The EHS Medical First Response (MFR) program is largely a rural-based program that serves to enhance pre-hospital patient care provided by the EHS system. Beyond the lifesaving instructions provided by the EHS Medical Communications Officer, a Medical First Responder is often the first physical contact that the patient has with an individual who can offer some form of medical assistance. This assistance can range anywhere from a person who knows First Aid and CPR to an organization that is certified as a Medical First Response agency.
Medical First Responders are individuals throughout the province trained to provide advanced medical First Aid to the residents of their communities. In addition to this, some agencies also have defibrillators so that they can provide early defibrillation before the Paramedics arrive on scene.
In 2002/03, the EHS MFR Strategic Advisory Committee was established. This Committee developed the following vision and mission:
The EHS MFR program is a provincial network of volunteer, community supported medical first response teams adequately resourced and competently staffed.
Enhance a community’s ability to provide safe, effective, reliable advanced First Aid through participation in the provincial Medical First Response program.
In 2002/03, the Strategic Advisory Committee worked together to develop a strategic plan for the EHS MFR program. This plan allows for the provision of an effective MFR program that meets the needs of Nova Scotians. This plan identifies five key strategic directions:
- An infrastructure that supports a province-wide volunteer MFR program
- A training plan that ensures competent MFR personnel
- A communications plan that fosters community support
- EHS sponsored MFR agencies that are strategically located
- Appropriate funding levels that ensure program sustainability