(Mahwah) During the last three years, Ramapo College of New Jersey has undergone a significant growth spurt with an increase in student enrollment, academic programs, and services.
One new addition to the community is the Ramapo College Emergency Medical Services (RCEMS) which was recently inaugurated to assist the Mahwah Townships coverage of ambulance service to the college.
Ramapo student, David Bacall, founder of RCEMS, says, "Having our own EMS system on campus will contribute to the colleges well-being in two ways. First, it will enable us to give better, faster care to the patient. Second, it will provide tremendous leadership opportunities to many campus volunteers who work with us."
The system now operates evenings and weekends (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.) and is expected to be on duty 24-hours a day beginning Fall Semester 1999. RCEMS also will be on stand-by for certain college and community-related events on campus. Bacall says that the procedure for placing an emergency call to the unit is simple. "If an emergency occurs on campus, the Office of Security should be contacted. Security will then dial 911 to contact Mahwah Police who will dispatch the Colleges ambulance directly to the scene," he explained.
Bacall, who attended the University of Hartford before coming to Ramapo, was EMS coordinator for their system. He also was responsible for obtaining the EMS ambulance and additional equipment through his contacts with the Avon-By-The-Sea First Aid and Safety Squad. Financial support comes from Ramapos Office of Residence Life and administrative support from the Dean of Students and the Office of Security.
During last falls National Collegiate EMS Week, RCEMS received over 40 applications of potential volunteers. "All volunteers are fully trained and are required to complete the state EMT-B course, which is funded by New Jersey," Bacall explains. "RCEMS volunteers give up their time and often sleep to come to our aid."
RCEMS is a member of NCEMSF, a professional organization of campus-based EMS groups around the country and around the world. These groups range from first response-type units to advanced life support (ALS) transporting units. Every year NCEMSF holds an annual conference to promote the discussion of issues among campus EMS groups. The NCEMSF organization is designed to recognize highly successful and well-organized EMS groups based on the assessment of their operations, staff, and community.