During the Boston Marathon, Boston College EMS students lined Comm. Ave. manning tents and walking the campus in order to help students and runners. After the Marathon bombing in 2013, security was heavily increased along the marathon route, and BC EMS was given an increased role in providing medical attention along Mile 21. This includes runners who are dehydrated or suffering from cramps as well as students suffering from alcohol-related injuries.
During the sometimes-chaotic day, it attended to these medical issues and handled the situation well. It set up medical tents and patrolled the campus in the BC EMS ambulance. BC EMS is a certified ambulance company, meaning that the services it provides are on par with professional ambulance drivers. The students themselves have all received extensive training that they are often unable to use due to the fortunately low frequency of emergency medical events on campus. After undergoing considerable training in many different medical techniques and procedures, BC EMS students often respond to calls that do not warrant the use of any of these newly learned skills.
Working the Marathon allows these students to use the skills they’ve learned while providing a necessary service for both students watching the Marathon and the runners themselves. It is a good way to ensure that BC EMS students have the opportunity to put their learning into action while also helping the student body. These BC EMS students are also often better able to deal with students they serve because the students relate to them and find a mutual understanding. This was evidenced by the lack of serious issues regarding BC EMS during this year’s Marathon. Its work was necessary and performed well. With the increased post-bombing security, it is extremely important that medically trained workers are available for the Marathon.
BC EMS handled the more high-pressure situation very well, assisting students professionally and taking care of the various medical issues brought about by the Marathon. After the Marathon BC EMS and the important medical services it provided can easily be forgotten, but students should be thankful for the work it contributed. These BC EMS students deserve commendation for taking on the increased responsibilities well and providing an important service. During future Marathons, this level of success should be replicated, as BC EMS students continue to serve.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Zirko