November 8, 2012
November 12 marks the beginning of National Collegiate Emergency Medical Service Week. The Spectator would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of Hamilton College Emergency Medical Services (HCEMS) for all of the amazing work they do on this campus. Their constant attention has saved the lives of many members of our community, and helps to make Hamilton College a more secure environment.
Hamilton’s EMT corps currently has twenty-one volunteers, who each balance their busy schedules as full-time students with their EMT duties. Each EMT volunteers anywhere from 20 to 30 hours each week in an effort to keep Hamilton community members safe and healthy. Every weekday, three EMTs work from noon until 10 p.m. Another group of three EMTs take the second shift from 10 p.m. through noon the following day. Weekend shifts occur on a rotating basis, with three EMTs working from noon to 7 p.m. and another three take the night shift, which lasts until noon the following day. EMTs sacrifice their valuable time without monetary compensation, often forsaking a regular sleep schedule. Without a doubt, volunteering as an EMT takes a great deal away from both their academic and social lives, a sacrifice that we as a community must give full recognition.
EMTs go through a rigorous training process. Director of Emergency Medical Services Diann Lynch reviews EMT applications, which include multiple rounds of interviews and team building activities. The chosen students then complete a comprehensive certification course. Despite its intensive nature, the course, which lasts a full semester, garners no academic credits; however, eager EMT candidates sit for four hours twice a week and sacrifice their Saturdays for practical labs. In addition, the EMTs are subject to frequent tests of their abilities in order to maintain their certifications. Without a doubt, HCEMS is an elite group of highly-dedicated students who donate a significant amount of time to the wellness of our community.
The recent reckless nature of our community has made this season particularly busy and stressful for our EMTs. The group has dealt professionally with a record number of emergency incidents--a statistic about which our student body should be wildly ashamed. For instance, eleven emergency calls on the night of Sept. 29 sparked a “Mass Casualty Incident” for our local Oneida County.
Over the next week, we at The Spectator ask for each of you to take a moment to thank each member of HCEMS: Amal Asghar ’15, Ethan Ayres ’13, Jamie Azdair ’13, Katie Callahan ’15, Phil Conkling ’14, Jenn Durkee ’14, Liza Gergenti ’14, Tara Hansen ’14, Rob Hayden ’14, Melanie Hundt ’13, Jackie Jasuta ’14, Laura McCormick ’15, Lilly McCullough ’15, Katie Moran ’15, Marie Murray ’15, Spencer Olsson ’14, Conner Polet ’13, James Stanell ’14, Ashley Sutton ’13, Amy Wright ’15 and Alvin Wu ’13.
Due to the confidential nature of their work, the group never gets the full recognition that they deserve. National Collegiate Emergency Medical Service Week is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the benefits of such an elite group of students on our campus. In addition to thanking the EMTs for their unmatched dedication to our campus, we also request that you work to take more responsibility for your own health and safety.