Student EMTs to offer emergency services for first time during Dillo Day


Source: Sophia Settle

Members of Northwestern Emergency Medicine Organization and NU athletic trainers at Dance Marathon.

Alan Perez, Reporter

Aside from D.R.A.M. and MGMT, students will see a new addition to Dillo Day operations.

Northwestern Emergency Medicine Organization members will make their debut as certified emergency medical technicians during the all-day music festival. NEMO co-president and captain of the Dillo Day team Sophia Settle said the organization will partner with Chicago-based Superior Ambulance Service to offer emergency services from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. About six to seven EMTs will be stationed at the stage and Norris University Center tents, acting as first responders during the event, the Weinberg sophomore said.

“Our big thing is that we want to promote student safety on Dillo Day,” Settle said. “(Student safety) is our main priority always.”

NEMO is an organization co-led by Settle and Weinberg junior Natasha Kulick that offers courses and training on general medicine education. Its members consist of certified EMTs, premedical students and others who are interested in emergency medicine. Settle said she worked with the Superior Ambulance Service to develop the Dillo Day plan after noticing the absence of a student-led emergency response team at campus events when she transferred to Northwestern in 2016.

NEMO EMTs have gone through trainings, including academic tests, computer-based tests and skill practice sessions, to receive a basic certification, Settle said. After receiving certifications, members register with Presence Saint Francis Hospital, the local resource hospital, and send their certifications for approval, she said.

Settle said she was concerned that student EMTs weren’t seen as capable of providing health care because of their age.

“When student EMTs put on their cargo pants and button downs, with trauma sheers and pen light in their pockets and a stethoscope around their neck, they are no longer college students treating their peers,” she said. “They are health care providers treating their patients, a relationship collegiate EMTs take very seriously and hold sacred.”

When Settle reached out to Superior Ambulance Services about working together for Dillo Day, she said the company was “thrilled.”

University Police director of emergency management Greg Klaiber said he thinks the student EMTs will be helpful during the “very busy day.”

“As long as they are able to provide adequate documentation as to the level of their certifications to Superior Ambulance, then they’re an adjunct to the (safety) operations,” Klaiber said.

Settle said she had wanted EMTs in NEMO to have the opportunity to work as first responders during an event on campus. After working with athletic trainers during Dance Marathon, Settle said she looked forward to taking on a larger responsibility during Dillo Day.

Settle said she submitted a proposal in April to Wild Ideas, an Associated Student Government committee, to receive funding for operations during Dillo Day. Wild Ideas offers alternative sources to student groups that wish to host or participate in “unconventional events,” said Lars Benson, who is the president of the committee.

The Weinberg junior said he liked Settle’s proposal to participate in Dillo Day because he thinks students will feel more comfortable receiving help from peers rather than the police.

“We were really excited from the beginning because (NEMO) is a very unique and a really original idea that serves a lot of students,” Benson said.

In addition to Dillo Day operations, the funding will go toward uniform shirts and equipment jump bags, Settle said.

Benson said Wild Ideas provides the initial capital for groups that lack the funds and resources to get started. These groups will be able to avoid the normal student group funding process procedures that makes it difficult to obtain funding, Benson said.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without them,” Settle said. “We’re really grateful for their support of NEMO.”

A previous version of this story misstated when the EMTs will operate and how the group was created. Student EMTs will offer emergency services from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dillo Day. NEMO was an existing group and Sophia Settle developed the Dillo Day plan. The Daily regrets the errors.

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