IU-EMS to the rescue

on .

Hands On

Elizabeth Lampert
Hands On Reporter

Standing on the sidelines of the racetrack, Jared Shapiro, an Indiana University Emergency Medical Services (IU-EMS) officer, rushes over to the track.  A man has fallen from his bicycle while practicing for the little 500-bike race.  He can’t be standing on the sidelines and running the track.

“Are you ok?” said Shapiro, an Indiana University Emergency Medical Services (IU-EMS) officer.

The victim stands up to assure Shapiro he has only a small scratch on his lower left leg, and he’s ready to get back on his bike.  He closely examines the victim who has suffered little harm from the fall.  Shapiro does not call the paramedics for further medical assistance.  The victim is fine.

In any case, Shapiro is the first one on the scene.  He will be the first to treat a wound, put on a splint, stop bleeding or administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation

“As a large university, we needed to get medical aid quicker. Whether by foot, bike or automobile, a more rapid response was needed."

-Scott Savett
Vice President

(CPR) before an ambulance arrives. Shapiro, and all 50 volunteer members of IU-EMS, is responsible for providing emergency medical care to the IU and Bloomington community.  IU-EMS is a link between health services, campus safety, and external community resources; providing meaningful services, leadership, and career developing educational opportunities for the students involved.

“Being involved in IU-EMS has been a stepping stone towards my future nursing career,” said Jeremy Malloch, the IU-EMS event coordinator and an IU junior.

The history

A decade ago, the community of Bloomington relied solely on the local Bloomington emergency response services.  In 1994, Scott Savett, former IU student and vice-president of the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF), saw the need for a campus-based EMS group.

He had heard stories about ambulances getting lost in Bloomington and felt students knew the campus well. 

“As a large university, we needed to get medical aid quicker,” Savett said. "Whether by foot, bike or automobile, a more rapid response was needed."

Mark Milliron, director of the NCEMSF, agreed with Savett.  He said the city is responsible for the town's emergency aid, and the campus should be responsible for on-campus emergencies.

Other students, too, upheld Savett’s perspective.  Starting with only four or five interested students, the planning took a long time. Over time, the organization has evolved into an on-campus emergency response team.

In 2001, IU joined the NCEMSF which provides a forum for communication among campus-based emergency service groups.  The foundation allows students to share ideas, and converse with other students involved in campus emergency medical aid.

The NCEMSF holds an annual conference each year.  Sponsored by a different university each year and occupying the whole weekend, the conference is a chance for everybody to meet

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