Old Gold and BlackBY MARK RABUANO
OLD GOLD AND BLACK REPORTER
When freshman Jessica Murray arrived on campus last semester, she saw a void on campus that she thought needed to be filled. Now, only a semester later, through her initiative and with the help of others, she has a first response unit organization up and running on campus.
The first response unit has four purposes: to respond to requests for an ambulance on campus, to serve as primary responders to minor emergencies, to serve the university and the county Emergency Medical System in covering university gatherings and intramural and club sports events and to implement an education system on campus, providing first aid, CPR and EMT training.
Murray said, "I have been an EMT for almost two years and have found that nothing said in the classroom can take the place of field experience. Not only will it be a fulfilling experience for members, but there is definitely a need for such a group on campus."
She continued, "I think it is a necessity that we fill that void of a lack of first-responders by forming our own organization."
The course has already begun, requiring 145 hours to pass. The class will meet every Sunday and Thursday for three hours each for three months. Upon passing, the student will have state certification to become an EMT.
Murray worked with Mark Nichol at Forsyth Technical Community College, who runs the Winston-Salem classes and will hold the classes on campus, to set up the program.
"We are working on getting the class implemented in the curriculum through the Health and Exercise Science department," Murray said. That will take a semester. We will teach twenty people next semester, for all those interested."
She also wanted to start an student-run EMS at night and weekends, as the Physical Facilities employees are not on campus.
She said, "The group of Physical Facilities men deal with chemical spills and people that are trapped. Two of them are EMTs, but it is important to have a student group that is available at all times."
"It is not only essential to the campus to have medical response available, but also there is student participation," Murray said. "This class makes you more confident in that you know how to handle yourself in emergency situations."
Murray cited the recent pledge night as a time when the EMT's skills might be needed. "That weekend alone there were a lot of incidents that required medical attention and could have used our help," she said.
This semester the group will focus on getting the course established and successful. It is working on a constitution and getting a charter to become a student organization to receive funds.