College Student EMTs

For years, college students serving as EMTs have formed a vital part of the emergency medical response in Houghton and, through mutual aid, in the surrounding communities.  A college student even went with the Houghton ambulance to serve briefly in New York City shortly after 9-11-01.  Each fall semester, we seek a handful of service-minded students to carry on this legacy by joining the fire department and taking the EMT training in the following spring semester.

If you are interested, please review the FAQs below to learn more.

How much time would the EMT training take?
The training involves two four-hour classes per week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  There are also one or two Saturday morning classes.  The class starts in the second or third week of January and finishes in mid-May. 
In addition to the class time, ten hours of observation time in a hospital emergency room is required.  The classes are not taught at the college, but are taught by the county at the Crossroads Center near the intersection of Route 19 and I-86, about a 17 minute drive south of campus. (click for a map)

After the training, how much time would it take to serve as an EMT?

The training is the greatest concentration of time commitment, but serving as an EMT also takes time.  However, it is hard to calculate given the unpredictable nature of emergency calls.  Generally, student EMTs are "on call" (expected to respond immediately when there is an emergency) during scheduled morning or afternoon shifts during the daytime, as well as one evening per week and one weekend (Friday and Saturday evenings) per month.  If there are times when you are "on call" that you cannot respond (test, labs, etc.), you are expected to arrange for a fellow EMT to substitute for you if there is a call.

Are there time commitments other then the initial EMT class and responding to calls?
Yes.  Although the primary commitment is responding to calls, there are other events that student EMTs are committed to being involved in.  The department has an all-member meeting on the first Monday of each month to make decisions and share updates and information.  Student EMTs also help out at several fundraisers throughout the year that raise money for ambulance operations.  There are also occasional training sessions for EMTs, usually accompanied by food.

How many calls are there and how long does a call take?
The department responds to an average of 150-175 ambulance calls per year.  In general, 95% or more of these calls include transporting a patient to a hospital.  Given the remote location of Houghton, any call that does include transportation will require 2 to 3 hours.

How much credit would I get for the EMT class?
No credit is offered for the EMT class.  The class is not offered at or through the college, nor is the fire department directly associated with the college.  The class is a standard state course offered through the county Office of Emergency Services and the classes are taught at a county facility about a 17 minute drive south of Houghton.

What prerequisites are required?  Do I have to have a car or previous training?
You do not need to have a car.  Houghton students frequently carpool when going to classes and run to the fire hall when responding to calls.  However, transportation of some sort will be needed to go to classes, so at least one of the students taking the class in a given semester should have a car or access to a car.  You do not need to have previous emergency services training or experience.

Do I have to be pre-med?
Absolutely not.  Student EMTs can come from any major, though there are normally at least a few who are pre-med.

I heard that sophomores are given preference in the application process.  Is that true?
Yes, current sophomores are strongly preferred as student EMTs because they have their freshman year behind them and have now adjusted to the college, but will still be able to serve for two years after finishing the training.  In very unusual circumstances, freshmen or juniors may be granted special exemptions. It is preferred that you have at least three semesters remaining at Houghton after the spring you take the class.

How do I apply?
Read the article about the
membership application process.  Please read it carefully and completely.  Please be aware that for students the timeline is usually abbreviated.  After the fall application deadline in early or mid November, interviews are scheduled in late November and the introduction to the membership and voting on applications takes place at the December department meeting, which is the first Monday of December.