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Student EMTs are featured in a nationally distributed video

Lehigh’s Emergency Medical Services (LUEMS) team is featured in a film produced by the International Association of Campus Police.

Lehigh's student EMT volunteers practice their craft.

When three students volunteered to serve as emergency medical technicians at Lehigh, they did not realize that national exposure might be in the cards.

Kelsey Cannon ’12, Jesse Greenberg ’10 and Robin Camp ’10, all members of Lehigh University Emergency Medical Services (LUEMS), were featured in a recently released, nationally distributed video produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Titled “Community Involvement in Campus Safety,” the video profiles effective law enforcement programs. It also includes interviews with students and safety personnel from California State University at San Bernardino and the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

Commentary from Lehigh administrators was provided by John Smeaton, vice provost for student affairs; Ed Shupp, chief of the Lehigh University Police Department (LUPD); and Christopher Houtz, LUPD sergeant.

The 11-minute film highlights the breadth of volunteer efforts in college and university law enforcement, says Nancy Kolb, senior program manager for the Washington, D.C. -based IACP, which funded the project.

The film crew visited Lehigh’s campus in late winter to interview administrators on the effectiveness of the program, and to film a number of “mock emergencies.”

“After a few days on campus, it was evident that the LUPD volunteers provide a vital service to the department and the university as a whole,” says Kolb. “Chief Shupp, Sergeant Houtz, and the university staff and administration were extremely welcoming and accommodating to our entire crew. It was a true pleasure to spend time with the students and staff.”

Highlighting successful campus EMS efforts

Kolb and Thomas Feliu of Rocket Media Group produced “Community Involvement in Campus Safety” to highlight successful campus programs such as Lehigh’s team of student emergency medical volunteers. The video can be seen here on the Web site for Volunteers in Police Service, or VIPS, on DVD. It will also be available on the IACP Web site.

The section of the video dealing with Lehigh begins about seven minutes into the film.

In existence for well over a decade now, LUEMS operates under the auspices of the LUPD to help respond to medical emergency circumstances, Shupp says.

The students are trained as first-responders, and are required to be on call throughout the day, evening and on weekends. They are all either state-certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or certified in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Working in concert with the LUPD, the Bethlehem Police Department, Bethlehem’s Emergency Medical Services and St. Luke’s Hospital, they are called upon to provide prompt and sometimes life-saving response, Shupp says.

“These calls can come any time of the day or night, 365 days a year,” Shupp says.

The LUEMS volunteers respond each year to about 200 calls, which can range from a sprained ankle to a heart attack or car accident. The LUEMS team is provided with a fully equipped emergency response vehicle, and utilizes basic first aid and emergency medical equipment supplied through a grant from Johnson & Johnson.

“This program really shows the dedication of our students, who are here for academic reasons, but who are dedicated to volunteering, day and night, to help others. I’m glad they’re getting the credit and attention they deserve,” says Shupp.

“With a commitment like this from our students, Lehigh is a much better and safer place.”

Story by Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009

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