Mac First Aid is on call

By Sean Ryan

Roughly 45 Macalester students are now EMT-certified thanks to Mac First Aid’s recent collaboration with the University of Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Department and Hennepin County Medical Center. EMT certification is only one offering of this student org, which was launched two years ago to address a perceived need for student support among medical services on campus. Over 200 students are also first aid and CPR trained. “We met with Jim Hoppe and talked about the need for more education and support for students,” said Igor Stanceric ’12, who co-founded the student-run organization with Ethan Forsgren ’11. “Then we got a group of students together, were approved by MCSG, and then I started teaching First Aid, CPR and AED courses… we got the idea to form an on-call service that would support students in addition to Health and Wellness, especially after-hours or on the weekend.” That on-call service soon became a reality. The Macalester College Emergency Medical Services “serves as a first responder service on campus during typically high demand periods for after-hours medical emergencies,” said Associate Dean for Student Services Denise Ward. “It provides a complement to community services and may result in reducing the number of calls that the St. Paul Fire Department needs to respond to on campus, freeing SPFD to address more community concerns,” Ward said. “It also provides experience for students who may wish to utilize their training in future career and employment endeavors.” MCEMS is one targeted aspect of Mac First Aid’s broader goal to bring emergency medical education and service to the Macalester community. The group’s mission statement emphasizes two large areas of attention: the provision of emergency medical services on campus and the education of students about different medical issues. Since its inception, Mac First Aid has developed a number of programming endeavors to further this mission statement. At Macalester, Mac First Aid offers an EMT-B course, training in First Aid/CPR and Wilderness First Aid. The group is also involved off campus. “We have taught CPR courses at the St. Paul Fire EMS Academy, worked with East African Center for Somali Women and taught courses there, provided response services at a few events in downtown St. Paul, and just recently taught a course for a psychology professor [Darcy Burgund] and supported her with the research she is pursuing,” Stanceric said. The group hopes to increase levels of access over the next few years in an effort ter, which is not open on weekends. “HWC is a primary care provider, not an emergency room,” Ward said. “I would see it as a complement, adding an additional service for students that may help students avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency department of a hospital.” “Long term, MCEMS may assume a broader, after-hours triage role to assist students in determining if emergency care for a medical concern is needed,” Ward said. Students need not be concerned about privacy issues with Mac First Aid, Ward said; MCEMS responders have been trained in confidentiality/HIPAA protocols. “Students should feel confident that the integrity and privacy of their health information obtained as a part of the MCEMS response is protected,” Ward said. Ward emphasized the importance of calling 911 in a true emergency.