In the spring of 2012, Marty and I were approached by another EMT with the goal to provide emergency medicine to the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. We got in touch with someone on campus that shared a passion for EMS, and he was the key to legitimizing the program through the Environmental Health and Safety Office. We didn't actually provide any services until I personally graduated, but we experienced a hurdle at the end of spring 2012. We were losing some of our EMTs. You need to be a current UIC student in order to work with the program.
Marty was asked to become a lead instructor of an EMT course in the summer of 2012. This was something he definitely didn't plan for but took it in stride. His first cohort had 17 students. Since then, the demand for the class has grown. I came on in the spring of 2015. I was a fresh paramedic with a passion to share my new found knowledge and skills.
The EMS program even had an ambulance at one point. It was servicing a mile radius around UIC's campus. The most infamous case was a response to a patient that was hit by a semi-truck. The EMT crew applied a tourniquet on her and transported her to Cook County Hospital.
For a variety of reasons, the department got rid of the ambulance. We continued providing non-transport BLS to events on campus. Basketball games at the pavilion and church events at the forum. During the peak of the pandemic, our EMTs assisted with students that needed to quarantine in the dorms. The EMTs were also called upon to provide COVID vaccines.
At times, we can be seen as a bunch of students simply having fun and using this as a means to gain experience for other things. Regardless of our reasons for becoming an EMT, I could not be prouder of the professionalism our group has displayed during my time with them.