Indiana Digital Student
by Ben Lincoln
Indiana Daily Student
Director of IU Emergency Medical Services Adam Stern, a junior, said he has a vested interest in the safety of all people participating in potentially dangerous activities in the building of Health, Physical Education & Recreation. Stern said he wishes to plant EM Technicians -- members of IU-EMS, a group of students who are state certified EMTs -- in the HPER because of a lack of available and trained staff members. But Stern said he is facing strong opposition from HPER authorities and Risk Management personnel.
"I wish I knew why they won't let us offer our services," Stern said. "All students involved with EMS are state certified. We have more medical training than the IU (Police Department). EMTs are not paid, and it could only be a great asset to have medical personnel present."
Director of the Office of Risk Management Larry Stephens said he does not directly recall any contact with EMS members.
"First off, Risk Management doesn't insure student groups, but I'm not sure there is much value added in their availability," Stephens said. "They may stress the use of defibrillators, but as you might recall, four or five years ago there were none. Besides, how many heart attacks have you heard of in the HPER?"
Sterns said all EMTs are certified in advanced first aid training, oxygen admittance and use of defibrillators. As it stands, only four persons within the HPER building are trained in using the four available defibrillators, said Larry Patrick, HPER director of Program Services and Facilities. Those certified in using them usually leave the office around 6 p.m., but he argues that besides the disreputable training of EMS, instances requiring their services, including emergency shock therapy, are few.
"I've never seen an instance where the Bloomington Hospital or one of our staff members couldn't handle some sort of an emergency," Patrick said. "As far as I'm concerned, the only problem is the liability concern. Of their credentials, if you ask Adam (Stern) to produce any cards or anything, he never can. They need to get their T's crossed and their I's dotted. I mean I could tell you I was a brain surgeon, but would you want me working on your brain?"
John Pederson, director for facilities support in the Student Recreational Sports Center, said he met with Stern and the SRSC is in "fact-finding mode," meaning they are checking out any liability implications to determine whether members of IU-EMS could work in the center.
IU-EMS has, for the fifth year, been entrusted to encompass the track of the Little 500 with seven or eight EMTs. With more alumni attending the race, Stern increased the EMT number from four.
"We will be the first line in any needed medical care, and that is a huge responsibility," Stern said. "There should be no question of our competence. I have sat through over 800 hours of class and there won't be a single EMT present that hasn't taken the state written exam or completed the mandatory 160 credit hours in the classroom. Ultimately our long running goal solely involves getting Risk Management to let us into the HPER."