Ready to roll: Student EMTs serve the campus community

November 13, 2012 8:30 AM

Fran Simon

As director of the student-run Tulane Emergency Medical Services, Bijan Rizi says he spends 350 hours a month working for TEMS. A senior majoring in public health at Tulane, Rizi says he hopes all of the hands-on experience he is gaining will help him get into medical school.


From left, Adam Rouan, Sarah Edwards and Bijan Rizi show off a new ambulance, the third in the TEMS fleet, that was purchased with $150,330 from the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government. (Photo by Sally Asher)

“There’s nothing I love more than serving the community while simultaneously gaining clinical experience,” says Rizi, who hails from Rolling Hills, Calif. “TEMS has also given me the greatest opportunity to have a leadership position for a professional organization and work closely with the Tulane administration.”

TEMS serves the Tulane and Loyola university communities 24/7 during the academic year, providing free care and transport to local hospitals. As the only entirely volunteer ambulance service remaining in the state of Louisiana, TEMS is solely student-run except for the medical director, Dr. James Farrow, executive director of Student Health Services.

“There are currently 38 active members of TEMS and all of our EMTs are nationally certified with over 300 hours of classroom training,” Rizi says. “We accept about 14 more every semester.” About half of the students who work for TEMS are pre-med undergraduates, Rizi says.

“We cover approximately five square miles of the uptown community,” says Rizi. “Last year, we ran around 775 calls and have seen an increase in our call volume this year.”

Students also volunteer with New Orleans EMS paramedics to experience more critical 911 calls, including cardiac arrests, motor vehicle collisions, gunshot wounds and other serious traumas.

On Nov. 9, TEMS unveiled a new ambulance, the third in the fleet, which was purchased with a $150,330 contribution from the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government. The EMS World Expo in New Orleans Oct. 29–Nov. 2 showcased the new addition to the TEMS fleet, which also has a fully equipped disaster trailer that is ready to assist in city and state emergency response and a supervisor sprint vehicle.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu