Student rescuers

Quinnipiac student-run EMS program celebrates inaugural year

Jessica Simms, Managing Editor

After a full year of preparation, Quinnipiac’s student-run emergency medical services program, Res-Q, just completed its inaugural year of operation. Res-Q, a volunteer certified supplemental first responder agency in Connecticut, is open to any student who is currently certified or becoming certified to be an emergency medical technician. 

“Our mission is to be a first responder non-transport supplemental service which will provide early intervention pending arrival of personnel and vehicles from the Hamden Fire Department,” said Charles Sharkey, a rising senior nursing major and the lieutenant for Res-Q. 

The students a part of Res-Q respond to medical emergencies on both the Mount Carmel and York Hill campuses on Thursdays and Fridays between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. and Saturdays between 2 p.m. and 8 a.m. 

“When someone calls 911 from campus, we’re dispatched, and we’re the first responders to the scene,” said Katherine Huntington, a rising junior in the Entry Level Master’s Physician Assistant program and the outreach and recruitment officer for Res-Q. “So, we work to stabilize any patients, which are students or faculty before the fire department arrives. It’s a way to quickly get to students, quicker to get to faculty to make sure that they have the best chance of survival or just getting the care that they need.” 

When on-call, the members of Res-Q typically respond to multiple medical emergencies, but between calls, the crew spends its time studying or doing homework in the Res-Q office.

Res-Q is a student-run EMS program at Quinnipiac University. (Provided by Res-Q)

“We were fortunate enough to be given a room with desks, beds for our crews to sleep during overnight shifts and a bathroom,” said Charles Dunn, a rising junior biological sciences candidate and captain of Res-Q. 

For the calls that are on the Mount Carmel campus, Res-Q uses the EMS club car. When there is a call on the York Hill campus, they have to be driven by Public Safety. 

The process of creating the Res-Q program first began in the fall of 2018. Quinnipiac formed a committee that worked with the Hamden Fire Department, Yale-New Haven Center for EMS and the Connecticut Office of EMS to help form the student-run EMS program. Res-Q, then, officially started on Nov. 14, 2019. 

“There’s a lot of universities around the nation that do have a program and see a lot of benefits from (student EMS programs),” Huntington said. “So, we saw the opportunity to build that at Quinnipiac, and that’s how we started.”

In preparation of the upcoming fall semester, Res-Q is working on a protocol with Jimi Nealy, the new chief of public safety, that will eventually be proposed to the university. 

“We’re going to be working closely with (Nealy) now in the next two months because we would love to be able to still implement our program,” Huntington said. “We’re currently working on getting enough PPE for all of the safety of all of our EMTs and then we’re thinking of some kind of waiver that we can use to make sure the EMTs know that they’re putting themselves at risk by going to a COVID call.”

Along with coming up with a plan for the fall semester, Res-Q is also looking to work with the Student Government Association to provide CPR, First-Aid and Stop the Bleed classes to the Quinnipiac community so civilians can learn how to save lives. 

“In public safety, we tend to think of the community as the real first responders,” Dunn said. “This is because they are the ones who are at the scene of an emergency before help can arrive and with the proper training, they really do have the ability to save someone’s life.”

Students who are certified or are becoming certified and wish to be a part of the Res-Q program are encouraged to apply.

“We are trying to post (the application) to as many places as we can just so we can reach anybody that would be potentially interested,” Huntington said. 

After a successful inaugural year, Res-Q is excited to be back to campus and get started again to help keep the Quinnipiac community safe. 

“One thing special about Quinnipiac is that all of our students and faculty truly care about giving back to the community,” Dunn said. “I hope that our work will inspire even more students to give back to the community not only around Quinnipiac but also in their communities back at home.”