Rice EMS named Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year

University recognized as a HEARTSafe Campus


Pictured on back row are REMS members Jonathan Roomberg, Seiji Williams, Miriam Wolters, Flora Park and Aseem Utrankar. Pictured on the front row are Sam Reddick, Norman Zheng, Nathaniel Forrester, Chase Hinman, Juliana Wu and Abigail Tucker.

Rice Emergency Medical Services (REMS) has been named EMS Organization of the Year by the National Collegiate EMS Foundation, an organization of more than 250 university EMS groups.

The award recognizes an EMS organization that has demonstrated outstanding service to its campus. Rice last received the honor in 2000. REMS 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.

“Receiving this award was a moment to stop and be grateful for everyone who has contributed in so many ways to REMS over the past 23 years, and to look forward to the future and dream of new possibilities,” said REMS director Lisa Basgall.

Since the first REMS call Oct. 4, 1996, REMS has served the Rice community through emergency service, special events coverage and education courses. In 2018, the organization responded to 652 emergency calls and provided 2,029 hours of coverage for athletic, social and campuswide events.


REMS members accepted the award at the National Collegiate EMS Foundation’s 26th Annual Conference in February.

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.

In the 2018 academic year, REMS had 75 undergraduate volunteers and 30 part-time staff members, as well as 21 alumni, who taught EMS courses and provided coverage support for major events. REMS also has six physicians who provide medical support and training for the volunteers.

“Staying focused on the mission of being prepared to respond to any type of emergency is certainly a team effort,” Basgall said.

That dedicated volunteer staff is why the foundation also named Rice a HEARTSafe Campus. The designation recognizes organizations that rapidly respond to emergencies in the community, provide early access to defibrillation and offer CPR/AED training for the community.

Basgall noted that a recent influx of volunteers brought REMS to over 100 members for the first time.

“The contribution of new EMTs who joined a few months ago, the members who have given 2 to 3 years of service and the consistent dedication of the undergraduate leaders of EMS, with the ongoing support of alumni and the expertise of the medical direction team, are what make this possible,” Basgall said.




About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.