By James Michelini
For the past 26 years, Fitchburg State University has had an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team working with campus police. This team provides medical care for injured and sick students in the campus community. Situations that the team faces can range from providing CPR to handling a patient that is suffering a stroke.
“FSU EMS is an all-volunteer student run organization that has its responders on call 7 nights a week from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” says Patrick McPherson, student president of FSU EMS.
Student members are required and prepared to quickly assist dispatched officers that are on scene until emergency medical technicians are able to show up and take over. FSU EMS student members are trained to provide on-scene care in the case of various medical emergencies for students, staff, and visitors of the university. FSU’s EMS team attended the 13th annual Fitchburg State University Emergency Medical Services Academy, where the 12 new members were trained rigorously on how to handle all emergency medical situations.
It’s no easy task to become part of the EMS team on campus. The FSU EMS trainees must complete a 10 week long academy in order to become certified EMS responders. When trainees first enter the academy, they are taught position of attention, how to address their superiors, and how to work together as a team. Teamwork and memorization of discipline and honor codes are the most important aspects stressed by FSU Campus Police instructor, Sgt. William Fisher.
Fitchburg State students have joined FSU EMS for a variety of reasons. Student president of the organization and four-year member, Patrick McPherson explains the reason that he joined FSU EMS, “When I first came here to Fitchburg, I wanted to get involved in campus life and meet people. I’ve also always had an interest in becoming a firefighter after I graduate and I figured the knowledge I could gain from joining EMS could really help me.”
Fellow four-year member Billy Wood shares a similar reason for joining EMS,“I had always been interested in the public safety field, and when I came to an open house here, I saw the EMS table and decided to sign up”. Wood is now an EMT for Cataldo EMT in Somerville, MA. “When I first joined EMS I never had any intention of becoming an EMT, but I quickly realized that was an area of work that interested me and so I had joined EMS have enjoyed the experience so much,” added Wood.
Both Wood and McPherson agreed that FSU EMS has been a positive experience for them. It’s a great opportunity for students to meet people and learn how to handle emergency situations, by joining FSU EMS you could potentially save someone’s life.