EMS club grows into role aiding students in need

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By Amanda Shooster
The Triangle

The Emergency Medical Services team at Drexel University has grown at a tremendous rate since it began in March 2010.

The EMS at Drexel is a student-run organization that operates Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The most common issue that EMS responds to is intoxication, but the organization has also assisted in more severe issues such as car accidents, assaults and unexpected health problems.

"This is one of the few, if not the only organization, that helps students in such a unique way, and that unique way is that we are helping with their health care," Ekta Panjrolia, a senior biological sciences major and the secretary of Drexel EMS, said.

October is the busiest month of the year, with 10-15 calls per weekend; other months average five to 10 calls per weekend.

The EMS organization works hand in hand with the Philadelphia Fire Department to ensure the safety of Drexel students. The EMS members are the first to arrive at the scene to assist in immediate and necessary care until the fire department can arrive to aid in further medical treatments.

"We do actually make a difference," Dylan Stempel, a sophomore health sciences major and probationary member of Drexel EMS, said.

Two members handle each call: a primary crew member and a secondary crew member. The primary crew member treats the patient's injuries and alleviates sickness while the secondary crew member gets information from witnesses.

Currently, work is underway for the members of Drexel EMS to start teaching CPR classes on campus.

"It is a more positive environment, should something happen, that there are more people around that know how to do CPR because it is being taught on campus," Eric Williams, a pre-junior nursing major and the captain of Drexel EMS, said.

The future of the group depends on a continuation of the growth of the program and its members.

"We are really growing as an organization. We actually won Student Organization of the Year last year," Stempel said. "It is a great way to get involved on campus in a nontraditional way."

Currently, the organization has 30 active student volunteers. To be considered an active member of the organization, students are required to work two shifts per month and one special event per term.

"The Drexel community should see that this is an organization run by students who are volunteers and who do this only for the purpose of helping students in our community," Panjrolia said.

Panjrolia joined the club one year ago after witnessing a student who needed medical attention on campus. She, not being medically trained, could not do anything except call Drexel Public Safety. Shortly after this incident, she saw a poster on campus advertising the organization. Within a few months she was taking emergency medical technician certification classes at the University of Pennsylvania.

Drexel EMS requires each member to have an EMT certification, preferably from Pennsylvania, but it will accept individuals who are certified in other states. Recently, a CPR first responder's branch was created to allow other interested students to take part in the organization before fully committing to become EMT certified.

In an emergency, Drexel EMS can be reached by calling Public Safety at 215-895-2222. The crew members will report to the scene of an incident within four minutes of being notified.

This organization is funded in several different ways: the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee, by working sporting events and Campus Activities Board concerts, and through donations from the public.

Allison Brophy, a junior nursing major, is the chief of Drexel EMS.

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