Jane Donahue (NIU Today) | November 11, 2015
Members of NIU’s Department of Police and Public Safety work behind the scenes to ensure that Huskie safety is at the forefront.
This month, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are being saluted as part of the 17th annual Collegiate EMS Week, which began Monday and runs through Nov. 15.
Sponsored by the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF), Collegiate EMS week is an opportunity to recognize and the hard work and dedication of those first responders who help keep campus safe.
“In an emergency, seconds count,” said NIU Police Department Sgt. Joseph Przybyla. “NIU has made the proactive commitment to cross train their police officers to respond to medical emergencies. There have been instances where this has paid off and lives were saved.”
Przybyla said nine members of the police department are certified as paramedics, which allows them to carry lifesaving equipment and medications.
“The remainder of the officers have been trained as emergency medical technicians,” Przybyla said. “Both levels of training enable us to start treatment as soon as we arrive on the scene.”
That training is critical, he said, and in 2014, NIU Police responded to more than 400 medical and ambulance assistance calls. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the department is ready to provide advanced life support emergency medical services when needed.
“We want the community to know that this level of care and service is available,” Przybyla said. “NIU Police does not charge for the services we provide; if someone is experiencing an injury or illness and is unsure whether or not they should go to the hospital, they should always call us.”