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A comprehensive 40-hour first aid and CPR skills training for professional first responders.

First Responder

First Responder

A comprehensive 40-hour first aid and CPR skills training for professional first responders.

The Canadian Red Cross First Responder course teaches comprehensive first aid and CPR skills for professional first responders or those training to become first responders. This course teaches the patient assessment model, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, hemorrhage control, and care for a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Participants will be engaged in dynamic training techniques including video, media presentations, skills demonstrations, practice sessions, discussions and scenarios based on real-life situations.

There are no prerequisites for this course, however previous first aid courses and anatomy knowledge will help with your success, as will reading and studying at home outside of course hours. Participants must successfully demonstrate skills, practical scenarios, attend and participate in 100% of the course, and achieve a minimum of 75% on the written, closed book knowledge evaluation.

This is the Canadian Red Cross First Responder course, and does not include EMA Licensing, which would need to be applied for separately after an online written exam and separate practical evaluation.

Full Course Length 40 hours View Locations
Recertification 20 hours

Course Details

Topics Covered

First Responder includes:

  • The Professional Responder
  • Responding to the Call
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Assessment
  • Airway Management and Respiratory Emergencies
  • Shock
  • Hemorrhage and Soft Tissue Trauma
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Chest, Abdominal, and Pelvic Injuries
  • Head and Spinal Injuries
  • Acute and Chronic Illnesses
  • Poisoning
  • Environmental Illnesses
  • Pregnancy, Labour, and Delivery
  • Special Populations
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Reaching, Lifting, and Extricating Patients
  • Multiple-Casualty Incidents


How do you become a certified first responder?

To become a certified First Responder, you only need to successfully complete a recognized 40 hour First Responder course. At Alert First Aid we offer the Canadian Red Cross First Responder course which is recognized both nationally and provincially. There are no prerequisites for this course. For some first responder roles, you may additionally need to become licensed in addition to being certified. The licensing process can be completed through the EMA Licensing Board in British Columbia, and it is open to anyone who has been certified as a Canadian Red Cross First Responder.

What is the difference between EMT and first responder?

EMT or Emergency Medical Technician in BC is referred to as an Emergency Medical Responder. In addition to all of the skills that a First Responder performs, an EMR will also be trained in transporting patients, basic pharmacology, workplace considerations and the marine environment.

What is a level 3 first responder?

In BC this would typically refer to Occupational First Aid Level 3. OFA 3 is a 2 week course that is geared toward people who will be the first aid attendant for worksites that are further from a hospital (more than 20 minutes) where they may need to care for seriously injured workers for a longer time. Level 3 First Aid attendants will be able to move trauma patients, package them for transport, and care for them enroute in an Emergency Transport Vehicle. A Level 3 first aid attendant will also become proficient with a detailed assessment model and be familiar with a standard set of tools for managing patients who are critically injured - including assisted ventilations and other critical interventions.

How long does it take to be a medical first responder?

Emergency Medical Responders need to complete an 80 hour course to become certified. Depending on their role, an EMR may need to become licensed in addition to being certified. The licensing process must be completed by the EMA Licensing Board in British Colubia and is open to anyone who is certified, but the process involves an additional practical exam for which there can be a waiting period.


Canadian Red Cross certificates are now virtual! You will receive a temporary certificate at the end of your course, and a permanent virtual certificate will be emailed to you after you've successfully completed the course. You will be able to view your manual and certification online at any time through your MyRedCross account. Certification is valid for 3 years.


Training Schedules & Locations
There are no recertification classes at this time. Please check back.


First Aid Course Materials for First Responder

The First Responder course includes the following materials:

  • Canadian Red Cross Emergency Care for Professional Responders Reference Text (virtual)
  • Canadian Red Cross First Responder Workbook (virtual)

A hard copy of the Canadian Red Cross Emergency Care for Professional Responders Reference Text is available to purchase for an additional $178.57 + tax.

The Alert Advantage

Free Manual + App

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3-Year Guarantee

Replacement certs

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Who should take this course?

  • Professionals in a fire service
  • rescue team
  • workplace response team
  • sports-medicine professionals
  • lifeguards
  • and ski patrol

Looking for a group class?

If you have a group of people and would like us to come to you to teach a
First Responder course, we offer this course in the following locations:

Victoria | Langford | Esquimalt | Sooke | Cobble Hill | Mill Bay | Duncan | Lake Cowichan | Cedar | Ladysmith | Nanaimo | Parksville | Qualicum Beach | Port Alberni | Coombs | Parksville | Campbell River | Saltspring Island | Pender Island | Powell River | Gabriola Isand | Burnaby | Coquitlam | Delta | Langley | Maple Ridge | New Westminster | North Vancouver | Pitt Meadows | Port Moody | Richmond | Surrey | Vancouver | West Vancouver | White Rock | Langley |

Give us a call at 1.866.282.5378, or send us an email at to arrange a group course.

Thank you!! The hands-on approach way of teaching definitely increased my confidence and helped stick important simple first aid techniques to our memory. I've had different instructors of Alert First Aid over the years - you really do an amazing job providing high quality courses with great teachers!

Hiroko Dunnett Emergency Childcare First Aid, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

"Mike was an awesome instructor - very smart, entertaining and helpful. Will definitely be back when it is time to upgrade/recertify."

Justine Johnson Emergency First-Aid and CPR-C, Victoria, B.C. More Testimonials

Enjoyed the course – Mike’s humour well appreciated. I’d recommend others to this program. Thanks.

Chad Dickie Occupational First Aid Level 1, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

Nathan's presentation was both powerful and gripping. 5 stars out of 5.

Brian Hocks CPR HCP, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

I felt Nathan made the class fun, kept our attention and took time to explain when someone didn’t understand. The class covered all basic emerg. procedures but didn’t overwhelm. 

Amber Layton Standard First Aid, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

Amazing, you made it fun and enjoyable for all! I learned more than I expected to! Thanks!

Stephanie Dion CPR C, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

Andrew was amazing! He has lots of jokes to keep us engaged, however he stressed the important things. Great instructor!

Claire Emergency First Aid, Victoria BC More Testimonials

It was a lot more fun & interactive than I assumed. It was a good weekend.

Jessica Vos Standard First Aid, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

Excellent presentation with hands-on activities to practice familiar and unfamiliar scenarios. Thanks!

Tristan Emergency Childcare First Aid, Victoria, BC More Testimonials

Awesome instructor - super enthusiastic and funny! I definitely recommend the course.

Mark Vaughan Standard First Aid, Victoria, BC More Testimonials
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