EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – In case of emergency, fellow students are at the ready at one of New Jersey’s most popular colleges.
Their all-volunteer EMS crew balances college life with saving lives.
The students at The College of New Jersey are in good hands if they meet some of the members of the TCNJ EMS squad.
Their supervisor says the college crew is just as adequately and thoroughly trained as any township based squad – professionally taught to handle any situation.
“We did have some cardiac arrests in the past… it really can be anything,” senior Melissa Webster said.
Chief Webster is a biology and anthropology major. She was certified to be an EMT at her high school in Union County and has trained for months with professionals in her area.
The volunteers are usually the first to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency on campus.
“We don’t transport. We’re actually a quick response team so we’ll get on scene, and then we can do basically everything a normal EMT can do, and then we decide if we need to call an ambulance for them or not,” Webster explained.
The decision to call for backup is usually made after they assess the situation and determine if hospitalization is necessary.
The TCNJ students say they respond to more than 200 calls each school year.
The trained responders rotate overnight shifts and weekends, staying on call and ready for anything. They can respond anywhere on campus within a few minutes, thanks to their own emergency vehicle.
“We call her Bessy. We got her in 2011. She’s an electric vehicle so she’s kinda like a golf cart,” Meghan Maguire of Chatham said.
Maquire went through Chatham’s EMT cadet program when she was 16. Now 19-years-old, she is studying to become a nurse. She’s even responded to a few psychiatric calls.
“I feel like I really help the person because a lot of times someone is in crisis and they really need to get some help.”
The 30 members say they love giving back to their campus.