An EMS worker is a certified first responder, basic, or intermediate emergency medical technician (EMT), or paramedic. Being an EMT worker at Ursinus College is a little bit different. Senior William Haussner has a standard daily routine for an Ursinus EMS worker.
Haussner came into Ursinus four years ago wanting to become a doctor when he “grew up.” Freshman year, he thought it would be smart to get involved with EMS and learn the ropes on campus in order to fulfill his dream. He took a class to receive his EMT certification the summer after his freshman year.
The 200 hour class was tough, but allowed Haussner to learn how to use many different skills to deal with life and death situations.
At home Haussner works on an ambulance, which is different from what Ursinus EMS is like, but only contributes to his experience.
A night on duty as an EMT at Ursinus can be dull at times but may also get surprisingly exciting, according to Haussner. Each EMT carries a pager while on duty and are notified when there is a call.
“When I am on call it’s like I’m just going about my life,” said Haussner. “It’s not like I’m sitting in the EMS office waiting for a call, I’m student first and EMT second. I’m not just an EMT.”
The pager gives all the information about the patient that the EMT who is on duty needs to know. They will also receive an automatic text from Campus Safety, who works closely with the Collegeville Police along with the State Police in order to keep the campus safe.
According to the Ursinus website, UC EMS is in service 24/7 during each term and occasionally during summer and winter breaks.
“The pager is incredibly loud, especially when I am sleeping,” said Haussner. “I can receive a page any time of day, whether I’m in class, sleeping, doing homework, I may even be running on the treadmill. It’s completely unpredictable.”
There are currently only four certified EMTs. There are a number in training but only a few who are allowed to provide care by themselves. This creates even longer hours for the certified EMTs.
A typical call involves leaving whatever the person on duty is doing and taking the EMS truck to the scene. The type of call will determine what type of equipment is brought to the scene. The EMT will go to the call, do treatment, and finally determine if they need to go to the hospital or not.
If the patient needs to go to the hospital for additional treatment, the Trappe paramedics will be called and take over.
At that point, once the door on the ambulance shuts, Ursinus College EMS is finished and is ready to care for another patient.
“My job is pretty fun, it is really enjoyable to treat people; especially students,” said Haussner. “It’s really different at Ursinus treating people; I’m just another student coming to treat my fellow peers and it’s pretty cool in that respect. It’s just overall really gratifying because the people on campus really appreciate what we do.”
Being an EMT at Ursinus is strictly a volunteer job; the workers are serious in the job they perform.
“Being an EMS responder is about being there for the worst day of a person’s year or life and trying to make it just a little less bad.,” said Brian Kennedy, a senior EMS responder.