August 25, 2016

Cornell EMS to Commemorate 40 Years of Community Service

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With 40 years of experience under its belt, Cornell University Emergency Medical Services will hold a ceremony to commemorate its milestone anniversary on Cornell’s campus on the Arts Quad this Friday.

The event — which comes at the tail end of a week-long celebration — is expected to draw between 300 and 400 people and will include various amenities, including an inflatable obstacle course, therapy dogs and a free ice cream truck, according to Prawallika Gangidi ’17, director of CUEMS.

“By hosting this celebration we wanted to not only showcase some of the things that CUEMS does but we wanted to give back to the community in some way,” she said.

While Gangidi hopes that students enjoy the week’s festivities, she also said she is optimistic that events will help Cornellians gain useful knowledge about CUEMS and its presence on campus.

“We hope that this celebration will increase awareness and allow more people to learn about what we do, and better understand the resources on campus,” she said.

In addition to Friday’s festival, CUEMS has hosted several events this week to raise awareness about important health issues that impact Cornell students.

The group promoted a “Mine Not Yours” campaign to prevent the spread of infectious disease by sharing drinking cups, taught individuals at RPCC how to take blood pressure and hosted a hands-only CPR event on Ho Plaza, according to Gangidi.

“We are hoping to increase the presence of CUEMS by increasing our community education efforts,” she said. “We have been doing well with new initiatives over the past couple of years but we hope to be an even more integral part of the community. We will be working with Gannett and the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives to increase our collaboration and our public health efforts.”

Going forward, CUEMS hopes to increase its presence on campus, but the group does not plan to accomplishing this goal by dramatically increasing membership.

“CUEMS usually consists of around 60 to 70 members,” said Viraj Khetani, membership officer of CUEMS. “Our general membership stays pretty consistent. We have two membership drives every year… We generally accept about 8-15 members each drive.”

Above all else, the group hopes this week will enable CUEMS to recommit to its mission and better aid students in the future. As a student-run group, Gangidi hopes that the team is able to break down the reluctance students feel about calling for medical help.

“We hold ourselves to the highest clinical standards and all our members undergo a rigorous training program,” she said. “With that said, we are your fellow peers. We are here for the community and we want students to feel comfortable calling for medical attention and that there are no stigmas associated with doing so.