BYU-Idaho’s EMS agency has been accepted by the State of Idaho. The agency acts as a substitute for the school’s old paramedic program, which was dropped last January according to East Idaho News.
“The State of Idaho has a rigorous application process to ensure that anyone trying to create an EMS agency is properly vetted and meets all of the state’s requirements,” Logan Ellis, the EMS coordinator, said. “It can be a lengthy process and it took BYU-I EMS approximately one year to complete.”
Ellis said the agency is a Basic Life Support non-transport service that is limited to the BYU-I campus and its staff, students and visitors.
Ellis said non-transport means they cannot transport patients anywhere, and they rely on Madison Fire Department to transport patients needing more care than the agency can provide.
“BLS is a specific level of prehospital medical care provided by trained responders,” according to the Department of Health website.
According to the website, typical BLS practices ensure the patient is breathing properly and the circulation of blood is consistent.
“There’s a 5- to 10-minute response time from when a call is made to 911 to when the ambulance shows up, and our role is to stabilize the patient and prepare them for transport,” Ellis said.
Ellis said the agency does not replace regular emergency services but is simply on stand-by at school events, ready to react in the case of an emergency.
Dr. Andrew Bradbury, the EMS agency medical director and physician at the Student Health Center, said those few minutes between the call and the arrival can be huge in saving somebody’s life.
“Our agency will be at events where we are specifically requested by a department, and we’ll be there on-scene when the 911 call goes out, waiting for Madison Fire to respond,” Bradbury said.
Ellis said the agency is only allowed to respond to emergencies at the events they are assigned to, and 911 should still be the first thing people call in an emergency.
“We have so many students here and the large events that we have on campus that something is bound to happen, and we can improve somebody’s odds of survivability if we have first responders on-scene initially,” Ellis said.
Ellis said the EMS agency is always looking for student volunteers.
“I know for a fact there are a lot of people that have EMT certifications on campus that don’t use them, and I’d love to have those people come out and help our agency,” Ellis said.
Ellis said EMTs can maintain their license through the agency and can obtain an Idaho state license if they do not have one.
“It’s great experience for those wanting to go into the medical field,” Ellis said. “This is a fantastic hands-on patient care experience for me and for my résumé.”
Students wanting to volunteer can contact the Student Health Center’s front desk or call at 208-496-9330 and ask about volunteering for the BYU-I EMS agency.