This week, Lions’ Emergency Medical Services (LEMS) is participating in National Collegiate EMS Week, celebrating the work of EMS units across the country, as well as educating students on campus about different health issues.
LEMS members are on call 24-hours-a-day during weekends and weekday nights; the more veteran members staff all day weekdays, working around classes and other obligations to be on call in case of an emergency.
They receive no pay, and work on an entirely voluntary basis.
But according to Nimit Saraiya, publicity chair of LEMS, their work is far from unnecessary. Saraiya said the group receives 250 to 300 calls a year, and members stand by at all sports events in case of an emergency.
“For no pay, and barely any benefits to themselves, these people sacrifice their weekends, sleep and time for that one moment to help a person in need,” Bruce Cheong, EMS deputy chief of operations, said. “I am very proud and honored to serve with the men and women of Lions’ EMS.”
It has been six years since LEMS was started by Brian White, when a patient died on campus due to a lack of first responders at the College. Since then,
the club has grown by leaps and bounds.
“We currently have over 60 members, and around 35 are actively on duty,” Saraiya said.
LEMS offers free Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training to any students interested in joining, allowing them to recruit beyond students who were trained previously or who are biology or nursing majors.
According to Saraiya, nearly every major in the College is represented.
Many interested students are trained every year.
“I think one of the best parts of being in Lions’ EMS is the free EMT training,” Cheong
said. “This is how I got my start in EMS, and I don’t think the club would be where it is now without that benefit.”
According to Cheong, about 10 new EMTs are trained by LEMS every year.
Some students remember seeing LEMS members carrying huge bags of indiscernible purpose around campus with them, the purpose of which Cheong explained.
“Those packs are pretty much a 49-pound ambulance in a bag,” he said.
Since LEMS doesn’t have its own ambulance, they use the backpacks, filled with tools and supplies needed for an emergency, to get what they need to any sort of emergency.
Over the course of the week, LEMS will be hosting events in Brower Student Center to inform the campus about LEMS and general health issues.
Wednesday, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., LEMS will be giving out information about their club, giving health information and holding a bake sale to raise money. There will also be contests where prizes will be given out.
Thursday the organization will present “A Day in the Life of an EMT” from noon to 3 p.m., where members of LEMS will demonstrate what they do while on duty and allow volunteers to participate in the examples to see what their work is like.
“It will give people an idea of what an EMT does,” Saraiya said.
Friday brings the Lions’ EMS Demonstration Expo, described by Saraiya as a finale to the week’s events.
During the day, LEMS members will practice response to various emergencies and hold contests such as guessing the time it takes for members to rescue someone from a car accident.
LEMS is always accepting new members, whether you have had full training as an EMT or are just interested in what they do.
“There’s no other club where you are literally saving lives,” Cheong said.
Regardless of whether you want to be active in the field or just help with the club, LEMS welcomes new members to share in their work.
“There is a particular bond among members of EMS,” Cheong said. “It’s one of those things you have to be in to really appreciate it.”