They’re students who save lives in their free time.
“I never thought that at 21 I’d be running an ambulance service,” said Dakota Turnball.
“When I go to a call I’m just thinking ok, what can I do to help this person, what’s doing to be wrong,” said Alana Silverman.
The University Volunteer Ambulance Corps at UMaine has gone on 400 calls a year since 1972, and this year they’ve been named by the Atlantic Partners EMS as the best in their region of 79 EMS providers.
“It makes me feel proud of us all that we put in all this work and that it’s being recognized,” said Silverman.
We got a special look at their on-campus digs including a common area, two bedrooms, office space, training room and kitchen.
“Anything you need to do while you’re on duty it’s here,” explained Turnball.
They’ve also got a pager system to contact members who are in class or out.
“Generally we encourage people to just not work during class,” he said.
The student-run EMS has 65 volunteer members who are always training.
“It’s not like they’re getting their EMS license and we’re just saying, here you go, here’s an ambulance,” he explained.
They’re also responsible for keeping the defibrillators on campus in working order.
“We’ve got people trained everywhere on campus which is really important to us,” he said.
The award also touts the group’s work for the community.
“We try to make a positive change at the University of Maine so we do a lot of education for our own members and for others as well,” Silverman said.