The McGill Student Emergency Response Team is a student-run volunteer service, supported by the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU). Our mission is to provide a free and accessible first aid service to McGill University and the greater Montreal community.
Our team is made up of 80+ dedicated volunteers that are certified First Responders and Emergency Medical Responders under the Canadian Red Cross. We carry a wide range of first aid equipment, including automated external defibrillators, oxygen tanks, cervical collars, and Epi-Pens, and we operate under nationally-recognized protocols. We respond to all McGill residences, with the exception of Solin Hall, between the hours of 18h00 and 6h00.
As an official training partner of the Canadian Red Cross, we aim to disseminate first aid knowledge and skills to the public, by offering first aid courses and certifications.
2021-2022 Executive Team
Noah Merali (he/they/il/iel)
Noah is the Chair of the Executive Committee and the official spokesperson for MSERT. They oversee the operation of the team and support the individual portfolios of each executive member. They are responsible for ensuring that all of MSERT's actions are in line with MSERT and SSMU's constitutions and by-laws. Noah is responsible for initiating changes on all official documents to keep them up to date. They enforce rules and regulations as outlined by the Warnings and Disciplinary Procedures Manual. They are MSERT's liaison with outside organizations such as other SSMU services and McGill security. Noah has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2018.
Director of Personnel
Fiona Howse (she/her/elle)
Fiona manages MSERT's service requests, volunteer scheduling, and internal communications. She plans social events for team members alongside her events coordinators, Catherine and Nil. Fiona also works with Michael, her scheduling coordinator. She is also the 24-hour contact for all MSERT volunteers. Fiona has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2019.
Director of Operations
Anil Esleben (he/him/il)
Anil manages MSERT's equipment orders and inventory and acts as our liaison with outside suppliers. He is also responsible for maintaining our operation headquarters in residence rooms, our office and the McGill gym. Anil leads a team of three operations coordinators. His Upper Residence coordinator Grisha, and his Lower Residence coordinator Celine both take care of our rooms and first aid supply stocks in residence. His Office and Hockey coordinator, Alex, deals with our supplies stocks in our office and hockey locations, and manages the office hour schedule. Anil has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2019.
Director of Finance & Conferences
Anuttara Devassy (she/her/elle)
Anuttara creates and oversees the MSERT budget, tracks and processes payments, and deals with reimbursements for team members. She communicates with the SSMU department of finance to ensure the smooth running of our financial operations. Anuttara is also responsible for organizing MSERT's fundraisers, creating sponsorship packages, and seeking out sponsors. She works closely with her Finance & Conferences coordinators, Aaron and Kinsley. Lastly, Anuttara facilitates MSERT's participation in ACERT conferences. Anuttara has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2019.
Director of Training
Ben Lo (he/him/il)
Ben is responsible for planning and executing training sessions for the team based on Canadian Red Cross protocols. He is the chair of the training committee composed of six training coordinators: Simon, Nassim, Christina, Bill, Emily, and Andrew. Together, the committee ensures that MSERT's responders stay up to date on their skills and response protocols. He also works in tangent with the Internal Affairs portfolio to bring in external training for the team. Ben has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2019.
Director of Courses & Public Relations
Cat Wang (she/her/elle)
Cat facilitates Canadian Red Cross first aid courses offered by MSERT to McGill staff and students and the greater Montreal community. She is the liaison with our external training partner Impact Santé and coordinates the First Responder and Emergency Medical Responder courses for new and returning members. She works closely with the Courses & PR Coordinators, Gabriel and Hugh. Together, the committee is responsible for creating promotional materials for the team, updating MSERT's social media, maintaining the website, and organizing in-person PR activities. Cat has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2019.
Director of Internal Affairs
Eda Montalieu (she/her/elle)
Eda manages MSERT's statistics and feedback systems, including compilation of call statistics, McGill community comments, and internal suggestions and progress reports. She designs and implements the team's equity curricula. Eda works with Noah on policy creation and revision, and with the internal affairs coordinators, Maya and Paary, on perpetual improvement of MSERT's operational and analytical capacities. Eda has been a volunteer with MSERT since 2019.
Brief History of MSERT
The McGill Student Emergency Response Team was established by students in the Winter Semester of 1997, supported by the Student’s Society of McGill University (SSMU).
Winter of 1999 represented growth for MSERT, as it upgraded in status from a SSMU Club to a SSMU Service and the number of volunteers increased from 10 to 50 members.
As a member of ACERT, the Association of Campus Emergency Respose Teams of Canada, MSERT undertook the organization and hosting of the ACERT MIXER competition. This event provides participants with the opportunity to share experiences, improve their knowldge, and test their first aid skills in an atmosphere of friendly competition.
