The SUNY Cortland Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS) student group has moved to a new base of operations, taking up residence at 29 Broadway Ave. between North Campus and South Campus. The house was previously used as surge space during campus construction.
The old area used by SCEMS in Van Hoesen Hall is to be renovated as part of updates for its use in teaching labs for education courses.
According to Kaleb Frierson, senior biology major from Moravia, N.Y., and president of SCEMS, emergency response times across campus should be more equal, thanks to the central location of the new building. The new space also is larger, providing more room to grow membership and for the group’s programs.
“Our organization is made up of a diverse and friendly student body who enjoy interacting with each other,” Frierson said. “Having our own home strengthens the comradery. Also, as we take on initiatives like community CPR education, Stop the Bleed, collaboration with other student organizations and increasing our recruitment, the space will afford us more room to do so.”
Additionally, the new location across the street from the University Police Department allows for an easier working relationship between the two public safety agencies.
Despite the improved location, Frierson says that SCEMS is taking precautions to ensure the move doesn’t affect their response time to daytime emergences in classrooms or living areas farther from the new building. They are equipping its members living on campus with “take-home” medical equipment, which allows them to supply immediate aid while other members of SCEMS bring additional equipment or vehicles.
The SCEMS group is staffed by student volunteers 24 hours a day, seven days a week while classes are in session. They provide emergency medical services and educational outreach to the SUNY Cortland community and the surrounding area, coordinating at times with SUNY Cortland’s University Police Department, the City of Cortland Fire Department and TLC Medical Transportation Services.
Following the campus closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Frierson estimates the EMS dwindled to about 10 to 15 active members. Now, he says, there more than 50 with more volunteers expected to add to that number.
“We pride ourselves on being an organization rooted in diversity, acceptance, teamwork,” Frierson said. “We hold ourselves to the standard of excellence and encourage any student of any background with any major to consider joining our team.”
SUNY Cortland EMS can be reached at 607-753-4112 or by email at email@example.com.
Those interested in becoming a member of SCEMS can fill out an application.