Disbanded Ramapo EMS Group Seeks Reinstatement

By JOSHUA LUSTER
On February 9, 2015

Ramapo Emergency Medical Squad was disbanded on April 29, 2011 due to a lack of volunteers, which lead to the organization being unable to cover the College at all times. This prompted the College to instead use a third party ambulance service. The College also stated that discontinuing Ramapo EMS would generate an additional $32,000 annually, by saving $25,000 in personnel and supply costs and allowing the College to make an additional apartment available that had been reserved for EMTs. The College has now formed relationships with Fair Lawn’s Fuchs EMS and MICOMM to cover the College in cases of emergencies.

With the recent increase in policies regarding social gatherings and alcohol, the topic of Ramapo EMS on campus has become more relevant. 

Ramapo College of New Jersey is in the minority of New Jersey public colleges that does not have its own EMS. The College of New Jersey, Richard Stockton College, Montclair State University and Rutgers University are all state institutions that have their own student-run, volunteer EMS.

Two years ago the Ramapo First Responders Club was approved by the Student Government Association. At that time, the club began to advocate for the reinstatement and revival of Rampo EMS. For the past two years, I have had meetings with the dean of students, acting dean of students, campus fire marshal and chief of Public Safety. Throughout these meetings I have been advised on the matter of reinstating Ramapo EMS and how it would benefit the campus as a whole.

One suggestion was to survey the students and determine how they felt about bringing back a student-run, volunteer EMS to campus. In a survey done by the Rampo First Responders Club of non-EMT, non-club members, about 96 percent of students were in favor of Ramapo EMS, 89 percent said they felt comfortable having students volunteer as EMTs and 98 percent said that they and their parents would feel more comfortable with an EMS on campus at all times. We also have a large amount of student support with 30 student-EMTs, 46 members that are CPR/first aid certified and 21 students that would take classes to become certified. These numbers are well above what other organizations, including Stockton and Montclair, use to run their own EMS programs.

After two years of meetings, suggestions and revisions, a 30-page plan, including a budget proposal, was given to the administration outlining what would be needed and how Ramapo EMS would run. The idea was to base Ramapo EMS off of The College of New Jersey’s first responder model. Ramapo EMS would run full time and would respond to all incidents on campus and treat patients until organizations that could transport arrived. This model would limit the cost and upkeep of Ramapo EMS and would avoid some of the larger liabilities associated with transporting patients.

The President’s Cabinet decided that Ramapo EMS was a venture that was not worth pursuing as the current degree of coverage for the College is satisfying. To this I argue that according to the mission statement and strategic plan of Ramapo College that is put in place by the President’s Cabinet, it is impossible that Ramapo EMS is a bad venture. 

The College’s mission statement states: “We promote diversity, inclusiveness, sustainability, student engagement and community involvement.” Many of these factors play a crucial role in Ramapo EMS. Objective 1.2 of the Strategic Plan also states: “The College will ensure that students increase academic, personal, social and civic engagement by offering enhanced curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular programming.” Ramapo EMS would be a way to increase civic engagement through an extra-curricular program and would also be a form of community service.

The administration has denied Ramapo EMS; however, due to an increase in transports to the hospital, they have increased policies regarding social gatherings and alcohol. The College has deemed that reinstating Ramapo EMS on campus is not worth it, although more and more students required emergency medical attention and hospital transportaion.

Ramapo EMS can make a difference. Ramapo EMS can save a life. I urge all students to speak out and support the reinstatement of Ramapo EMS.

jluster@ramapo.edu

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