The Rice Thresher
by Diana Keselman
For the Thresher
After three years as Rice Emergency Medical Services Director, REMS co-founder Noah Reiter (Jones '99) announced his resignation Friday, effective Sept. 22.
Reiter has accepted a job as a staff analyst at the Houston Fire Department's EMS headquarters.
A paramedic in his hometown before coming to Rice, Reiter assisted Mark Escott (Jones '96) in founding the REMS program in October of 1996. Before that, EMS calls were handled by HFD.
"We had a few very strong champions," Reiter said. "One was then Chief of Police Mary Voswinkel, who was all for having a student EMS program. Dr. Camacho was another. ... With their support we were able to ultimately convince [the administration] that we needed the program."
REMS faced its first serious test only eight days after its formal establishment, Reiter said.
When an elderly woman attending a wedding reception at the Cohen House collapsed in cardiac arrest, a student waitress, who was also a graduate of Rice's first EMT class, initiated CPR. With emergency treatment from REMS and the HFD, the woman survived.
Reiter was offered the job of EMS Director after graduating in 1999.
Under Reiter's leadership, the REMS staff has grown to about 40 EMTs. Last year REMS treated 650 patients and is likely to treat even more this year, Reiter said.
One of only 125 campus-wide EMS programs in the U.S., REMS offers an EMT class every spring, as well as other programs ranging from CPR classes to Alcohol Information Management training during Orientation Week.
REMS Captain David Melville, a Martel College senior, said Reiter will be greatly missed.
"Noah's leaving is an obvious loss to the service," Melville said. "[But] we have very strong supervisors and excellent volunteers. The service that we provide will continue on as it always has."
REMS will operate under the management of its student supervisors, headed by Melville, until a replacement for Reiter is found.