by josh cornfield / metro philadelphia
UNIVERSITY CITY — University of Pennsylvania sophomore Parisa Bastani has been saving lives since she was a life guard in New Jersey four years ago.
Now, the 20-year-old has become a member of her college’s first group of student EMTs, volunteers who will provide another level of first response to students in need of medical care.
“I heard this program was at other colleges,” the pre-med major said. “It’s just a great way to keep involved in medicine.”
About 60 students fill the ranks of the inaugural class of student EMTs, which was developed by junior Andrew Mener and several other students over the last couple years.
“We came to the administration about two and a half years ago,” Mener said. “We told them we wanted to work with emergency response system on campus.”
Mener and fellow students studied the system, which employs an on-campus medical and safety staff as well as the city’s fire and EMT officials whenever a student is ill.
“The determination at the end of the day was a bicycle support unit would best compliment the current system,” Mener said yesterday as he and others showed off the new fleet of bikes.
During the two years spent studying the city and university response network, Mener said there was never any doubt that the system was already working at a high level.
“This is by no means in response to a problem,” the political science major said. “We’ll be adding a third layer of response.”