Rice EMS to mark 20th anniversary with celebratory gala Oct. 21

By Kendall Schoemann

To recognize 20 years of contribution and dedication to the university and surrounding community, Rice Emergency Medical Services (REMS) is hosting a celebratory gala dinner for members, alumni, vendors and community partners Oct. 21.

Rice EMS

Rice EMS founder Dr. Mark Escott ’96 and Rice EMS Director Lisa Basgall. (Photo from REMS)

“This event will serve to recognize past and present REMS members and celebrate two decades of tremendous service and achievement,” said Lisa Basgall, REMS director.

REMS is celebrating another milestone this year with the establishment of the Rice EMS Endowment. Created by an initial gift from Dr. Mark Escott ‘96, who founded REMS as an undergraduate, the fund seeks to recognize an outstanding graduating REMS senior with an award to be applied to postbaccalaureate medical education. Proceeds from all gala ticket and table sales will go toward the establishment of the endowment. REMS seeks to raise $25,000 to permanently fund it.

“During my seven years with REMS, I’ve seen the program grow from a handful of members to more than 50 undergraduate volunteers and representation from every college,” Basgall said. “It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come thanks to the dedication of our passionate members.”

Rice EMSREMS is a branch of the Rice University Police Department, and Rice EMTs work on a volunteer basis and donate their time to enhance the safety and quality of campus life. Since the first REMS call Oct. 4, 1996, REMS has served the Rice community through emergency service, special events coverage and education courses. During the 2015-2016 academic year, the organization responded to 637 emergency calls and provided 2,029 hours of coverage for athletic, social and campuswide events.

“REMS serves as an intermediary between campus and the Houston 911 system,” said Will Letchinger, a senior architecture student in Sid Richardson College and REMS captain. “We pride ourselves on our three- to five-minute door-to-door response time.”

Rice EMS

REMS Capt. Will Letchinger (on hood) and REMS leadership team. (Photo courtesy of REMS)

REMS is notified of every medical emergency that occurs on campus. The team of responders ranges from duty crew, which requires two 12-hour on-call shifts per month, to leadership roles, which call for a weekly commitment. Each month, members also attend a training session that alternates between a presentation topic and a scenario-based drill.

A REMS member for more than three years, Letchinger said duty crew members can typically receive up to 10 calls over the course of a 24-hour shift.

“REMS members are completely dedicated to balancing academic responsibilities with their passion for helping people,” Basgall said. “This is high-stakes work that demands an unwavering commitment.”

In the 2015-2016 academic year, REMS had 26 part-time staff members, including 17 alumni, who taught EMS courses and provided coverage support for major events.

“There is an incredible sense of closeness and respect between REMS and the community we serve,” Letchinger said.

To purchase gala tickets or make a donation to the Rice EMS Endowment, visit http://ems-donation.rice.edu/index.cfm.



About Kendall Schoemann

Kendall Schoemann is a staff writer in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.