For the second weekend of orientation, candidates will be tested both individually and in groups under simulated scenarios. On the Friday evening, candidates will have the opportunity to review concepts and fine-tune their skills for the upcoming evaluation the next day through a mock evaluation. On Saturday, candidates will be split into teams of three and will respond to approximately 10 simulated emergency situations located around the McMaster Campus. These are designed to represent possible emergencies that can occur on campus and include simulated casualties with volunteer actors. On Sunday, candidates will be tested individually in a final scenario that tests their ability to complete all required assessments on their own. Success in both the group scenarios and individual scenarios is necessary in order to be selected for the team.

Throughout the week between the orientation weekends, EFRT members will hold practice sessions in the evening from Monday to Thursday. Although these sessions are not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that you attend as many as possible. At these sessions, candidates will get the chance to practice responding to simulated situations and will receive feedback from the EFRT instructors. These practice sessions not only allow candidates to practice their skills but will also give them the opportunity to practice with their team members.

Although the number varies each year, approximately 12 candidates will successfully become members of the EFRT after the orientation process. Candidates are usually given their results within a couple of days following the second orientation weekend.

1. When is the next available Standard First Aid and CPR course?

The EFRT offers a number of first aid courses during the summer and academic terms. Please visit the MSU store website here to view dates and register for courses.

2. Where is my course?

This information will be emailed to you a few days prior to your course. In case you forget, it will also be posted up on our office door (MUSC 103) the morning of the course.

3. How much does each course cost?

Please see the Fees, Registration & Payment section above for information about course pricing.

4. Why haven’t I received an email yet?

Currently, you will receive your confirmation email the Friday prior to the course for in-class courses and two weeks before the course for blended courses. If you would like more time to work on the blended content email and early access can be arranged. We are moving towards a platform that sends automatic confirmation emails, but for the time being, if you don’t get any error messages or other oddities you can assume that your registration was successful.

5. Where is my certificate?

The Red Cross no longer issues paper certificates, instead, you will access your certificate via a profile you create This includes a code that employers can use to verify your certification. Typically certificates are processed by the Friday following the course, but if you require it sooner please email: as soon as possible. It is essential that you use the same email you signed up with to create your Red Cross profile.

6. How long does the course take?

CPR courses are scheduled to last 8 hours, Emergency First Aid courses last 8 hours, and Standard First Aid courses last 16 hours. Blended courses include 8 hours of online content and 8 hours in person.

7. Is the course I want to take full?

To find out if a course is full, email Courses are capped according to the number of available instructors in order to guarantee a low participant to instructor ratio.

8. Who can take a course?

Everyone is welcome to take our first aid and CPR courses! It is not required to be a student at McMaster – friends, family, and members of the community are encouraged to register!

9. I am required to take a First Aid Course by my employer or faculty. Will a McMaster EFRT course meet those requirements?

Yes! As an Authorized Provider of the Canadian Red Cross, McMaster EFRT teaches courses approved by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

10. Do I qualify for a recertification course?

To qualify for a recertification course, you must have a valid Red Cross certification. It did not need to be originally provided by the EFRT, but any authorized provider of a Canadian Red Cross course.  If your certification has expired, you are not eligible for a recertification. If you received your certification from another provider (St. Johns, LSS, etc.) you are not eligible for a recertification course offered by the EFRT. You may not change the type of training or level of CPR in a recertification course.

11. My Red Cross certification recently expired. Can I still take a recertification course?

According the Canadian Red Cross guidelines, once your card has expired, you are required to take the full course over again. Sadly, there is no longer a grace period.

12. Should I take CPR Level C or BLS?

CPR-BLS is intended for healthcare providers and contains much more information than basic CPR-C, such as modified jaw thrust for spinal injuries, assisted respiration, use of a bag-valve mask (BVM), pulse checks and more. It is generally more complicated. We recommend that you take BLS only if required by your workplace, program, organization. For those not required to take level BLS and not entering a health care field, we recommend level C as it is less complicated, easier to learn, and more likely to be followed in the event of an emergency.

13. None of the listed course dates work for me. Do I have any alternatives?

If none of the listed course dates work for you, then please contact the Assistant Director at to try to find an alternative. Additional or private courses may be available.

14. A group of my friends, co-workers, classmates, or peers would like to take a course together. Is there an option for arranging a private course?

Absolutely! We can make additional classes for small groups at flexible dates and times, depending upon instructor availability. Please contact the Assistant Director for more information on setting up a private course at We offer courses specifically for McMaster Medical School students as well as other faculties and organizations. If this appeals to you, please contact the Assistant Director for access to specialized courses.

15. I can no longer attend the course I registered for. Can I get a refund?

Please see the Cancellation Policy section above for more information.

16. What about inclement weather?

Classes proceed as long the university is open. If conditions render it unsafe for you to access McMaster campus, contact

17. How do I call you?

Email is usually the most expedient option. If your question is very urgent, or you are concerned your email may have slipped through the cracks, you can call (905) 525-9140 x24117. Please leave a voicemail with your name and phone number we will contact you as soon as possible.