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Student-operated EMS program looking to replace 20-year void

Courtesy of MCT

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An Ohio State program that was at one time eliminated due to budget cuts might soon be resuscitated.

The Center for EMS sponsored an informational dinner Monday that introduced the idea of having a student-run Emergency Medical Service program at OSU.

“The OSU Campus EMS Auxiliary is a newly established student group,” said Ambrose Wu, a first-year graduate student in medicine and founder of Campus EMS Auxiliary. “The new Campus EMS department will provide emergency medical services to the campus population and will provide education and outreach to the university community.”

OSU officially terminated its EMS service about 20 years ago, and Campus EMS is trying to revive the program in a more cost-effective way.

Bill Barks, manager and coordinator for The Center for EMS, highlighted goals and procedures of the program.

“Members will serve as emergency response personnel for on-campus emergencies and receive hands-on experience in patient care,” Barks said. “Members should expect to maintain a minimum of First Aid/CPR certification to be eligible to run with the emergency response crews, and should expect to complete Emergency Medical Technician training to be given charge of patient treatment.”

Stephen Gardner, a first-year graduate in medicine and president of Campus EMS said that with the experience, training and leadership, students will be on the right track toward their future goals.

Meredith Stewart, a first-year graduate student in physical therapy, said she was excited about the event and opportunity.

“I think it really seems like it is pretty close to happening and re-excited me to be able to meet everyone and have a big group talking about it,” Stewart said. “It feels like it is moving forward and that is exciting.”

Stewart said she has been involved in volunteer emergency response for about 10 years, but is left with minimal time because of school.

“Just the fact that it is an existence is great,” Stewart said. “I have been looking for an opportunity to keep my skills fresh and this is a perfect fit.”

Wu said some budget issues the OSU Division of EMS and Fire Prevention had in 1992 would not be a concern with Campus EMS, because it was volunteer-based.

“The primary reason it is student ran is cost, because students join and volunteer for the experience,” Wu said. “Providing an education at a low cost is exactly what a university should be doing.”

Rose Huskey, a fifth-year in biology and sociology, said she was disappointed when she first came to OSU and found out that there was not a campus EMS program.

“Now that one is in the works, I couldn’t be more excited,” Huskey said. “Being an EMT is a passion for me, and I feel like this program has big potential and is going to provide a niche for students.”

Gardner said an EMS service on campus might be able to help students better, because of proximity.

“We will probably be a little faster than Columbus since we know the area and we’ll have students kind of where students are,” Gardner said.
Huskey agreed.

“Who better to respond to calls on campus for students then students themselves?” Huskey said.

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