Why Do We Have Annual Recertification Days?

The Calgary Zone Returning Patroller Recert Weekends will be starting this month. A commonly asked question is “Why do we have to do an annual two day recertification?” The answer lies in the purpose and goals of the weekend.

The purposes of the weekend are to:

  • provide annual recertification of competency in first aid (advanced first aid), CPR and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs);
  • provide standardized information regarding changes in the CSP Manual, new procedures and practices, new or infrequently used equipment;
  • promote sharing of practices between patrollers of different patrols and years of experience;
  • provide information regarding Division and Zone initiatives

To make the weekends more interactive, to have a larger social component and be less testing-driven, the current format of group situations/scenarios, short lecturettes, skills reviews and practices, group lecture(s), CPR/AED requalification and recertification assessments was introduced to Calgary Zone in 2009. This format was adopted by the National Education Committee for national implementation during the 2012-13 season.

The components of the weekend are:

  • Spinal immobilization – techniques and gear
  • CSP National Initiatives
  • New material, practices, procedures
  • Non-manual situations
  • Splinting and Bandaging
  • Assessments – skills demonstration, diagnostic scenario and written exam
  • Local requirements and specifics
  • CPR, AED recertification

The content of the weekend is influenced by:

  • National Education Committee i.e. new material, Manual changes, selected annual topic, etc.,
  • requirements to maintain national and/or provincial accreditation i.e. WHMIS, provincial changes, jellyfish stings, etc;
  • National Medical Advisory Committee i.e. new practices, equipment, or areas of concern
  • Mountain Division and Calgary Zone practices, pilot projects or initiatives
  • Zone level specifics

The returning patroller recertification weekends are the first true indicator that winter is approaching and that ski patrolling is not far behind. They are an important component of maintaining and expanding our personal competencies while strengthening our organizational presence in the provision of out-of-hospital care.

Terry Abrams
Chairman national Prehospital Care Advisory Committee
Former Mountain Division Education Officer and Calgary Zone VP-Education

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