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Frequently Asked Questions about BMCEMS

What is BMCEMS and what do we do?

We are a 100% student-led, student-staffed, volunteer organization dedicated to providing Bryn Mawr with the highest quality emergency medical care. We provide immediate medical assessments, life-saving interventions if necessary, and determine the need for further treatment—whether it be a visit to the Health Center the next day, a ride to the ER with Campus Safety, or an ambulance transport. Our goal is to determine the appropriate route of care for the patient’s individual needs. 

All members are EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certified and our members receive extensive training at Narberth Ambulance, the local 911 ambulance corps. BMCEMS works under Campus Safety and a Campus Safety Officer is always on scene with BMCEMS. 

How do I contact BMCEMS?

Any medically related call that comes into Campus Safety will dispatch BMCEMS with a Campus Safety Officer when we are in service.

When should I call for BMCEMS?

If a student experiences a medical emergency, call Campus Safety immediately. Any medical calls that come through Campus Safety will automatically dispatch BMCEMS with a Campus Safety Officer when we are in service. If the Health Center is open (9am-5pm during the week), students should go there immediately for care. Some examples of what BMCEMS is trained to address include: 

  • Allergic Reaction

  • Altered Mental Status

  • Respiratory Difficulty or Distress

  • Dizziness/Weakness

  • Syncope (Passing Out)

  • Diabetic Emergencies

  • Injury, Trauma or Assault

  • Intoxication with other symptoms

  • Overdose

  • Seizures

  • Sickness; Nausea/Vomiting

  • Unresponsive/Unconscious Person

  • Stroke or Cardiac symptoms

  • Behavioral Emergencies; assistance accessing Protocol Counseling

Will BMCEMS members tell their friends about calls on campus?

Absolutely not. Members hold to high standards of confidentiality and privacy in accordance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law that forbids the release of a patent’s personal information). Violation of HIPPA results in large fines, dismissal, loss of one’s certification, and potentially the inability to work in healthcare. Members are not permitted to initiate conversations with prior patients about the care they received or to reveal any information about on campus calls including the location (e.g., dorm) or nature of the call.

Does BMCEMS sit with intoxicated students while they sober up?

No, thanks! In emergency services, we merely provide intermediary care with the primary purpose of stabilizing a patient and determining the need for further care. Intoxicated students who are deemed adequately responsive and do not need to go to the hospital can be left in the care of a responsible and willing friend. An intoxicated student that is unresponsive or significantly disoriented will likely be sent to the hospital. 

Can BMCEMS prescribe medicine?

We provide medical assessments and first aid, not long-term diagnoses or treatments. We will stabilize and prepare a patient for transport in the event that an ambulance needs to be called and we can provide life-saving emergency assistance until an ambulance arrives. We will also assist students in deciding how they would like to receive further medical care based on their symptoms and their personal situation.

What if BMCEMS comes and I don’t want them to treat me?

If a student does not want assistance or feels uncomfortable with BMCEMS, they have every right to refuse care when they are conscious, alert, and oriented. If a student is unconscious or experiencing a serious medical condition, it is implied that they need immediate medical assistance and BMCEMS will automatically render care. With the refusal of services, the student would be turned over to the Campus Safety Officer and the officer will make the decision to call for an ambulance or not. 

Can I receive continuing care from BMCEMS?

Nope. All follow-up care should be through the Health Center during their regular hours (9am-5pm Monday-Friday and 9am-2pm Saturday and Sunday). 

When is BMCEMS available?

BMCEMS will be in-service on Friday and Saturday nights. As the program grows, we will be available more nights of the week and within a few years we hope to cover all the hours in which the Health Center is closed. 

How do BMCEMS members know what do to?

All members are certified EMTs in the state of Pennsylvania, which requires over 150 hours of training, including clinical hours where they work alongside doctors and nurses in Emergency Rooms. The BMCEMS program follows the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Basic Life Support (BLS) Protocols for care that dictate all assessments, treatments, and routes of care that EMT’s are able to provide or assist with. In addition, the program has it’s own Medical Director, an Emergency Room physician, that oversees the level of care provided by BMCEMS and annually assesses the competency of BCMEMS’s providers.

Does BMCEMS charge for services?

We charge absolutely nothing for our services! If BMCEMS responds to a call and a student is concerned about the costs of seeking further medical care, our personnel will help them navigate their options to determine the most appropriate and accessible route of care.

I'm interested in joining BMCEMS! What do I need to do?

The only requirement to apply is an Emergency Medical Technician certification! Email or see our What's an EMT and Apply pages to receive more information about the program and getting an EMT certification. 

I know someone who has concerns about BMCEMS, what should they do?

We encourage comments, concerns, and criticism because we exist solely to serve the Bryn Mawr community and we need feedback in order to do so adequately. Please refer any comments or concerns to Campus Safety, specifically Lil Burroughs at, or speak to your academic Dean if uncomfortable reporting to Campus Safety. 

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