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Association Update: National Collegiate EMS Foundation Returns to Boston

Now in its 27th year, the National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) continues to fulfill its mission of creating safer, healthier environments on college and university campuses through the support, promotion, and advocacy of campus-based emergency medical services. In addition to providing for the acquisition of medical knowledge, campus-based EMS allows student participants to develop key life skills in areas such as leadership, resource management, decision-making, and communication. Since its inception NCEMSF has fostered an environment where ideas can be exchanged and problems solved.

NCEMSF is excited to return to Boston for this year’s annual conference, which will be held Feb. 28–Mar. 1 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. While its primary audience is campus-based EMTs and paramedics, all EMS providers are welcome to attend the conference, which will feature more than 110 lectures, roundtables, and hands-on skills labs. Additional conference activities will include an EMS skills competition, poster presentations, and NCEMSF’s annual awards ceremony. The youthful energy and enthusiasm of 1,300-plus attendees from more than 100 colleges and universities will be palpable.

About half of NCEMSF’s conference speakers are campus EMS alumni. This includes individuals who, after obtaining their undergraduate degree, have undertaken careers in EMS alongside fellow alumni who have furthered their medical education as physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. Once frontline medical responders on college campuses themselves, these speakers can relate to the EMS environment of many conference attendees.

Other Benefits

While conference weekend is a major focus of NCEMSF, the organization also offers many other programs and resources to its members. These include consultation services, recognition programs, and research initiatives.

Every year NCEMSF responds to dozens of requests for information about starting new campus-based response organizations. By leveraging an experienced team of former campus-based EMS providers as consultants, NCEMSF helps foster the formation of these new groups and advancement of existing groups.

With so much real-world startup experience in the fold, there is rarely a challenge presented to the team that it hasn’t worked through before. Accordingly, new campus-based EMS squads recently began providing care at Quinnipiac College (Connecticut) and Claremont Colleges (California).

NCEMSF is committed to clinical excellence, constant improvement, and enhancement of services and provider abilities. Member squads are encouraged to apply for our Striving for Excellence (high-performing organizations), HEARTSafe Campus (sudden cardiac arrest), and EMS Ready Campus (disaster preparedness) recognition programs.

In 2019 NCEMSF recognized five organizations for Striving for Excellence (including four renewals), eight organizations as HEARTSafe Campuses (including five renewals), and eight organizations as EMS Ready Campuses.

To raise awareness of EMS on college campuses, NCEMSF sponsors a week-long “Collegiate EMS Week” celebration each November. This event is modeled after National EMS Week but during a week that better accommodates academic calendars. Kicking off Collegiate EMS Week is “CPR Day,” when campus-based emergency medical service providers across North America join together to educate their fellow students in the basic principles of CPR and provide them with the skills to save lives.

On the research front, NCEMSF’s Journal of Collegiate Emergency Medical Services (JCEMS) is entering its second year of publication. It is the only scholarly journal and news source dedicated exclusively to the collegiate campus-based EMS community. A joint JCEMS/NCEMSF academic poster session will be held at the conference in Boston.

To learn more about NCEMSF, visit or or join us at this year’s conference in Boston. We look forward to meeting you.

Scott C. Savett, PhD, is vice president of the NCEMSF board of directors. He has been an EMT since 1991 and has served with campus-based EMS agencies at Ursinus College, Indiana University, and Clemson University. In addition to his role at NCEMSF, he chairs the board of directors of a suburban Philadelphia not-for-profit 9-1-1 ambulance squad. Contact him at


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