Uncategorized, Undergraduate Programs

CUEMS: Dedicated to providing Emergency Medical Aid to the Clarkson community

Students in the EMS Club pose for a photo


Are you interested in the medical field, want to help your campus community, or are you looking for a tight-knit and dedicated organization to join? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then CUEMS is a great way to get more involved in a way that positively impacts your campus and community.

What is CUEMS?

CUEMS (Clarkson University Emergency Medical Services) first started as a few Clarkson students who were EMTs who worked alongside Campus Safety and Security for on-campus events. At the time, the Director of Campus Safety and Security helped these student EMTs fundraise and develop into a club. The club continued developing and became a New York State Certified Basic Life Support First Response (NYS-BLSFR) Agency, carrying all Basic Life Support (BLS) drugs approved for EMTs in New York State in the North Country Region, allowing them to fully support the health needs of the campus.

CUEMS’s Mission

CUEMS aims to serve the Clarkson Campus community with all medical emergencies free of charge with an average response time of one minute and forty seconds. Within the last academic year, CUEMS responded to 120 calls, including standby coverage and emergency medical response.

CUEMS provides emergency medical care for all emergencies including, but not limited to: mental health emergencies, traumatic injuries such as scrapes, bruises, and broken bones, diabetic emergencies, medical emergencies such as stroke and heart attacks, as well as standby event coverage. They are able to provide rapid response to the Clarkson community free of charge in order to quickly help those in an emergency or help students determine if they need additional care for an injury or medical concern, and where the best location is to seek that help. 

These services are available to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the campus at any time of the day or night.

Students pose outside at an EMS function

How is the Organization Structured?

There are about 35 members of CUEMS. The Executive Board consists of 7 positions, the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Chief, and 2 Assistant Chiefs. These positions are currently filled by Andrew Lally, Isabella Pelkey, DeVaun Baker, Milly Wilson, Emily Locke, Michael Akers, and Kat Cheang, respectively. 

CUEMS is both a club and an agency. Club membership does not require anything other than coming to weekly meetings. To join the agency, there is a required clearing process. Once the clearing process is completed, agency members can begin running calls, either as non-med (those without an EMT license) or as an EMT. Non-meds run under the crew chief’s instructions and are limited in what they can do on calls. 

EMTs have the opportunity to go through a second clearing process by chiefs, to show that they are qualified to run calls as a crew chief. Members are able to determine how much time they would like to put into the organization. Members of the agency can help with coverage of events and scheduled duty crews, which have rather flexible timing. 

Many members find themselves enjoying the experiences and opportunities of the organization and choose to participate in lots of events and training. However, if you have a busy schedule, there will always be opportunities for you to participate when you have the time. 

Club members are able to participate in weekly training to learn more about emergency medical services. The agency members have these same training opportunities but are also able to serve as members of the response teams when someone is in need of medical care.

Training Needed to Join

To join CUEMS, there is no prior training or experience needed. To join the agency, there are required training sessions that are provided during the clearing process free of charge. These trainings include HIPAA, CPR certification, and blood-borne pathogens, as well as training on how to obtain vital signs and work as a team to provide emergency medical care.

Other than the clearing process training, all members (club and agency) can attend weekly meetings to get more training on things such as cold weather, trauma, splinting, etc. CUEMS also has occasional guest speakers at training sessions who can provide more insight into the medical emergencies that are less common on a college campus such as stroke, pediatric care, and traffic injuries.

At least once a year, if not twice, CUEMS has a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) training. This training allows CUEMS members, as well as members of Campus Safety and Security and local law enforcement and emergency responders, to train for the response to an MCI. This training attempts to be as realistic as possible with many actors present as “patients,” makeup artists to simulate injuries, and various responding agencies working together to coordinate patient care. 

This training takes months to prepare for and coordinate but it is something CUEMS finds to be crucial in training the community of responders on how to best care for the Clarkson community should an MCI occur.

A group of Clarkson EMS students pose with medical equipment

CUEMS’s Goals

CUEMS’s goals mainly consist of increasing club membership and campus outreach. Each semester the club meets to outline their goals for the next semester and how they plan to achieve those goals. 

Their biggest long-term goals are getting a garage built to house a response vehicle and further down the line they hope to become a transporting agency with an ambulance.

Off the Clock

If a member is on duty, but not actively running a call, they can do anything they like with the understanding that they need to be prepared to respond. Usually, this entails going to sleep to get enough rest for the next day and leaving their pager sound on so they wake up when a call comes through. During the day, when duty crews are established, they go about their regular days and attend class. When they get a call during the day, any of the available agency members can respond as long as one of the EMT crew chiefs is also responding.

Clarkson CUEMS students walk down a street wearing their CUEMS coats

How to Join

Anyone from any major can join! Students can email CUEMS at cuems@clarkson.edu, or find CUEMS at any of the tabling events that they attend. Students also have the opportunity to come to campus-wide events/training sessions such as CPR certification sessions and Stop the Bleed Days. Just walk up to one of the members at these and they will be glad to answer any questions you may have about the organization or the services they provide. 

Requesting Services 

Students, faculty, and staff can request CUEMS event standby coverage by filling out this Google Form: https://forms.gle/Dt51cDzbyfhEvKeSA which is also available on the Knightlife page. In the event of an emergency, you can reach CUEMS’s services by calling Campus Safety and Security at 315-268-6666.

Under New York State Guidelines and Clarkson’s Policy, requesting help for someone in need will not get you into trouble. If you or someone you know is in need of emergency medical care please feel free to reach out and know that your safety is their number one priority.

Author: Cassidy Marshall

My name is Cassidy Marshall, I'm a Communication, Media & Design Major with a new product development & marketing minor in the class of 2024. I am currently a member of the Pep Band, Kappa Delta Chi, and am a student worker in the Marketing and External Relations Department. In my free time, I enjoy photography, exploring downtown Potsdam, and attending all the hockey games with my friends.

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