Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does CUEMS stand for?
  2. What does CUEMS do?
  3. When is CUEMS in service?
  4. When should I call 911 for EMS?
  5. What should I do when I call 911?
  6. What should I do after I call 911?
  7. What is an EMT, and how is this different from a paramedic?
  8. What type of training do CUEMS members have?
  9. Why do so many people respond to medical emergencies on campus?
  10. What is Bangs Ambulance?
  11. Will I get in trouble if my friend or I have to go to the hospital for drinking too much and we are
    underage?
  12. Will I have to pay for being evaluated or treated by CUEMS?
  13. Do members of CUEMS get paid?
  14. Can I call CUEMS just to be evaluated without having to go to the hospital?
  15. Can CUEMS take me to the hospital?
  16. Why do I sometimes see helicopters landing on campus for EMS patients?
  17. Is my medical problem confidential?
  18. Does CUEMS provide medical support for large events?
  19. Does CUEMS respond on Slope Day?
  20. Where does CUEMS get its funding?
  21. How can I make a donation to CUEMS?
  22. Who can join CUEMS?
  23. How do I become a part of CUEMS?
  24. How can I have someone from CUEMS speak to my group?
  25. Does CUEMS host CPR or first aid classes?
  26. How can I contact CUEMS with other questions, comments, complements, or complaints?
  1. What does CUEMS stand for?

CUEMS stands for Cornell University Emergency Medical Service. On campus,
you may hear us referred to as “Cornell EMS,” “CUEMS,” or simply “EMS.”

 

  1. What does CUEMS do?

CUEMS is certified as an EMS agency by New York State, and is the designated
Basic Life Support First Response Agency for the Cornell Campus, all Cornell owned
properties, and many of the Ithaca area’s surrounding roads and buildings.
Basic Life Support indicates providing care at the level of an Emergency Medical
Technician. We are said to be “first response” because CUEMS does not have a
transporting ambulance. CUEMS responds to calls for medical and traumatic emergencies
to the areas noted above and provides immediate evaluation, stabilization, and care
to the patient or patients requesting assistance. The CUEMS crew chief will explain
your options for further treatment, care, or transport and request the necessary
resources to fulfill these needs. See the other pages of our Website for more extensive
definitions of our roles and duties.

 

  1. When is CUEMS in service?

CUEMS provides a round-the-clock EMS service, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to the campus community and surrounding areas during the
academic year. CUEMS is also in service during special times such as study period, exam weeks, rush week, and orientation. CUEMS is not in service,
however, during school vacations.

 

  1. When should I call 911 for EMS?

You should dial 911 any time you feel that you are having a medical emergency which needs immediate and professional care. This can be as
simple as non-ceasing vomiting or as major as someone who has stopped breathing.

 

  1. What should I do when I call 911?

Try to call from a landline phone, as this will automatically show the
dispatcher your location. If dialing from a campus phone, you will be connected to
Cornell Police in Barton Hall. If calling from a cell phone, your call will most
likely be answered by Tompkins County Emergency Control Center or one of the local
police departments. The dispatcher will ask you questions about the emergency to
decide upon the most appropriate response. It is important that you provide the
dispatcher with as much information as possible, including your exact location, the
best access point to that location, the approximate age and sex of the patient,
how many patients there are (if more than one), what happened, if the patient is
conscious and breathing, if the patient is speaking coherently, and any hazards that
might be present at the scene. The dispatcher will then
dispatch Cornell EMS and other needed units appropriate to the situation.

 

  1. What should I do after I call 911?

If the patient’s condition is serious, the dispatcher may give you instructions as to how to care for the patient before EMS arrives.
Don’t leave or move the patient unless your location endangers you or the patient. Send someone to the best access point to the building to guide EMS
to the patient. Keep the patient warm. Roll them to their side if they are vomiting. Put pressure on anything that may be bleeding. If there is any
potential for head or neck trauma, do NOT move the patient. If you have additional training in CPR and/or first aid then provide
this care to the best of your ability. If you are an EMT or have additional training, please identify yourself to the crew chief when CUEMS arrives.
Having more help is always appreciated if it is needed.

 

  1. What is an EMT, and how is this different from a paramedic?

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are highly trained individuals (eighteen years of age or older)
capable of responding to a wide assortment of medical, traumatic, or psychological
emergencies. They are trained as Basic Life Support providers in techniques of
first aid, bleeding control, airway management, CPR, childbirth, psychological
emergencies, oxygen therapy, and may administer some basic medications (such as
oxygen, glucose, Albuterol, Epinephrine, and Aspirin. Paramedics—and other advanced
EMTs (Intermediate Level and Critical Care Level—can provide more extensive life
saving treatments including cardiac monitoring, endotracheal intubation,
intravenous medications and fluids, and other advanced procedures.
First Responders, EMTs, and Advanced EMTs work together to provide a continuum of
care from the time you call 911 to the time you arrive at the hospital for
additional treatment. For more information about the protocols, abilities,
skill levels, and training of EMS providers, click to visit the NYS
Department of Health,
Bureau of EMS website
.

