Two students are sitting around in the conference room in the Public Safety office when a radio sitting on the table suddenly crackles and emits the voice of an officer. The students stand up. As representatives of the Fairfield Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Rescue Team, they jump into action.

Members of the EMS club sacrifice hours of free time to do what they love: helping others who are in trouble.

“When you get out there, it’s like nothing else,” said Diana Westcott ’10, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a nursing major.

“There’s nothing better than helping someone in their time of need, no matter what,” she said.

Since January 2007, the EMS club has been working in conjunction with Public Safety, the Health Center and the school’s administration to find its niche in on-campus health services.

This semester, student EMTs are the first responders to emergencies on campus on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. They also drive non-emergency transports to local hospitals on weekend nights, work as standby EMTs at sports games and act as safety escorts.

“I love being able to go somewhere where everyone likes to do the same thing and everyone loves to give up their Friday nights to help somebody,” said Westcott. “There’s nothing like helping a peer – someone who could be you, could be your brother or your sister.”

According to EMS club President Calin Calabrese ’10, it was difficult to form an official EMS organization at first.

“A lot of administrators and faculty and staff are a little hesitant seeing … 18-to-22-year-olds treating patients on campus,” said Calabrese.

However, an initial core group of students worked hard to prove themselves and to establish the team.

Now, almost a year later, several members of the EMS club have joined Westport EMS, a local service.

After students complete an orientation program in Westport, they become a member of the team, working shifts as little as three hours or as long as six.

Calabrese said that the partnership with Westport EMS is a great opportunity for because Fairfield students gain valuable EMT experience and Westport gains volunteers.

“This isn’t in the confined space of Fairfield U,” said Calabrese. “Now we’re branching out into the surrounding communities, which is even more important.”

Christina Putts ’10, a nursing major, has ridden with the Westport team.

Putts said that her work as an EMT both at home and through Fairfield have given her an advantage in some of her nursing classes.

But many passionate EMS club members, including Chris Barry ’10, are not nursing majors.

Barry, an undeclared major in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he is not sure if he wants to go into the medical field.

“I do it because I love it,” said Barry.

Westcott agreed: “It’s rewarding, even if it’s not a thank you. You know at the end of the night that you did something.”

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