Student EMTs on alert at events

on .

The Miami Student

by Vanessa Schutz

In the classroom, they appear to be your average students. At large sporting events, they blend in with the ushers.

However, their medical skills distinguish them in emergencies.

Eleven Miami University undergraduates are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), which is a division of the Miami University Police that monitors large campus events, such as sporting events or concerts.

The group is led by Randy Hormann, deputy fire marshal and coordinator of EMS since July 1, 2003.

The EMTs are employed students, and they’re wanted at any big event happening on campus.

Each member has at least 150 hours of training through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, the state of Ohio, or both, according to Hormann.

"The training is pretty hard core," said Leah Handelsman, a first-year microbiology major. "I took a semester-long course that was 10 hours a week in addition to my other courses and activities."

Once certified, the EMTs oversee different events.

Hormann assures there is a minimum of two EMTs at each event where their services are requested.

It is mandatory for the entire staff to be present at each football game held at Yager Stadium.

While the emergencies the group has faced thus far have not been the material that episodes of E.R. are made of, their assistance is helpful to those of all ages.

"There are a lot of trips and falls at football games, while the elderly can get excited and have trouble breathing in the heat, " Hormann said. "At concerts, depending on who is playing, we may deal with intoxication and students passed out in the bathrooms with possible alcohol poisoning."

The EMS attended 42 total events fall semester, and is in the process of expanding its services to high- and medium-risk club sports, Hormann said.

"The university wants us at a lot more events, so the demand for EMTs is up," said Bill Vedra, a sophomore English major.

Along with the expansion, the group hopes to extend its equipment collection.

With only one automatic external defibrillator, a device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and delivers an electrical shock to the victim, the EMTs said they feel limited in their ability to be completely efficient.

"We work multiple events, so for a better standard of care, we need more automatic external defibrillators," said Buddy Jackson, a senior social studies education major.

Potential EMTs are initially recruited through the fire safety program Hormann runs in first-year residence halls called "The Great Escape."

He is always looking for students who have completed the training and have a good attitude.

Possible candidates must also have the personality to work well with others.

"We’re a pretty close group that gets along well," said Amanda Tirpack, a first-year Zoology major.

Hormann agrees.

"We’re a close-knit group that likes to have fun," he said. "But at the same time, we are very professional and take our job seriously."

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