 

  1. What type of training do CUEMS members have?

CUEMS treats patients at the Basic Life Support Level—more simply, at the
level of training for New York State Emergency Medical Technicians. All CUEMS crew
chiefs (and there is at least one on every call) are certified New York State
Emergency Medical Technicians. All attendants (additional staff on the CUEMS
crew, typically comprised of about three people) on the squad are trained in at
least CPR and first aid. All members complete an extensive “New Member Orientation
Class” when joining the squad which covers many basic life support techniques in
addition to in depth training with our own operations. All members, if not already
trained EMTs, are required to enroll in an EMT class within one year of becoming
members of the squad. Currently, our squad consists of approximately sixty
Emergency Medical Technicians, one Intermediate EMT, one Critical Care Technician,
and one paramedic. All CUEMS members attend weekly training meetings and complete
checklists for promotions in order to maintain skills and constantly practice.

 

  1. Why do so many people respond to medical emergencies on Campus?

This is an effort to provide the most appropriate resources as quickly as
possible. Other agencies you might see on a call are Cornell University Police
Department
and Cornell University Environmental Health and Safety. If CUEMS
decides a patient requires transport by ambulance, Bangs
Ambulance
will also respond to the call. If Tompkins County 911 decides that the patient’s condition
may be life-threatening, either Ithaca Fire Department or Cayuga
Heights Fire Department
may also be dispatched. We work and train with other area agencies to ensure a positive relationship and strong
commitment to a continuum of excellent medical care.

 

  1. What is Bangs Ambulance?

Bangs Ambulance is the designated Ambulance service provider for the City of Ithaca, and Tompkins County. Should you require emergency transportation to the
Emergency Room or Advanced Life Support (paramedics and advanced EMTs), Bangs Ambulance will be called to assist CUEMS. For more information about
the service Bangs provides to the area, click visit Bangs Ambulance’s website.

 

  1. Will I get in trouble if my friend or I have to go to the hospital for drinking too much and we
    are underage?

This is a frequent concern for students. Cornell University has a Medical Amnesty Protocol (MAP)
in which you will not be punished by the Judicial Administrator for underage consumption, disorderly conduct,
or provision of alcohol to a minor if EMS is called for an alcohol-related emergency in most circumstances.
Instead, you will receive a referral to Gannett’s BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College
Students) program. Cornell EMS does not oversee this program, so to find more complete information on MAP please visit their
website.

 

  1. Will I have to pay for being evaluated or treated by CUEMS?

The services that CUEMS provides are entirely free of charge. If you are transported to the hospital or evaluated by
Bangs Ambulance, a cost may be incurred from their billing department;
however, CUEMS does not bill its patients. Ambulance fees are usually covered by most insurance agencies—contact
yours for more information. CUEMS does charge organizations for providing a dedicated crew at preplanned events. For more information on
billing for special event coverage, please contact our Finance Officer at cuemsfinance@cornell.edu.

 

  1. Do members of CUEMS get paid?

Members of CUEMS receive no monetary compensation for the work they provide on a purely volunteer basis.
The CUEMS budget provides for various membership events throughout the year for members;
however, no compensation is provided for shift work and time dedicated to the organization.

 

  1. Can I call CUEMS just to be evaluated without having to go to the hospital?

CUEMS is often requested for purely evaluation purposes. The CUEMS crew chief will evaluate your current medical
or traumatic condition (i.e. the reason you called) and explain to you your options for further treatment, transport,
or care. The crew will be more than happy to assist you in getting the resources you need or the further transportation
or care your condition may require. If you don’t think your condition warrants evaluation by EMS, you can contact Gannett’s
24-hour health care provider phone consultation line at 607-255-5155. They can then advise you about whether to call EMS,
take yourself to the hospital, or wait for a doctor’s appointment.
If you are ever unsure about your own or another’s medical well-being, don’t hesitate to dial 911.

 

  1. Can CUEMS take me to the hospital?

CUEMS is not a transporting agency at this time. If a patient would like to go to Cayuga
Medical Center
, or has a life-threatening condition,
the CUEMS Crew Chief on duty will contact Cornell Police and have Bangs Ambulance
respond. For more information on local health care facilities, feel free to visit their respective websites.

Click for additional information about Cayuga Medical Center.

Click for additional information about Gannett Health Center.

Click for additional information about Convenient Care Center.

 

  1. Why do I sometimes see helicopters landing on campus for EMS patients?

Cayuga Medical Center is a relatively small hospital, and is not equipped to treat some seriously injured
trauma patients. For critically injured patients requiring treatment at a Trauma Center, CUEMS has a number of
air-medical programs at its disposal, including STAT MedEvac 15, Mercy Flight Central, and NYS Police Lifeguard.
Patients may be flown to any one of a number of hospitals depending on flight conditions and specific patient needs,
including SUNY Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse, NY),
Robert Packer Hospital (Sayre, PA), and Arnot-Ogden Medical Center (Elmira, NY).

