Did you know that there’s a club on campus that could save you hundreds of dollars in an emergency? RPI Ambulance is a completely student-run Basic Life Support transporting ambulance agency that is funded entirely by the Rensselaer Union. If you call 911 or Public Safety on campus and EMS is needed, RPIA will most likely be dispatched. An ambulance ride to the hospital can cost anywhere between $100 to $3000. With RPIA, the ride and any materials used are completely free.
There are no requirements to join RPIA, and riding along requires only a short Occupational Safety and Health Administration training. However, RPIA offers more training than most ambulance agencies around. You can start out as an observer, and move up reaching various ranks that each require the completion of different training checklists. Students in the club dedicate a lot of their time to training. With monthly drills that vary from stretcher ops to splinting methods to snow training, the students of RPIA are prepared to offer the best patient care around.
During the last weekend in February members attended the 24th annual National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation Conference. The conference was held in Baltimore, MD and consisted of over 80 expert lectures, skills labs, and discussions. Students who attended were able to learn many new or updated skills as well as refresh and practice old skills that may not be used often. This conference is an example of the continuous training that members of RPIA go through to ensure they are able to serve the community.
Members are encouraged but not required to be certified as EMTs. There is an EMT certification course offered once a semester on campus for students and members of the community. The course consists of 180 hours of training and to be officially certified you must pass a county and state written exam as well as a practical exam.
Apart from training its members, RPIA also strives to educate the community by offering various classes to the public. There is an upcoming American Heart Association CPR class being offered on March 26 . The class itself is free but the card is $15 fee to cover the cost. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more information.
Volunteering in EMS is not easy but is very rewarding. If you or anyone you know is interested in emergency medical services, I highly encourage you to go for it. For more information about how to join or about the club in general you can visit http://rpiambulance.com.