|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2009)|
|Motto: "Leadership through service"|
|Headquarters||117 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
|Jurisdiction||RIT Main Campus|
|BLS or ALS||BLS|
|Chief||Zach Roberts, EMT-B|
|Asst. Chief||Matt Purcell, EMT-B|
|Medical Director||Dr. Brooke Durland, MD|
RIT Ambulance (RITA) is a student run, 911 dispatched collegiate New York State Certified Basic Life Support Ambulance Corps, run under Rochester Institute of Technology Student Health Center. The ambulance serves the entire Rochester Institute of Technology campus and portions of surrounding Henrietta, New York.
RIT Ambulance provides coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year, except during institute closing during Christmas break. The ambulance is staffed on a volunteer basis by students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (April 2013)|
Shortly after RIT’s move from inner city Rochester to the existing campus in Henrietta an old barn that was left on the purchased property caught fire and began to burn. Alpha Phi Omega(APO) brother Neil Gorfain roused his fellow APOs and began to direct traffic as emergency service personnel began to respond. As the campus grew and matured Student Housing was plagued by frequent fire alarms, and the evacuating student were often in the way of Pinkerton Security officers, and each other. After the barn incident the Xi Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega proposed adopting crowd control as one of their mandated services to the institute.
After Student Housing consented to this plan, when a fire alarm sounded, campus security would notify the on-call APO brother via room phone, who would rouse his brothers and move the crowd to a safe distance until the building was cleared. This band of Fraternity brothers were designated the Emergency Unit. In 1970, when the majority of the EU members were graduating, APO made the decision to open the organization to non-fraternity members. That same year a student in hypoglycemic shock was found in the first floor of building 35 (Kate Gleason Hall.) The Pinkerton Security officers, due to a lack of first aid training, restrained multiple students, an ambulance volunteer, and U.S. Army Medics trying to help. The student was saved with some quick thinking and a sugar shaker until Henrietta Volunteer Ambulance was called to the scene. Following this incident the restrained medics and ambulance volunteers decided to join the EU, where a significant change could be made on campus. The unit changed its credo to that “No member of the RIT Community should lose their life due to ignorance or lack of training and experience on the part of others.” A volunteer leader of the new unit was selected, and Student Housing withdrew their sponsorship, recognizing a change in the organization’s objectives.
Fall quarter of 1970, the group reconvened, and under the Medical Direction of Dr. Hugh H. Butler the group was given first aid kits once their training was complete. Dr. Butler agreed to aid the group in triage, and case review. Due to the conflict in Vietnam, and the still fresh Kent state shooting, many departments on campus were opposed to such a “militaristic medical organization” on campus. Student support for the organization was strong, and one evening hundreds of students disrupted a boardroom meeting in an anti-war protest, causing the board of trustees to shut the institute down for a week. Keith Taylor, President of the Student Association, was vehemently opposed to the EU, fearing the possibility that the organization rendering aid would result in death or other situations in which the institute would be liable. Dr. Butler stood his ground for the agency, and Scott McLeod, VP of SA, gave a passionate speech that swayed many voting members. The Student Association advised adopting the name Student Safety Unit, following a passing vote of overwhelming margin. The RIT Student Safety Unit was created.
In the beginning students were outfitted with oversized blue and yellow windbreakers, yellow-rimmed flashlights, and first aid kits. SA did not provide any funding, so the members paid for their own uniforms, a necessary tradition that has been continued to this day. The unit was given an old panel van, Van #7, that was frequently out of service for repairs. When #7 was unavailable, a patrol car was used to retrieve students from hospitals following transport by HVA. As call volume climbed first from 10, to 15, to 100 in a year, agency members got into great shape, a natural consequence of having to sprint down the quarter mile walkway for a medical emergency on the academic side of campus. In 1971 the agency acquired a member certified by the American Red Cross to conduct first aid training, meaning members did not have to be certified through Henrietta Volunteer Ambulance. In the summer of 1972 SSU helped sandbag the Genesee River in preparation for Hurricane Agnes. That same year RIT purchased a Ford station wagon, made available to SSU, offering increased comfort, and reliability to students being transported. In 1973 the SSU received a new red van exclusively for SSU use. Fuel, repairs, and insurance were covered by administration. This vehicle did not have emergency lights, as most areas of campus were accessible very quickly. In the fall of 1974 SSU decided to make a commitment to provide 24/7 coverage to campus, with the number of EMTs in the organization approaching 50% in 1975. By the end of 1976 the number of calls SSU had provided assistance to was approaching 1,000.