 

  1. Is my medical problem confidential?

CUEMS staff values your privacy as much as you do. You should know that any call for medical
help will be kept in the strictest of confidentiality by our staff and that of any other agency
responding to your call. Though CUEMS members may be students you could be familiar with, it is
important to realize in this setting we act as professionals and will maintain that relationship
when dealing with your medical problems or concerns. Medical confidentiality is governed by the
HIPAA legislation. For more information about these laws, please feel free to search for
local and federal laws governing the release of medical information by healthcare providers.

 

  1. Does CUEMS provide medical support for large events?

CUEMS does provide EMS coverage for large events. This is the only service that we charge for.
The cost of this service does not go to the crew providing the service, but toward additional necessary
equipment and operations. A fully staffed crew and full set of equipment is sent to any event (academic,
sporting, concert, etc.) to which CUEMS is requested to stand by. If additional resources are necessary
for care, treatment, or transport, these crews are in direct contact with the CUEMS duty crew and dispatch.
To request a CUEMS crew to standby at a large event you may be hosting (or simply for further information) contact our
Scheduling Officer at cuemsscheduling@cornell.edu.
You can also consult our Event Coverage page.

 

  1. Does CUEMS respond on Slope Day?

CUEMS is a very large part of Slope Day each year. Slope Day is by far the busiest day
for CUEMS all year. CUEMS staffs a first aid tent, two truck crews for the campus, and many
foot crews to patrol and respond to emergencies on the slope. CUEMS works closely with Bangs Ambulance, the Cornell Police, and
Cornell Environmental Health and Safety to provide a safe and healthy Slope Day for all students and visitors on the slope.

 

  1. Where does CUEMS get its funding?

CUEMS is officially a student organization here on campus. Our primary source of
funding comes from the Student Assembly and the Student Activities Finance Commission
(SAFC). CUEMS has a finance officer in charge of managing the budget, procuring funding,
and allocating resources to the rest of the executive board for appropriate spending.
Additionally, CUEMS is funded by donations and gifts from family, friends, students,
faculty, and alumni. To learn more about how to donate or about our funding, see the
question below, or contact our Finance Officer at cuemsfinance@cornell.edu.

 

  1. How can I make a donation to CUEMS?

CUEMS gladly accepts gifts, donations, and anonymous donations. Seniors, please consider
making (part of) your senior gift to CUEMS. Practicing EMS is an expensive task and our members
receive no monetary compensation for the work they do. Donations keep CUEMS afloat and help us
to provide the best service possible to our community and campus. If you make a donation to
Cornell University, you can specify how that money is used and if you would like your money to
go to CUEMS. To learn more about how to donate to CUEMS (or to actually donate),
please contact our Finance Officer at cuemsfinance@cornell.edu.

 

  1. Who can join CUEMS?

CUEMS members must be somehow actively affiliated with Cornell University.
Our membership consists of undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni, faculty,
and staff. We eagerly advertise our organization in hopes of finding enthusiastic and
interested future members during each of our two membership drives each semester. The
membership drives are held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters each year.
For more information on membership, visit the Membership Information part of our website,
or contact our Membership Officer at cuemsmembership@cornell.edu.

 

  1. How do I become a part of CUEMS?

Joining CUEMS is a competitive endeavor. That said, we don’t discourage anyone who is interested from applying. Typically, we receive over one
hundred applications in a given membership drive and only have room to accept about twenty new members. CUEMS does not only accept members based on
experience and/or certifications, however. Those items certainly help, but enthusiasm, energy, and interest can more than account for a lack of
state certification. Our membership drives are held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters each year.
For more information on membership, visit the membership information part of our website, or
contact our Membership Officer and cuemsmembership@cornell.edu.

 

  1. How can I have someone from CUEMS speak to my group?

If you’re interested in having someone from CUEMS speak to your group or organization
about the service we provide, EMS operations, EMS skills, CPR, first aid, or any other topic
you feel we can help you with, please feel free to contact our Community Education
Officer
at cuemscomed@cornell.edu. CUEMS often speaks at public events, housing events, and other times
throughout the year as a part of our community outreach and EMS awareness programs.

 

  1. Does CUEMS host CPR or first aid classes?

CUEMS does host CPR and first aid classes by request throughout the year.
A certain number of classes are budgeted for each year at no cost to the organization
requesting them. Once that number is exceeded, a baseline cost may be requested to
cover the cost of books, certification cards, and supplies not owned by CUEMS. Our
CPR and first aid instructors are trained by the American Red Cross and teach various
levels of each skill. They receive no monetary compensation for teaching classes. If
you’re interested in hosting a CPR or First Aid class, please contact our
Community Education Officer for scheduling and further details at cuemscomed@cornell.edu.

 

  1. How can I contact CUEMS with other questions, comments, complements, or complaints?

If you have any further questions that you cannot find the answers to here,
please feel free to contact our Director. If you feel your
answer may be better answered by another member of our Executive Board,

please feel free to contact that person as well. We encourage questions, comments,
complements, and complaints about the service we provide. It allows us to maintain
and improve our service to the ever-growing community that is Cornell. Please feel
free to contact us by email (cuems@cornell.edu), telephone (607.255.9320—non-emergency
only),
or mail (201 Palm Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, Attn: CUEMS).