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UVU’s Student Emergency Response Team Provides Quicker Response To Campus Medical Emergencies

24 October 2012 No Comment

October 23, 2012
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Jim Rayburn (801) 863-8504

When a medical emergency happens on campus, Utah Valley University employees and students are getting a faster response from medically trained personnel than was once available.

The newly formed and student-led UVU Emergency Response Team has two emergency medical trainees on duty weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to serve as first responders to all campus medical emergencies. There are also at least two emergency responders on duty for all major campus events.

“Those in need of medical attention on campus are basically getting a response at least 10 minutes sooner than they would have in the past,” said Zach Lyman, a senior majoring in emergency services administration and director of UVU’s ERT.

The ERT, comprised of about two-dozen students taking classes in the Emergency Services Department, has an office in the Computer Sciences Building. The on-duty responders also patrol campus wearing a red team shirt and backpack containing medical response equipment and supplies, which makes the team visible to the campus community.

“For those students who are going on to pursue careers as paramedics or careers in medicine, their time on the ERT gives them the kind of street experience that will only benefit them later on,” said Margaret Mittelman, a UVU associate professor of emergency services. “It’s truly hands-on, out-of-the classroom experience where they are applying the things they are learning in the classroom. They are also providing a valuable service to the community.”

When UVU police dispatch receives a call for medical help it immediately radios the ERT and two on-duty team members immediately respond. The ERT has been operating since winter semester 2012 and responds to an average of five to seven calls per week.

“We’ve already seen everything you can possibly think of that would require emergency medical services,” Lyman said.

Orem City Fire & Rescue paramedics are also dispatched and establish immediate communication with the ERT to assess the degree of the emergency and determine whether the Orem paramedics are needed.

“The ERT’s assistance with medical calls frees up our officers to more closely investigate the event and focus on contacting family members,” said John Brewer, chief of police at UVU. “The team also provides more complete first aid to those in need. It helps bridge the time between our notification and response from Orem paramedics by providing valuable first aid and assistance.”

The concept of the ERT was hatched last year when Lyman witnessed an on-campus medical emergency and felt that, with so many UVU students studying emergency services, a campus ERT could reduce critical response times. He eventually wrote a research paper on the projected efficiency of a campus ERT and then convinced UVU administrators to give the program approval. The ERT is funded through Student Life and fees collected from organizers of major campus events.

This fall, Lyman was presented with the UVU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Student Service Award for his efforts to establish the ERT to benefit the campus community.

“These students have gone above and beyond our initial expectations,” said Bob Rasmussen, associate vice president of student life and dean of students. “They are providing a critical campus service that we don’t have other resources for or could otherwise afford. These students are also engaging in the types of situations that they’ll find in their potential careers and areas of study, and that’s a valuable service to them as well.”


Members of UVU's ERT patrolling campus

Zachary Lyman

About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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