Staff Editorial: EMeRG’s valuable campus service

If new plans for EMeRG go smoothly, GW’s student emergency medical technicians will be able to help even more students.

EMeRG raised $8,300 for a new dispatch system, giving them the ability to answer 911 calls for students living in GW’s residence halls. They could be the first student-run EMT service in the country with this responsibility.

This is laudable progress for an often thankless job. Just five years ago, EMeRG did not even have its own certified ambulance.

About a third of the time, they go on alcohol-related calls and have to transport rowdy and drunk students to the hospital. Their group’s name has become synonymous with weekend nights gone awry.

But this kind of fundraising initiative and fearlessness is something all student organizations should aspire to. It’s a clear example of students on campus using their skills and areas of interest to make a substantial difference.

There is a potential roadblock here, however. EMeRG still needs administrative approval before they can take on this new campus responsibility. The University should show its support because the student EMTs have already laid the groundwork by planning to purchase the necessary technology.

Besides, having EMeRG field 911 calls wouldn’t just create a safer campus – it would also save students money. As it stands now, a student who calls 911 could be charged anywhere from $400 to $800 to be treated by D.C.’s public services, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Service.

We’ve seen year after year students complaining about the lack of money for their student organizations. And despite the Student Association’s efforts to expand their pool of funds by raising the fee for students, groups are continuously frustrated by small allotments and unmet goals.

Nonetheless, EMeRG decided to make the best out of an unfortunate situation, raising money outside of the $3,800 they were allocated by the SA to pay for the dispatch system. We’ve seen this kind of dedication by other public service groups, like Alternative Breaks, in recent years.

These are the differences students should strive to make. Our four years on campus go more quickly than we think, but our lasting impact can come in the form of group work to create a public good.

That’s what EMeRG did last week, and that’s what the University should support.

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