Queen’s First Aid was founded by student Ronald Goldstein (Arts’86) and Dr. James McSherry (Director-Student Health Services) in the spring of 1986. The unit’s initial purpose was to provide prompt and effective first aid treatment to the Queen’s community during organized activities on campus. These included intramural sports, frosh week events, concerts, semi-formals, formals, football games, Alumni Weekend events, etc. Queen’s First Aid is also known as St. John Ambulance Adult Patient Care Division 970, and designated as a Campus Response Team. It is therefore subject to medical and operations directives as outlined by Provincial Council. This association with St. John Ambulance has provided a valuable resource for standards of training, increased qualifications, guest speakers, evaluators and administrative support.
In October of 1998 the director, Jeff Coull, made a formal proposal for the adoption of an on-call system to the QFA unit. It was approved by the unit and university administration and was implemented in a four-week trial period in February of 1999. The on-call service was resumed as a full-time service in September 1999.
Queen’s First Aid is also a member of ACERT, the Association of Campus Emergency Response Teams. Formed in 1995 at the first National Conference for Campus Emergency Responders (NCCER), ACERT serves to represent campus response teams. NCCER is hosted by one of ACERT’s member teams each year; this conference allows for response teams to train and compete together, as well as providing a forum to discuss methods of training, communication, volunteer leadership, etc.
In September 2001, QFA began the year in a new office in the JDUC, housed with all other A.M.S. Services. The new office, in addition to a new logo, website, equipment and uniforms increased QFA’s visibility in the Queen’s community. Furthermore, Queen’s First Aid upgraded St. John Ambulance certification from BTS Level I to BTS Level II. The unit was recognized at the NCCER as ACERT’s top campus response team that year, and succeeded as the top St. John Ambulance affiliated competition team.
In the fall semester of 2002, the unit successfully conducted a four-week trial of 24 hours a day, seven days a week on-call service. At its conclusion, the unit decided to immediately implement 24/7 service during the regular school year. Related enhancements included a second office/dormitory in the upper JDUC, beds, linens and two new radios. The unit increased its set of advanced skills by implementing a Cardiac Science PowerHeart AED and two Nonin Pulse Oximeters, accompanied by the development of new patient care record forms. Call volumes almost tripled as a result of aggressive advertising and improved relations with other organizations.
In the fall of 2013, QFA moved offices out of the JDUC and into the second floor of the Grey House. This location has provided an opportunity to increase QFA’s presence, especially to first year students due to its proximity to Victoria Hall and other residences. In fall 2013 Queen’s First Aid successfully went to referendum asking for an increase in its mandatory fee from 3.50$ to 3.75$, with 72% of voting students voting in agreement with the increase. The fee had last been increased in 2008, when it went from 2.50$ to 3.50$.