URI EMTs volunteer to extend helping hands

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Good 5cent Cigar

By Anne Marie McLaughlin
Assistant News Editor

As the horrific events of last Tuesday paralyzed the nation with fear and helplessness, many Americans felt their hands were tied. Almost as quickly as the paralysis set in, the nation joined together and fought back with helping hands.

Many University of Rhode Island students have done their part by donating supplies, money and blood. Three juniors at URI are taking their efforts even farther.

Charlie Ashworth, Christopher Dupuis and Joseph My have all placed their names on a list of volunteer emergency rescue workers to be sent into New York City at any time they are needed.

Ashworth, Dupuis and My are all certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and members of the URI Emergency Medical Services (EMS), a student run organization that is funded by health services. EMS is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week emergency care group responsible for campus and aids the surrounding community.

EMS Commander Robert Hart, a junior said the campus’ needs will be fully provided for in the event the three workers are sent to New York City.

"Our job here is to provide for the campus," said Hart. "The campus need comes first."

Ashworth and Dupuis agreed with Hart, saying they would not have volunteered if it would mean sacrificing the care of the campus.

The students said they all came to URI with no medical training. Each student got involved with EMS because they thought it sounded like an interesting group. A few years later, the students agree EMS has changed their outlook on life. In addition to school and working for EMS, Ashworth, Hart and Dupuis also hold jobs in the medical field. Ashworth and Hart work for a private ambulance company and Dupuis is a fireman in Manville, R.I.

Through EMS they were trained as certified EMTs in areas such as Advanced Life Support and Incident Command, the same training as the rescue workers in New York City.

Ashworth and Dupuis said as soon as they heard about the incidents, the idea of going to help was their first thought.

"It’s amazing to feel that you can help someone in their greatest time of need," Ashworth said.

The students said they are all aware of the risk they are putting themselves into, but they feel ready for the situation.

"Obviously this is a risk," Ashworth said. "You just have to weigh the risks against what it is that you are working for."

Dupuis said the risk he is undertaking is actually more difficult on his family and friends than it is on him. However, he said everyone has understood and they assumed he would be going to help.

Dupuis, Ashworth and Hart all received calls immediately following the incidents from family and friends who assumed the students would be going to help.

Dupuis does have friends in the New York area, while Ashworth does not, but both are driven by thoughts of the victims and workers who are there.

"Our fellow EMTs, policemen and firemen are being trapped and killed. They need more people and we want to offer our help," Ashworth said.

"People are in trouble so we want to help," Dupuis said. "That is what we do."

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