On a number of college campuses throughout New Jersey, student volunteers are the first on the scene of a medical emergency.

And they can do essentially everything except transport a patient to the hospital.

"We handle about 200 calls a year on campus," said Scott Sferra, supervisor of The College of New Jersey's own Emergency Medical Services squad.

Every year, the volunteer organization has 35 to 45 students on its roster, on call overnight and during the weekends to respond to emergency calls made from campus grounds. Most years, Sferra has a waiting list of students hoping to be part of the operation, which handles everything from intoxicated students to cardiac arrests.

"Ninety-five percent of our members come to campus already certified as an EMT," Sferra said, noting their college-based EMS squad is as adequately and thoroughly trained as any township-based crew.

At Stockton University, many of the 60 or so involved students also serve on Galloway Township's squad.

Mike Clancy, a Stockton senior and captain of the EMS organization, said they're working toward becoming a 24/7 operation. Currently, duty crews are needed over the weekends and serve on standby for on-campus events.

The crew also features non-EMT members who are CPR certified. Clancy said the squad tends to handle more injuries than illnesses, since the campus is typically inhabited by 18- to 21-year-olds who "tend to be more healthy."

"We'll also have something like a diabetic emergency, mild to severe allergic reactions, stuff like that," Clancy said.

Every month, the squad runs additional training for members, the biology major said.

Around-the-clock coverage is provided by Montclair State University EMS, according to the school's website. The organization, operated by volunteer students, faculty and staff, provides rapid response to "members of the campus and surrounding communities."

The service area also expands beyond campus ground for Rutgers University Emergency Services.




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