Demand for first aid coverage at special events increased four-fold. MSERT upgraded its training processes as well as their equipment.
At the SSMU awards ceremony, MSERT took home the SSMU Service of the Year and SSMU President of the Year, as well as being nominated for Volunteer of the year and Campus Life Fund Event of the Year.
This year, MSERT began offering low-cost Standard First Aid courses to the McGill community, and marked the beginning of campus coverage at Gerts bar, various Intramural Sports.
In 2004, MSERT began stationing responders on call overnight at Upper Residences. What started as a pilot program proved to be greatly appreciated by the students.
MSERT began scheduling the Upper Residence shifts for every night of the week, essentially doubling the team’s volunteer hours.
This year was also the first that M-SERT organized a First Responder course to increase the level of training of its members. The course includes advanced first aid skills and theory, including airway management, spinal injury management and oxygen administration. Additionally, M-SERT purchased an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), the first on campus, and trained 4 members in its operation.
M-SERT was also designated the largest English- authorized provider of first aid courses in Quebec at this point.
M-SERT members were able to place 3rd in the NCCER competition this year, demonstrating an excellence of care and patient management, even in comparison to other, more established, first response teams.
In 2005-2006, all members were trained to use the AED and it was placed in Upper Residence to be used when responding.
In terms of service, volunteer hours tripled this year in comparison with previous years and M-SERT became involved in Frosh and Discover McGill training for the first time, helping to train the volunteers by supplying them with first aid information relevant to these activities. In February of 2006, M-SERT hosted the NCCER competition, allowing other Canadian universities to experience Montréal. M-SERT was also given a seat on the ACERT Board of Directors this year, giving M-SERT a voice at the national level.
Throughout this year, most Shift Supervisors were Canadian Red Cross First Responders, increasing the level of care that the team could provide on every shift.
To maintain this high level of care, member evaluations were instated and carried out as needed on an impartial basis.
M-SERT initiated a new project that gave them the authority to operate AEDs on the McGill campus. The condition of each AED should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are in working condition, should they be needed in an emergency.
This year, M-SERT increased its proportion of trained Canadian Red Cross First Responders to over 80% of its members. In order to increase the level of care as a provider, M-SERT made it mandatory that each Shift Supervisor hold this level of certification, or the equivalent. To maintain the team’s level of training, M-SERT created a committee of Training Coordinators, the Training Committee, who are devoted to ensuring that all members’ skills are kept fresh and up- to-date.
Considerable steps towards drafting an on-call campus-wide coverage proposal began in 2008- 2009. The completed proposal, submitted to the McGill Administration in the Winter Semester of 2009, outlined a preliminary scheme of the coverage that M-SERT would provide to the McGill Downtown Campus between the hours of 09h00 and 15h00.
Seven members were trained as Canadian Red Cross Standard First Aid Instructors to keep up with the ever-increasing demand of first aid courses.
In April, M-SERT was once again recognized as the SSMU Service of the Year.
M-SERT hosted the three-day MIXER conference in November, boasting an attendance of nearly 150 delegates from campus emergency response teams across Canada.
This year, M-SERT also participated in a school shooting simulation during the Thanksgiving weekend, in conjunction with McGill Emergency Measures, Urgences Santé, and the Montreal Police Department, playing the role of victims and providing casualty simulation. M-SERT then partnered with Missions de Solidarité Responsable International (MSR), and, together, sent a team of M-SERT members to Haiti in June 2010, following the devasting earthquake.
M-SERT took home the SSMU Service of the Year award for the second year in a row.
The summer of 2010, the Executive Committee decided to pursue the expansion of M-SERT’s service in Residences to include the area of Lower Residences (Royal Victoria College, Carrefour Sherbrooke, University Hall, Presbyterian College, and New Residence Hall).
M-SERT worked hard to increase its exposure on campus through an involvement with Orientation Week, Frosh, Safety Week and SSMU-endorsed events. After its September 2010 recruitment, M-SERT was at its largest membership, with approximately 59 Active members.
M-SERT’s expanded coverage included responding to calls in Greenbriar, Presbyterian College, University Hall, Royal Victoria College, and Carrefour Sherbrooke, while maintaining coverage of Gardner Hall, Molson Hall, McConnell Hall and Douglas Hall.
In 2012, M-SERT expanded its coverage in Lower Residences to include both New Residence Hall and La Citadelle.
In 2013/2014, MSERT’s no longer held a Training Partner contract with the Red Cross through SSMU.