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New vehicle helps thriving Lehigh EMS

From left, Andrew Lemchen ’12, Sgt. Christopher Houtz, Debbie and Marc Lemchen, and Lehigh Police Chief Edward Shupp at the dedication of the new van.

A new member has been added to the Lehigh University Emergency Medical Services (LUEMS)  team.

The team recently welcomed the addition of a new van that was purchased for transportation during medical emergencies. The purchase was made possible through a leadership gift made by Lehigh parents Marc and Debbie Lemchen, as well as collective support from alumni and parents, the university, the LUEMS team and the Lehigh University Police Department.

LUEMS is a school organization of student volunteers that responds to Lehigh calls for medical emergencies.  There are multiple levels of expertise that members of EMS can have: Observers must be CPR-certified, and, when on calls, they fill in forms for the patients and help the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) in treating the patients.  EMT’s monitor patients’ vitals and help with basic medical care until patients can receive full medical treatment.  Crew chiefs oversee calls, as well as the crew that responds to the call.

Marc and Debbie Lemchen, the parents of LUEMS member Andrew Lemchen ’12, say they were inspired by their son’s hard work and dedication to the organization.

“Andrew became involved with LUEMS his freshman year,” says Marc Lemchen.  “He went on to become a certified EMT. Seeing his dedication inspired us.  Our contribution of a new EMS vehicle was our way of carrying on this effort to help people in crisis.  We cannot tell you how excited we are to play a role in the work of LUEMS.  We commend those at Lehigh for their selfless dedication.”

Kelly Predmore ’12, an accounting major and captain of EMS, says that the donation came as a pleasant surprise to members of the organization.

“We had been told at the beginning of the year that our old truck was unsafe for calls,” says Predmore. “We were surprised and really grateful for the donation by Andrew’s parents. We had been saving for a new truck, but now we have a new vehicle and have extra money for repairs and can save for a new truck and equipment in the future. This takes off stress and pressure.”

A dedication for the new van was held in November near Goodman Stadium before the Lehigh vs. Georgetown football game.  In attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Lehigh University Police Department (LUPD)  Chief Edward Shupp; Sgt. Christopher Houtz, supervisor of the LUPD Investigations Unit and staff advisor of EMS; Marc, Debbie, and Andrew Lemchen; Kelly Predmore, and many other members of LUEMS.

“We thanked alumni and the Lemchens for what they’ve done,” says Predmore.  “We’re planning to give the Lemchens a frame with a picture of the ribbon cutting.”

Sgt. Houtz, a certified EMT since 1982, has overseen the expansion and development of LUEMS from about two dozen members to roughly 60 since he became the advisor for the club in 2003.

“I have seen LUEMS grow and continue to improve since I have been involved with them,” says Houtz.  “They continue to improve the service through training, technology, and equipment.”

No experience or specific field of study is required to join EMS.  Classes for new members are held at the beginning of each semester, as each new member must pass a test to join the club.  Those interested in LUEMS can contact the organization at inluems@lehigh.edu.

Story by Caitlin Prozonic '11

Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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