Ready in response

Anthony Saikali, Dalhousie Medical Campus Response Team founder

- April 22, 2016

Anthony Saikali. (Bruce Bottomley photo)
Anthony Saikali. (Bruce Bottomley photo)

Anthony Saikali, a Dal student studying Neuroscience and International Development, is keen to help others.

At last month’s Student Impact Awards, Anthony was presented with the Student Wellness “Live Well @ Dal” award. The honour is given to a student who best demonstrates leadership in promoting and contributing to a healthy campus.

Anthony was recognized for founding the Dalhousie Medical Campus Response Team (DMCRT), a division of St. John Ambulance that trains and provides student Advanced Medical First Responders and certified Mental Health First Aid. The students attend major university events such as sports games, orientation week, DSU society events and concerts, and even provide support to residences.

Anthony, who plans to become a doctor, had heard about Carleton University’s medical response team while doing research in Ottawa one summer. Upon returning to Dal in the fall, he set about seeing if a similar group existed on campus.

“I thought being part of a medical response team would mean I could give back to my community, while developing skills that would be an asset as a medical professional,” he says. “But there wasn’t a team on campus, so I started looking into how to start one.”

Anthony approached St. John Ambulance NS/PEI Council, which agreed to assist in the costs of providing first responder certification and equipment to students involved. He then set up the Dalhousie Medical Campus Response Team as a student society.   

“We now have 59 students serving their campus community,” says Anthony. “They come from many different faculties. The students who are on our team are very committed to bring an important service to campus.”

The program has also been rolled out at St. FX University and he has plans to bring the medical response team idea to other universities in the region with the support of St. John Ambulance.

Anthony’s passion for bettering the mental health of his peers also led to the development of the Mental Health First Aid portion of the program. Dalhousie students can get in touch with the DMCRT by email and access the best resources for support on campus and in the community.

Anthony also serves on the St. John Ambulance NS/PEI Board of Directors and is a student representative on Dalhousie’s Board of Governors


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