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Collegiate-Based Emergency Medical Services (EMS): A Survey of EMS Systems on College Campuses

  • Jonathan Fisher (a1), Adam Ray (a2), Scott C. Savett (a3), Mark E. Milliron (a3) and George J. Koenig (a3)...



Collegiate-based emergency medical systems (CBEMS) are a unique model for the delivery of prehospital care. The National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) was founded to serve as a resource for CBEMS groups. The purpose of this investigation is to describe the current state of CBEMS organizations.


The NCEMSF maintains a Web-based, data collection system to gather data on CBEMS organizations. Collegiate-based emergency medical services are defined as emergency medical services in a university or college campus setting. The abstracted data from the NCEMSF registry were analyzed using descriptive statistics.


The NCEMSF registry contained data on 175 groups, and 145 groups were identified as providing CBEMS. The levels of service provided by the groups were: (1) first responder, 8.3%; (2) basic life support (BLS) 66.2%; (3) intermediate life support (ILS) 4.8%; (4) advanced life support (ALS), 9.7%; and (5) combination BLS/ALS, 8.3%. Transport capabilities were provided by 31.7% of the CBEMS. The average response time was estimated at 2.6 minutes (95% confidence interval (CI), 2.35–2.91 minutes). Early defibrillation using a automated external defibrillator (AED) or ALS was available by 75.9% (95% CI, 68.8–83.0) of CBEMS. Service to the community beyond the campus was provided by 21.3% of CBEMS groups. Forty-eight percent of the services operate 24 hours/day, seven days/week. The average call volume per year was 568 responses (95% CI, 315–820), and the groups averaged 29 (95% CI, 25–34) members. During the past five years, an average of 4.3 new CBEMS groups were formed per year. Eleven of the CBEMS are based at international schools.


Corresponding author

Jonathan Fisher MD, MPH Department of Emergency Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center One Deaconess Rd, WCC2 Boston, MA 02215 USA E-mail:


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Collegiate-Based Emergency Medical Services (EMS): A Survey of EMS Systems on College Campuses

  • Jonathan Fisher (a1), Adam Ray (a2), Scott C. Savett (a3), Mark E. Milliron (a3) and George J. Koenig (a3)...


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