Volunteer Crisis Response Team wins national awards

Office of the Chief Risk Officer
Awards and recognition
Community engagement
award winning VCRT delegation from uOttawa
uOttawa's Volunteer Crisis Response Team
We are delighted to announce the incredible success of uOttawa’s Volunteer Crisis Response Team (VCRT), a group that attended the National Conference of Campus Emergency Responders from February 23 to February 25 at the University of Guelph.

Although it is a relatively new team with less than two years of operational experience, the VCRT has proven to be exemplary in emergency response. The success of this 100% volunteer and student-led initiative, supported by the University of Ottawa’s Protection Services, is due to the dedication and passion of its team members.

The VCRT, which operates 24/7 during the fall and winter terms, currently employs 54 students, all of whom are qualified first responders (FR) with the Canadian Red Cross. Remarkably, more than half of the team members are also Safe Talk-qualified, reflecting their commitment to mental health awareness and support.

Each team member is committed to continuing education, public outreach, and spending eight hours a week on call to respond  to medical emergencies on the main campus, which highlights their proactive approach to skill development and community service. Many contribute more hours as supervisors, coordinators and members of the VCRT executive.

The uOttawa VCRT sent two competitive teams and 16 delegates to the conference. The competition ran 16 scenarios over four hours to test their expertise in medical, trauma, mental health, and mass casualty scenarios. The uOttawa VCRT not only secured first place at the competitive level, but also earned the prestigious Team of the Year award. What’s more, Benjamin Krbavac, who is the VCRT’s former student executive director and is now pursuing a PhD at Loughborough University, UK, was recognized as Advisor of the Year for his exceptional contributions.

VCRT team members holding awards

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” The VCRT’s remarkable achievements exemplify the spirit of giving and service, and they have truly made a positive contribution to the uOttawa community.

Congratulations to our student volunteers for this well-deserved recognition of their hard work and dedication. Their success is a source of pride for everyone at uOttawa.

If you have any questions about joining the VCRT, send an email to VCRT Student Executive Director Qassim Alkassir.

For further information about the program, send an email to the Office of the Chief Risk Officer