Meet Nathan MacKenzie:
Nathan MacKenzie is a third year Criminal Justice and Public Policy student at the University of Guelph. Nathan is currently on the University’s First Response Team (FRT), a team of volunteer students helping the campus community with event and on-call emergency first-aid services. Nathan tells us about how he got involved with FRT, his training, why he volunteers, and how it has helped him with his career goals.
How long have you been part of the First Response Team (FRT)? How did you find out about it?
“I’ve been on the First Response Team for one year and like many other FRT members, plan on remaining on the team until I graduate. I am one of the on-call Emergency Medical Responders when I’m on shift. I learned about the team by talking to the responders at an information tent set up outside the UC at the start of the school year.”
What was the training process like? What is your role on the team?
“After being interviewed, I was invited to obtain my First Responder certification followed by an Emergency Medical Responder certification. Every shift we train together and build upon our skills so we can take care of Gryphons in the best way possible.”
Why do you volunteer for FRT?
“I volunteer with FRT to give back to the community and lend a helping hand to a Gryphon in need. Whether you’re in mental crisis during exams or you tripped and fell coming back from a night out, we are here to help! Being part of the team is also nice because you know you’ve got three or four friends on campus 24/7.”
Have you been involved in other volunteer activities at U of G?
“I have not been involved in other volunteer opportunities on campus, but I've volunteered with St. John Ambulance for 4 years as an Advanced Medical First Responder. I am also a volunteer on Guelph Search and Rescue.”
What skills do you think you're developing for your career through your volunteering?
“Volunteering with FRT has given me the ability to perform in high stress situations on top of honing my ability to appropriately interact with those in distress. Out of everything we carry in our trauma packs, our mouth and mind is the most important. The manner in which you treat someone has a profound effect on the quality of care that's provided, impacting their willingness to receive that care. This is all transferrable to my aspired career in law enforcement.”
What's your favourite volunteer memory?
“One of my favourite memories of being on FRT is going off-roading with the FRT cart in the arboretum!”
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“One of my favourite quotes: ‘The only time you should look down on someone is when you’re helping them back up’”