College teaches emergency responder communication

With the help of a new online program, Algonquin College hopes paramedics, firefighters and police will be better prepared to work together in the field.
Students studying to become paramedics, firefighters and police officers team in online program. 1:45

Algonquin College has been training future police, paramedics and firefighters for years and with the help of a new online program, the college hopes they'll be better prepared to work together in the field.

Web Alive is an online world that simulates emergency scenarios. It teaches emergency responders how to communicate with each other on the job.

Police, firefighters and paramedics often end up working together when an emergency is called in. Employers told the college that when students graduated, they weren't prepared to communicate properly with each other, which led to conflicts and misunderstandings.

"This has come up as an issue across the province, across the country," said Eleanor Riesen, who helps run the program. "We're all starting to realize that this is maybe a gap."

Josh McGrath is a studying to become a paramedic.

"Once I have my equipment I'll be able to do my job right, but I'll also be able to work with other members of the team," he said.

Algonquin is continually updating Web Alive to include more scenarios.