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I would like to welcome you to a new dimension for the Health and Safety office of the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association. Here you will find messages, advice, links and other gadgets related to health and safety, as well as our teaching profession.

Monday, April 4, 2011

911 Calls

In case of emergency, call 911. Well maybe! It seems that a conflict arises between what citizens are told what to do and District Policy.
Recently, a staff member wanted to call for an ambulance to assist a staff member who was stricken by an ailment. In the following staff meeting the principal informed the staff that no one was to call an ambulance, but must call the administrator who will make the determination of whether an ambulance is needed.
This policy, created in 1975, goes against the training all First Aiders and First Responders. 911 was set up to provide every citizen the opportunity to get important assistance whenever they need it and everyone is able to access the service. Informing the office first, in the case of an emergency, can delay valuable time which may cause irreparable damage the the patient. Furthermore, to restrict access to the 911 service is a denial of a civil right! The Health and Safety chart devised by the District, states that one of the fist ways of responding to a health and safety issue is to call 911!
Through the District Health and Safety Committee, the GVTA is demanding a review of the policy and a clarification of the phrase, "Authorization must be by the principal or his delegate." We believe that this does not mean a first responder must wait to get permission from the office before calling 911. Every employee should have the right to call911 if in his or her assessment immediate support is necessary. Unofficially, the district has stated the term "or his delegate" means the person on the spot. However, this point is still ambiguous.
It is my suggestion that if in the assessment of the person who first responds to an emergency you have two choices: a) call 911, then inform the school administrator or b) call the office and get help in the assessment. If you cannot contact the school administrator, call 911 if in your estimation it is an emergency.
Please discuss the Board Policy 5141.3 at your next H&S meeting. Ask your administrator his or her position on this policy. I would appreciate being made aware of any decisions your committee makes or the position of your administrator. The next District Health and Safety meeting is on April 14.

Be Safe!

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