Employees of the University of Richmond Emergency Medical Service purchased an SUV to help respond to on-campus calls more efficiently.
"The new, quick-response vehicle will allow us to improve patient care and will put us on the same level as other similar collegiate EMS organizations around the country," said campus police officer Beth Simonds.
Before the purchase of the SUV in October, UREMS first responders had two methods of transportation: They could either respond to calls on foot or drive their personal vehicles to the scene, while still abiding by all of the Virginia state traffic laws, Simonds said.
Because the vehicle is still being outfitted by Richmond Ambulance Authority, UREMS is currently still responding by the two traditional methods, Simonds said.
But, the new SUV is expected to be in service at the beginning of the spring semester, Simonds said.
The primary function of the vehicle will be as a BLS (basic life support) non-transport vehicle.
It will bring the UREMS first responders from wherever they are on campus to the location of the emergency in a timely fashion, but without the capability of transporting a patient to the hospital, said Richard Jamesley, the president of UREMS operations.
"One way the vehicle will improve campus safety is it will allow UREMS to carry more advanced equipment that normally cannot be carried in a standard First Responder bag," said Matt Palmisano, the vice president of UREMS operations. "This will allow us to improve our patient care and will benefit all community members and anyone who is visiting our campus."
The funding for the SUV came from the Richmond Ambulance Authority; the University of Richmond Police Department; student activities; and Patrick Oliver, a university alumnus and the founder of UREMS.
The decision to purchase the vehicle was made because university officials, campus police and Richmond Ambulance Authority believed that UREMS had reached a level of maturity as an organization to properly use the benefits of having a BLS non-transport vehicle, Simonds said.
"The vehicle is a major step in UREMS's goal of becoming one of the best collegiate EMS programs in the world," Jamesley said.
Contact staff reporter Ryann Dannelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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