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Friendly Folks At CAVA Talk

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
BWOG

Columbia EMS is looking for new recruits so Bwog got a first-hand account of what it takes to be a Columbia hero.  Izzy Cerullo, CC’13, General Rep of CU-EMS, joined in her sophomore year after being certified as an EMT in high school.

Bwog: What is the most common situation you have to take care of?

Izzy: Usually this is a less loaded way of asking how many of our calls are “drunk calls” so Iʼll go ahead and say that, in reality, fewer than twenty percent of our calls are drug/alcohol-related. We see abdominal pain, physical injuries, allergic reactions, and seizures, to name a few.

B: Is it ever awkward running into someone you CAVA’d?

I: I donʼt think any member of the corps should feel awkward; I certainly donʼt. We provide a medical service to people who are having emergencies and conduct ourselves professionally. Within this role, we have medical and legal responsibilities, and it is not our place to judge patients we encounter. Likewise, someone should never feel embarrassed about using a medical service provided for oneʼs community.

B: What is the most stressful call you’ve ever had?

I: Sometimes we encounter patients who are not cooperative (for various reasons). In these situations, tensions can rise very quickly, especially if the patient begins to threaten my crew or me. If this happens, though, I know that our number one priority is the safety of the crew and the patient. CUPS and NYPD are available to help us manage violent or dangerous patients.

B: Has a call ever interrupted something really important?

I: Iʼm usually on call overnight, so Iʼm either doing some homework, reading, or sleeping. I try not to leave a lot of homework for a night when Iʼm on call, in case we happen to have a busy night. During the day, Iʼve had to leave a couple classes to attend to a call, and I try to make sure Iʼm not in a class with mandatory attendance. Being on call is unpredictable, but at the end of the day, anything else Iʼm doing is not more important than someone elseʼs emergency.

B: What advice do you have for people who want to get involved with CU-EMS?

I: Go to our website cuems.org! We have information out about becoming a certified EMT and about joining the corps. We hold info sessions each semester, too, and if you still have questions, you can email us at cava@columbia.edu or talk to us if you see us around campus.