In 1981, RIT's Student Safety team became a certified ambulance corps known as RIT Emergency Medical Unit. A year later, in 1982, the unit announced that it would no long be offering non emergent transportation to and from area hospitals. In 1983 it was renamed to RIT Ambulance.
For many years the RIT Ambulance Corps was only dispatched to emergencies by RIT Public Safety, but in 1993 became a Monroe County EMS subscriber. Subscription to the Monroe County system served to ensure that 9-1-1 calls on the RIT Campus would be appropriately routed to RIT Ambulance Corps rather than to the Henrietta Ambulance.
The RIT Ambulance constitution is in the process of being rewritten. Until a new version is approved, the current version remains in effect.
RIT Ambulance is governed by a constitution which defines two different organizational divisions. The Executive Board is the primary body for organizational oversight and personnel management. The Operations Staff is in charge of handling the day to day issues of the ambulance corps. The structure of these groups are listed below.
The Executive Board is elected by the membership. Positions are filled annually or as vacancies occur. The only member of the Operations Staff that is directly elected by the membership is the Chief of Operations. The Chief is then responsible for appointing well qualified personnel to the Operations Staff, including the Deputy Chief, Captains, Training Director, and Equipment Director. Members then vote to ratify these appointments at the next monthly membership meeting.
Meetings are held for both bodies on a regular basis. Generally, the Executive Board meets on a weekly basis while the Operations Staff holds meetings on a bi-weekly basis. The meetings are open to all that choose to attend except for small portions of closed discussion on private and sensitive issues.
RIT Ambulance membership is open to RIT students, faculty and staff. While anyone can be a member, a great deal of training and commitment is required to become cleared in a position. Members who have cleared are assigned a 6Mxxx radio identifier and are allowed to work without a trainer on the ambulance or first response vehicle.
RIT Ambulance members work in at least one of several areas:
Observers are basic members of the RIT Ambulance corps. Observers receive blood borne pathogen training and are certified in basic CPR. Observers are typically new members working on qualifications in another area.
Drivers are responsible for safely operating the ambulance in both emergency and non-emergency capacity. Drives to a scene, assists with patient care, and transports to the hospital.
Command Officers, or COs, are responsible for handling any operational issues during their shift. The CO also responds to calls meeting specific criteria including: more than one ambulance is responding or triage is required, HAZMAT incidents, confirmed structure fire(s) on campus, motor vehicle accident with reported people trapped, vehicle overturned, or RIT Ambulance vehicle involved. A CO may also respond to any RIT Ambulance call at his or her discretion, but will not engage in patient care unless requested to do so or under extreme circumstances.
in the Ambulance corps. Members must work through various stages of qualification, with each stage having additional training and added responsibility. Typically, a member would progress through the following stages:
Trainees are currently completing training, and may act under the supervision of a trainer on responses.
Apprentices have completed all required training, but have not yet participated in enough responses or had enough experience to be recognized by the Operations Staff. A member in the Apprentice position can make a full crew with another person who is fully cleared in both their position, and the apprentices position, although that member does not need to be a trainer. The Dispatch and Command Officer positions do not have an apprentice stage.
Cleared members have completed all training, and are approved to operate autonomously.
Trainers are qualified members, often with experience from outside of the RIT Ambulance, who instruct RITA members on operations and conduct training sessions.
- Administrative Member
Administrative members are members without any medical training who provide administrative aid to the corps. An administrative
RIT Ambulance operates two emergency vehicles
|Name||Year||Vehicle Info||Unit Type|
|6359||2006||Road Rescue E-450 Metro Medic||Transport Ambulance|
|Defib 63||2011||Chevrolet Tahoe||First Response Vehicle|
Relations with other emergency organizations
RIT Ambulance responds to all medical emergencies on RIT's campus. RIT Ambulance may also respond to calls off the RIT campus if the need arises, as determined by the Monroe County Emergency Communications Department (ECD.) RIT Ambulance is also a member of the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation.
- "Emergency Services Directory". Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "Standard Operating Procedures".
- "History". Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- "RIT-Center for Student Conduct&Conflict Management Services- Student Health Center Rights, Responsibilities, and Information". Retrieved 27 April 2009.
- ""campus EMS organizations listings"". Retrieved 27 March 2009.