FUEMS Envisions Expansion To LC


Angela Chen/The Observer FUEMS serves the Rose Hill community, providing emergency medical services through student EMTs.


Fordham University Emergency Medical Services (FUEMS) provides aid to the Rose Hill community through the help of student emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Acting as the first-responders to campus emergency situations, FUEMS is registered as a basic health support emergency response agency with the New York State Department of Health. One hundred and seventy students volunteer for FUEMS, and the staff operates two ambulances stationed on campus.

Alexis Verwoert acts as the director of FUEMS and is also the “second-most qualified caregiver.” Verwoert oversees the scheduling and shifts of the joint staff, or e-board, which is comprised of the student volunteers. She and Chief of Medical Staff Logan Clair run the day-to-day activities of the organization.

Students can assume the roles of ambulance drivers, basic EMTs, crew chiefs and student attendants. Crew chiefs are fully EMT-certified and act as primary carevers. According to Verwoert, student attendants are roles for individuals wishing to “dip their toes” into emergency medical services. Student attendants take vitals and assist the crew chiefs in emergency situations. Basic EMTs, drivers and crew chiefs participate in two shifts a week.

In terms of certification, Fordham offers an EMT course to FUEMS volunteers once a semester at Rose Hill. Through this program, FUEMS members can progress through the ranks of volunteers and gain first-response skills. Verwoert emphasized that students of all majors participate in FUEMS — not just pre-health students. “Knowing how to stay calm and get your point across when it’s not an ideal scenario is a great skill,” Verwoert said.

Mira Bhattacharya, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’21, is a psychology major and pre-health student who volunteers for FUEMS. Bhattacharya is crew chief in training, and she joined FUEMS as one of her pre-health extra-curricular activities. “A lot of people in my classes were telling me what an amazing opportunity it was,” Bhattacharya said. “It’s been great to get hands-on experience early on.”

When Verwoert became the director of FUEMS, she recognized the need to expand FUEMS to the Lincoln Center campus. Some Lincoln Center students commute to Rose Hill to participate in FUEMS because there are no volunteer EMS positions for Lincoln Center students to assume. However, Verwoert is spearheading the expansion into Lincoln Center.

Seeing that it was a trek for Lincoln Center students to participate, Verwoert said, “I think it’s a shame that more [Lincoln Center] students aren’t involved, so I made a push to get them certified at John Jay.” Starting this semester, FUEMS-sponsored EMT certification courses have become a reality for Lincoln Center students at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which is just two blocks away from the Lincoln Center campus. Currently, four Lincoln Center students are taking the course.

Both Verwoert and Bhattacharya envision FUEMS volunteer positions on the Lincoln Center campus. Verwoert said, “I think it’s important, but in order to get established, we need EMTs who are Lincoln Center students to get qualified here. I don’t envision an ambulance, but I do see stationing first responders at Lincoln Center with first-response equipment.” In that vision, student EMTs could act as first responders to emergencies on the Lincoln Center campus.