RPI Ambulance services reinstated

After 13 months of inactivity due to COVID-19 restrictions, RPI Ambulance services resumed on April 12. The decision to do so comes after the Senate passed a motion addressing the concerns of residential assistants on February 3.

RPIA president Nathan Buckley ’21, expressed his gratitude to “the Student Senate, the President of the Union, and many, many other leaders in both Student Government and the RPI administration,” stating that the RPIA team is “overjoyed to be returning to service, and we can't wait to continue our mission of top-quality patient care.”

According to Buckley, “The approval process mainly consisted of proving that the plans in place will safely care for our patients and prevent our members from getting sick.” RPIA was awaiting approval for updated plans of operation consisting of “additional measures to our industry-standard infection control plan, strict guidelines in place dictating sanitization of equipment, staffing requirements, personal protective equipment, and more.”

Now back in operation, RPIA is assisting the on-campus vaccination clinic as of April 13 before vaccinations were put on hold due to concerns over the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Executive Director of the Health Center Dr. Leslie Lawrence, who oversees RPIA, informed the Rensselaer community, “Out of an abundance of caution, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being closely reviewed by the FDA and CDC due to reports of six cases within the United States of individuals experiencing rare and severe types of blood clots after receiving the vaccine. Currently, these incidents appear to be extremely rare."

Other than aiding in vaccine administration, RPIA operations are mostly the same except for the increased sanitation protocols, greater personal protective equipment, and new staffing requirements that pair a team of drivers and riders (those helping patients in the back of the ambulance) together to reduce contact. Buckley also wishes to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, stating “All three approved variants are incredibly effective; while in the most unusual cases a person may still contract COVID-19 after vaccination, the vaccine basically removes any chance of hospitalization or death from their infection. A day or two of feeling unwell after the vaccine is much better than getting sick and possibly transmitting the disease further.”

Editor's Note: RPI Ambulance services are currently restricted to certain days and are only allowed to respond to calls within Rensselaer county.