IU-EMS pursuing funds for ambulance program

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Indiana Daily Student

Organization wants free service for IU students

By Cecelia Wolford

If senior Shannon Henning ever needs an ambulance, she'll make sure and bring her checkbook.

"(I'd) have to pay a grand for an ambulance to take me ten blocks," she said.

Henning, a pre-medical student, supports a new initiative from IU Emergency Medical Services that will ultimately make ambulances free for IU students.

IU Emergency Medical Service, a student volunteer organization, provides emergency medical services at a low cost to student and community events in the Bloomington area. In addition to providing medical care, the service also teaches classes on CPR, Emergency Medical Training and First Aid.

"The service provides emergency medical technicians to events on campus like Little 500 and Dance Marathon" said IU-EMS President Jared Shapiro.

Both students and members of the community can participate in the classes.

IU-EMS was started in 1994, offering pre-hospital education classes. In 1997, it was reorganized to work toward becoming a campus ambulance provider run by undergraduate and graduate students. IU-EMS students study to become certified emergency medical technicians. Students who join must be certified by the American Heart Association in CPR.

The goal of IU-EMS is to one day provide ambulance service to the IU campus at no cost to students, Shapiro said. Currently, students are charged by the Bloomington Hospital if they need emergency medical care.

Most other large colleges have this service already, but IU has yet to acquire its own ambulance service. Shapiro said he hopes by getting the organization's name out at many student events on campus, the group will get enough support to achieve its goal.

IU Police Department Sergeant David Rhodes said getting ambulances for IU-EMS is a worthy cause.

"It's been several years in the making, and I've backed it since the very beginning that the IU-EMS program would be accepted with that hope that they would provide service to the IU campus and surrounding area one day," he said.

IU-EMS will offer a mass CPR class Feb. 7 and will also host an event at this year's Little 500 on April 23 and 24. The event, which will be taught with the American Heart Association, is expected to attract 100 to 200 people, Shapiro said.

For more information visit www.indiana.edu/~iuems/index.html or email IU-EMS at iuems@indiana.edu.

Contact staff writer Cecelia Wolford at cwolford@indiana.edu.

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