Student Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) unveiled a new campus ambulance with the help of the Student Government Association (SGA).
The event took place on Wednesday, March 29 in front of the Student Center.
The director of emergency medical services (EMS), Michelle Kight, said these new ambulances were much needed.
“We needed one new ambulance to replace an older one that had run its last mile,” Kight said. “As an agency that responds to 911 calls, we are required to have a second ambulance as a backup in case one goes out of service for repairs, and also to be able to respond to multiple emergencies at once. We also use our second ambulance to cover football and soccer games and other special events on campus.”
These new ambulances have new technology and much more to help the campus community.
“Our new ambulance has updated equipment, including a hydraulic stretcher which raises and lowers with the touch of a button, which is something EMTs really appreciate,” Kight said. “Traditional stretchers are incredibly heavy to lift and load into an ambulance. This stretcher makes the lifting and loading really effortless and dramatically decreases the risk of injury.”
Kieran Barrett, chief of Montclair State’s police department, is grateful the SGA was able to help the EMS program and fund this new ambulance.
“The University Police Department is always proud of the work our student EMTs do to keep our campus community well and we are continually impressed with their dedication to rapid medical attention,” Barrett said. “We are indebted to the [SGA] who over 25 years ago began this service, now overseen by University Police and under the direction of Director [Kight], here at the university with students and community in mind and has continued their commitment with the funding of this state of the art ambulance. It should be a comfort to our community to know the care that is put into the EMS program.”
Barrett opened the ceremony by recognizing Montclair State’s EMS team’s commitment, efforts and service on campus.
“Through it all, our students, the EMTs you see gathered here before you and hundreds of others before them, for the last 25 years, have stood up to make the calls,” Barret said. “University Police Department stands here today not only to show our appreciation for our new ambulance but to applaud each and every one of these students for their selfless dedication to the medical profession and to our community.”
Angell Alvarez is a senior molecular biology major. She serves as the first lieutenant in EMS.
She acknowledged the value of the new ambulance.
“We are a student-run organization, so we operate around campus 24/7,” Alvarez said. “We really felt like the new ambulance was vital to the quality of care that we provide all around campus.”
Alvarez said the new ambulance was long-awaited and she is grateful EMS received it.
“It’s very exciting,” Alvarez said. “Being someone that started here four years ago, it’s something very rewarding to see that members that are coming after get to have this and enjoy it.”
Mario Rodriguez is a junior exercise science major. He’s been with Montclair State’s EMS for two years. He said he sometimes gets to drive the ambulance.
“It’s really nice to see the changes,” Rodriguez said. “In [these] short two years, I’ve been able to see a lot happen, and getting a new ambulance allows us to do so many new [things] and provide much better care for our patients.”
The SGA received recognition for its efforts in making the purchase of the ambulance possible. EMS awarded the SGA with a plaque.
Newly reelected SGA president, Richard Steiner-Otoo, attended the unveiling. He is proud to have contributed to the investment of a new ambulance.
“This is something that has actually been in the process for a long time,” Steiner-Otoo said. “I was the attorney general last year in the SGA and I know the [former Ashon] Lanada administration was working hard to make this happen. I first want to shout out all the EMS students who really advocated because they came into the meeting, they spoke to legislators and convinced them and said, ‘Hey, this is why we need another ambulance.’”
Steiner-Otoo said this is not only a win for EMS but for the campus community as a whole.
“Without this EMS service, students would have to pay upwards of $2,000 for every single ride,” Steiner-Otoo said. “It was really amazing to be able to contribute to that. We’re just happy that we were able to do it this year.”