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EMTs provide needed campus services

In the ecstatic moments following January’s Bronco victory over the Zags, a life-threatening situation unfolded outside Leavey Stadium. Amidst cheering fans and a large crowd, the quick response of a trained-student Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) helped save a life. In this chaotic moment, the values of the Campus Emergency Medical Services program – training, compassion, professionalism, and care – guided the decisions of student EMTs; and from their actions, a Santa Clara student is alive today.

Mohit Kochar, a sophomore majoring in Public Health, is one of approximately thirty-five students on the team of certified EMTs, who are part of SCU’s Emergency Medical Services program. On the evening of the Gonzaga game, he was leaving the stadium a few minutes early when he noticed Campus Safety officers tending to a student who had collapsed on the outside steps. Although he was off-duty, Mohit quickly assessed the student and began to administer CPR with a Campus Safety officer. They continued until the arrival of on-duty campus EMTs and the Santa Clara Fire Department, who transported the student to a medical facility.

Mohit eventually had an emotional meeting with the student after his release from the hospital along with his grateful family. In February, SCU President Fr. Michael Engh recognized the EMTs and lauded their services during his State of the University address from within the Mission Church. “The recognition, for not only the five of us who were on the scene, but the other thirty EMTs who are on-call every night of the school year, as well as our amazing medical director, was a tremendous honor. It was proud moment to be part of such an extraordinary organization and family here at Santa Clara and the campus EMS program,” Mohit said.

SCU is one of only a few universities that have similar programs. Founded in 1997, Emergency Medical Services is a completely volunteer-based, student-run and organized program. Under the guidance of Medical Director Michele Helms and leadership of a student elected director, Santa Clara’s EMTs are all California certified and Nationally Registered EMTs. To achieve this certification, they complete for entrance into an extensive training program of 120 class hours, and often elect to complete additional training. Following completion, only about half of the trainees are selected to become certified EMTs with SCU EMS.

Student EMTs provide crucial after-hours care for the campus community. They are “first responders,” assessing injuries and illnesses, and referring the patient to the appropriate health care provider. Mohit explains that while many calls are due to alcohol situations and minor injuries, he adds that the incident after the basketball game was “a tremendous wake-up call” that emergencies will happen at times and we must always be prepared. 

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