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Eagle EMS Receives National Award

Heights Editor

Published: Thursday, March 3, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Eagle EMS, Boston College's all-volunteer student, quick response emergency medical service, has been awarded the Striving for Excellence Award by the National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF), the foundation's most prestigious honor.

Chris Faherty, president of Eagle EMS and A&S '13, and Kevin Wickersham, director of operations for Eagle EMS and A&S '13, received the award on behalf of the organization at the NCEMSF Conference held in Philadelphia from Feb. 25 to 27.

"It is excellent to receive such an award and to know that Eagle EMS is both recognized and appreciated at a national level," Faherty said. "The award makes us look at the big picture. It helps us to see the progress we have made in recent years. It is motivational and a promise for more success in the future."

"We are very excited about the award," Wickersham said. "Being a nationally recognized organization is a major accomplishment and it is a confirmation that we are headed in the right direction, both the award and the size of the organization are indicative of that."

According to the NCEMSF, the Striving for Excellence award honors organizations modeling the standard for campus EMS delivery and care, against which other organizations should compare themselves. Five college EMS agencies were honored with the award this year out of more than 300 NCEMSF member organizations.

Eagle EMS was established as a student organization in 1997 and provides basic life support emergency medical services for a variety of events on campus, ranging from club sporting events to football games and concerts. The organization also offers CPR, EMT, and continuing medical education courses, as well as EMS awareness and campus safety promotion activities.

Administrators praised Eagle EMS for its involvement on campus and demonstration of leadership.

"This is the most professional and self-directed organization I have seen," said Thomas Nary, director of Health Services and advisor to Eagle EMS. "They do a terrific job. They are disciplined and self-directed and certainly an incredible asset to the campus. There are many EMS organizations on college campuses, and to win the award nationally is on par with something like the hockey championship. The only difference with this is that it is not a competition but a testament of excellence."

Wickersham and Faherty credited both the organization directors and general members for Eagle EMS's success, as well as support from university departments.

"Credit belongs to the coordinators and directors who have worked hard in the past few years to build the organization to what it is today, but primarily credit belongs to our general members," Wickersham said. "The enthusiasm of all of our members is inspiring. They staff events in inclement weather, on weekends, and when finals and midterms approach. There is no way Eagle EMS could exist and have the success it has today without its dedicated members."

"The award is a testament to the hard work of all of our 165 members, from observers to EMTs to directors," Faherty said. "We also appreciate all of the university support, from Residential Life to Student Affairs to Health Services, that has helped us to develop into the organization we are today."

The growth and success of the organization noted by Faherty and Wickersham is not only validated by the award, but also in the organization's numbers. Eagle EMS's 70-plus certified EMT members have provided 3,090 man-hours of service to the BC community to date this academic year. When Eagle EMS's current EMT class graduates this April and its students pass the Massachusetts Emergency Medical Technician examination, Eagle EMS will have 1 percent of all registered EMTs in Massachusetts. Eagle EMS also boasts a more than 90 percent pass rate for its students who sit for the Massachusetts EMT exam.

Wickersham said the organization will not cease improving.

"While we are excited about the honor, at the same time we are looking for ways to improve and expand our practices," Wickersham said. "The award is great for the organization, but we are never truly content with our position. We will continue to grow and provide the highest quality EMS services for the Boston College community."

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