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UREMS now using First Response Vehicle to impact patient care

Published: February 21, 2013, 1:29 am ET
Collegian Reporter

Members of University of Richmond Emergency Medical Services acquired a First Response Vehicle on Jan. 26, in hopes that it will assist student EMTs in responding to medical emergencies as quickly as possible.

UREMS President Richard Jamesley said the vehicle had already improved response times for the providers who had previously responded to calls on foot. The new vehicle will also enable responders to carry more equipment and will greatly increase UREMS visibility on campus, Chief of Operations, Matt Palmisano said.

The UREMS vehicle is a fully equipped Ford 2013 Escape Ecoboost SE, according to the Richmond Ambulence Authority (RAA). reported that the brand new SUV was outfitted as a basic life support, non-transport emergency vehicle, with state-mandated road safety and communications systems. The vehicle further boasts roof-mounted solar panels that keep battery-powered equipment continuously charged.

Jamesley, and Palmisano both believe that the new vehicle will make a positive impact on patient care, they said.

Obtaining the permission for UREMS to have a vehicle on campus was a lengthy process, Jamesley said, which had required the approval of the RAA Board of Directors. The license for the basic life support, non-transport emergency response vehicle is under Richmond Ambulance Authority’s name, and UREMS, a partner agency for RAA on campus, also operates under RAA’s medical director, Joseph Ornato, Palmisano said.

“Only our most experienced providers, UREMS 1s, are cleared to drive the vehicle, and they have it in their possession during their 24-hour shifts,” Jamesley said.

Every UREMS first responder who drives the vehicle is required to undergo the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) training with the RAA and to complete a University of Richmond online driving course, Jamesley said.

EVOC training helped drivers become comfortable driving the car at all speeds and taught them both offensive and defensive driving tactics, Palmisano said.

The training involved a night session in a classroom with lecture-style teaching and a full day of practical, hands-on experience driving the vehicle through coned courses, Palmisano said.

“UREMS is cleared to drive lights and sirens to a call, depending on the dispatch information, and EVOC training helped teach providers safe and smart ways to drive,” Palmisano said.

Both Palmisano and Jamesley said that acquiring the vehicle would not have been possible without the generous donation of Patrick Oliver, a University of Richmond alumnus, as well as support from Student Activities, URPD, University of Richmond Public Safety and the RAA.

The new vehicle makes UREMS one of the only collegiate EMS organizations in the country with a solar-panel equipped Quick Response Vehicle, Jamesley said.

“We are quickly becoming one of the best collegiate EMS organizations in the country and are being recognized and getting much attention from top EMS agencies, both public, private and collegiate,” Jamesley said.

Contact reporter Rachel Oplinger at

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