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The guardians of Husky health Michigan Tech’s emergency medical services

It is not always obvious what is or is not an emergency. John Velat, the director for both Michigan Tech’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency and education program said, “If you are wondering if you should call 911 or not, you definitely should.” MTU’s Emergency Medical Services are available 24/7, 365 days a year. If you believe there is an emergency, always call 911.

It can be challenging to witness a medical emergency, and difficult to know what to do. First and foremost, call 911 and the people around you for help. An accurate description of the patient and their condition is key information when talking to a 911 dispatcher. If the situation is life threatening, the dispatcher can give instructions to prevent the situation from worsening. 

Sharing your exact location is also vital. The local dispatcher is in Negaunee, it is important to specify which city you are in, then describe street names and intersections. If you are on campus, mention any buildings you are next to or inside, which floor you are on if inside, and any rooms you are in or next to. To help emergency medical services locate the emergency as quickly as possible, you or a bystander should wait at the location and flag them down when they arrive. This might mean going to the entrance of a building and leading the EMT to the patient.

Across the country emergency medical services protect communities from tragedy, Michigan Tech’s very own are no exception. “We are here to support the campus community and neighboring community in medical emergencies,” explained Velat. There is no better example of this than the dedicated EMS students who rush to the aid of others anywhere across campus at a moment’s notice. Students undergoing EMS training take on a large commitment, 224 hours of volunteer work, just to be certified and not credit hours in return. Velat is currently pushing for the EMS course to be counted as general education credits, which he is hoping to implement within two years; this would draw even more students to join an already diverse community. 

The EMS course accepts all those dedicated and willing to help their community. While  the majority of the students who serve are pre-med, there are a range of majors from engineering to arts. For those who wish to take the EMS course, recruiting has started for the upcoming fall semester. Velat asks that any students interested email a letter of interest and their resume to

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