The Hamilton College Emergency Medical Service (HCEMS) is a New York State (NYS) certified agency that is made up of 23 student EMTs, who provide 24 hour emergency medical service to the campus community during the academic year. Each EMT volunteers 30-40 hours a week to be "on call" and must respond to all on-campus medical emergencies during this time. On average, EMTs respond to 50-60 medical emergencies each semester.
Hamilton has had student EMTs since the mid-eighties. However, when the college restructured its Student Health Services in 1993, HCEMS also underwent some restructuring. It was felt that student EMTs would have to take on greater responsibility under the new health service, and therefore, their training should be more regulated. As a result, all Hamilton College EMTs now have to be NYS certified.
During the spring semester, an intensive 12 week EMT certification course is offered on campus for interested students. Those enrolled in the course attend a three hour lecture two nights a week and participate in a four hour lab session every Saturday morning. Participants receive no college credit. At the end of the course a state examination is administered, and successful candidates are certified for three years. All EMTs must attend additional training sessions once a month.
HCEMS operates under the supervision of the Student Health Service and is co-ordinated by Diann Lynch, a native of Clinton and registered nurse at the college.