21st Annual NCEMSF Conference

College Emergency First Responders Convene to...Learn, Compete and Collaborate!

Boston, MA - Over 1,100 representatives of campus-based EMS organizations from 103 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada attended the 21st Anniversary Conference of the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) this past weekend - February 28 - March 2 at the Marriott Copley Place.

Two and a half days of exceptional prehospital medical, trauma, disaster preparedness, emergency management and leadership education took place including over 110 lectures, roundtable discussions, expert panels and hands-on skills labs.

1) Several breakout sessions, panels, and lectures focussing on lessons learned from the Boston Marathon Bombings:

  • Members of MIT EMS delivered a powerful panel presentation on the Aftermath of the Bombing: Tragedy at MIT when Officer and close friend of MIT EMS Sean Collier was killed in the line of duty. The panel focussed not only on the response but how emergency first responders learn to cope and support one another.
  • Alasdair Conn, MD, Chief-Emeritus of Emergency Medicine at MGH, delivered the closing keynote on Lessons Learned: Making the Right Call
  • Captain James Domaldo of Boston EMS shared the EMS Perspective of the day including the pre-planning, intra-event response and post crisis debriefing
  • Adam Darnobid, MD, an EMS Fellow at the University of Massachusetts who was working the Marathon last April and a former campus EMT and member of NCEMSF providedA View From the Medical Tent

2) Physio-Control EMS Skills Classic in which teams competed in simulated scenarios in which team's clinical, leadership and creativity skills were tested while vying for gold was won by UCLA EMS. Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Corps of Binghamton University won the advanced life support version of the competition.
3) Richard W. Vomacka Student Speaker Competition afforded pre-selected conference attendees the opportunity to deliver a relevant high-quality seminar to their peers on a topic of their choosing. The competition was judged on the initial abstract submission, session slides and lastly presentation style, content, applicability and ability to relate and interact with the audience. Ariel Low from Dartmouth College, won the competition with a seminar entitled "Mapping EMS Systems: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Improve Your Service"
4) An inspirational and poignant Major John P. Pryor, MD Memorial Lecture - "It Takes a Village - And Eight Steps" - was presented by James L. Meisel, MD, FACP, an Associate Professor of Medicine at BU Medical Center and founder of Brandeis Emergency Response Corps (BEMCo) while he was an undergraduate student in 1985.

Several individuals and campus EMS organizations were recognized at the conference with annual awards for service.

  • Collegiate EMS Week Award - Johns Hopkins University (Hopkins Emergency Response Organization)
  • Collegiate EMS Video of the Year - Emory University (Emory University EMS)
  • Collegiate EMS Web Site of the Year - Rice University (Rice University EMS)
  • Dr. George J. Koenig Jr. Foundation Service Awards - Michael Guttenberg, DO and Ian Feldman
  • Collegiate EMS Advisor of the Year - Mark Forgues, MEd, EMT-P (MIT and Harvard University)
  • Collegiate EMS Provider of the Year for Heroism and Valor - Benjamin N. Abo, DO, EMT-P
  • Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year - College of Charleston (College of Charleston EMS)

Special commendations for answering the call of duty in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing were presented to Boston College Eagle EMS and MIT EMS.

Arizona State University Student EMS, College of Charleston EMS, Georgetown Emergency Medical Response Medical Service, Rochester Institute of Technology Ambulance, University of Richmond EMS and PennState University Ambulance service were recognized for having completed NCEMSF's Striving for Excellence program, a rigorous self-evaluation and three year accreditation process demonstrating adherence to current best practice patterns. The recipients represent benchmark organizations that others strive to emulate.

Additionally, five campuses and their response organizations were inducted as HEARTSafe Campuses under NCEMSF's HEARTSafe CAMPUS program (www.heartsafecampus.org). They are: Binghamton University (Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service), Syracuse University (Syracuse University Ambulance), University of Massachusetts-Lowell (UMass-Lowell EMS), University of Richmond (University of Richmond EMS), and University of Pittsburgh (Pitt Student EMS). 13 students from 7 schools were also recognized by the NCEMSF and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) for their involvement with on-campus CPR saves.

NCEMSF is a non-profit organization committed to scholarship, research and consultancy activities and to creating safer, healthier environments on college and university campuses throughout North America. Comprised of over 250 college campus-based emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, including several in the Boston area (Tufts EMS, BU EMS, Boston College EMS, MIT EMS, Harvard Crimson EMS, Brandeis Emergency Response Corps), trained to respond within minutes and provide care tailored specifically to campus emergencies, NCEMSF's purpose is to support, promote, and advocate for EMS on college and university campuses. The annual conference is the cornerstone of the Foundation and creates a forum for communication and an environment where ideas can be exchanged and problems solved.

"Beyond providing for the acquisition of medical knowledge, campus-based EMS allows student participants to develop life skills including leadership, team work, communication, and decision making, while simultaneously positively impacting other people's lives," said Dr. George Koenig, NCEMSF President. He continued, "These crucial skills serve participants well no matter what careers they ultimately choose...the enthusiasm, optimism, and dedication that exists amongst this talented group of young, professional adults is contagious and truly awe inspiring."

Dr. Scott Savett, NCEMSF Vice President, echoed "It is so encouraging to have so many campus EMS providers gathered in one place at one time. The sheer number of people at the conference is testament to the significance of campus-based EMS. Whether it's providing medical care on campus, teaching CPR, or doing other outreach, our members are making a difference on their campuses. By facilitating the sharing of best practices, either formally in a lecture, or informally in the hallway between lectures, the Foundation furthers its mission of supporting campus-based EMS."

In 1993, in response to a need for information exchange among campus EMS groups, the National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) was established. A loosely associated nationwide group of campus responders was formally brought together by students at Georgetown University (Washington, DC) and others. Filling a niche, NCEMSF quickly grew. In April 1994, NCEMSF held its first conference at Georgetown University. NCEMSF was last in Boston in 2006.

For more information about NCEMSF or the 2014 Conference, including a copy of the complete program, please visit the FoundationĀ“s website at www.ncemsf.org/conf2014. The 2015 NCEMSF conference is scheduled for February 27-March 1, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, MD.

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