Click on any of the following questions to view the answer. If you would like an answer directly from DUEMS, please feel free to contact our Officer Corps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What does DUEMS stand for?
DUEMS stands for Duke University Emergency Medical Services. On campus, you may hear us referred to as "Duke EMS", "DUEMS", or simply "EMS"
2. What does DUEMS do?
DUEMS is certified as an EMS agency by the State of North Carolina, and is the designated Basic Life Support First Response Agency for the Duke Campus, including the academic campus, Duke University Medical Center, and the Duke Forest. Basic Life Support indicates providing care at the level of an Emergency Medical Technician. We are said to be "first response" because DUEMS does not have a transporting ambulance. DUEMS responds to calls for medical and traumatic emergencies to the areas noted above and provides immediate evaluation, stabilization, and care to the patient or patients requesting assistance. The DUEMS crew chief will explain your options for further treatment, care, or transport and request the necessary resources to fulfill your medical needs.
3. When is DUEMS in service?
DUEMS provides a round-the-clock EMS service, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to the campus community and surrounding areas during the academic year and over the summer. DUEMS is also in service during special times such as reading period, exam weeks, and orientation. However, DUEMS is not in service during school holidays.
4. When should I call 911 for EMS?
You should dial 911 any time you feel that you are having a medical emergency which needs immediate and professional care. This can be as simple as non-ceasing vomiting or as major as someone who has stopped breathing.
5. What should I do when I call 911?
Try to call from a landline phone, as this will automatically show the dispatcher your location. If dialing from a campus phone, you will be connected to Duke Police. If calling from a cell phone, your call will be answered by Durham County Emergency Communications Center. The dispatcher will ask you questions about the emergency to decide upon the most appropriate response. It is important that you provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible, including your exact location, the best access point to that location, the approximate age and sex of the patient, how many patients there are (if more than one), what happened, if the patient is conscious and breathing, if the patient is speaking coherently, and any hazards that might be present at the scene. The dispatcher will then dispatch Duke EMS and other needed units appropriate to the situation.
6. What should I do after I call 911?
If the patient's condition is serious, the dispatcher may give you instructions as to how to care for the patient before EMS arrives. Do not leave or move the patient unless your location endangers you or the patient. Send someone to the best access point to the building to guide EMS to the patient. Keep the patient warm. Roll them on their side if they are vomiting. Put pressure on anything that may be bleeding. If the patient has injured their head or neck, do NOT move the patient. If you have additional training in CPR and/or first aid, then provide this care to the best of your ability.
7. What is an EMT, and how is this different from a paramedic?
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are highly trained individuals (eighteen years of age or older) capable of responding to a wide assortment of medical, traumatic, or psychological emergencies. They are trained as Basic Life Support providers in techniques of first aid, bleeding control, airway management, CPR, childbirth, psychological emergencies, oxygen therapy, and may administer some basic medications (such as oxygen, glucose, Albuterol, Epinephrine, and Aspirin). Paramedics and other advanced EMTs (Intermediate Level) can provide more extensive life saving treatments including cardiac monitoring, endotracheal intubation, intravenous medications and fluids, and other advanced procedures. EMTs and Advanced EMTs work together to provide a continuum of care from the time you call 911 to the time you arrive at the hospital for additional treatment.
8. What type of training do DUEMS members have?
DUEMS treats patients at the Basic Life Support Level; specifically at the level of training for North Carolina State Emergency Medical Technician-Basics. All members of DUEMS are credentialed as EMT-Basics at minimum, with some members having additional training as EMT-Intermediates or EMT-Paramedics. All members complete an extensive Cadet Program when joining the squad which requires new members to demonstrate proficiency at managing a wide variety of EMS calls, driving ability, and knowledge of DUEMS Operating Procedures and scene management. All DUEMS members attend monthly continuing education classes and complete annual skills evaluations to maintain proficiency.
9. Why do so many people respond to medical emergencies on campus?
This is an effort to provide the most appropriate resources as quickly as possible. Duke University Police Department responds with DUEMS to all calls on campus. If DUEMS decides a patient requires transport by ambulance, Durham County EMS will also respond to the call. If Durham County 911 decides that the patient's condition may be life-threatening, Durham Fire Department may also be dispatched. We work and train with other area agencies to ensure a positive relationship and strong commitment to a continuum of excellent medical care.
10. What is Durham County EMS?
Durham County EMS is the county-run Advanced Life Support transporting agency that has primary responsibility for responding to 911 call in the majority of Durham County. Should you require emergency transportation to the Emergency Room or Advanced Life Support (paramedics EMT-Intermediates), Durham County EMS will be called to assist DUEMS. In some instances, if all Durham County EMS ambulances are busy with other calls, an ambulance from Parkwood EMS may respond to campus.
11. Will I get in trouble if my friend or I have to go to the hospital for drinking too much and we are underage?
This is a frequent concern for students. Duke University has a Medical Amnesty Policy in which you will not be punished by the Judicial Administrator for underage consumption of alcohol. Instead, you will receive a referral to Duke's Alcohol Counseling program.
12. Will I have to pay for being evaluated or treated by DUEMS?
The services that DUEMS provides are entirely free of charge. If you are transported to the hospital or evaluated by Durham County EMS, a cost may be incurred from their billing department; however, DUEMS does not bill its patients. Ambulance fees are usually covered by most insurance agencies, contact yours for more information. DUEMS does charge organizations for providing a dedicated crew at preplanned events. For more information on billing for special event coverage, please contact our Finance/Operations Officer at email@example.com.
13. Do members of DUEMS get paid?
Members of DUEMS receive no monetary compensation for the work they provide on a purely volunteer basis. The DUEMS budget provides for various membership events throughout the year for members; however, no compensation is provided for shift work and time dedicated to the organization.
14. Can I call DUEMS just to be evaluated without having to go to the hospital?
DUEMS is often requested for purely evaluation purposes. The DUEMS crew chief will evaluate your current medical or traumatic condition (i.e. the reason you called) and explain to you your options for further treatment, transport, or care. The crew will be more than happy to assist you in getting the resources you need or the further transportation or care your condition may require. If you are ever unsure about your own or another's medical well-being, don't hesitate to dial 911.
15. Can DUEMS take me to the hospital?
DUEMS does not transport patients under any circumstances. In some cases, however, DUEMS may be able to request a courtesy transport by Duke Police if the condition does not warrant ambulance transport and the patient does not have other accessible means of transportation to the Emergency Department.
16. Is my medical problem confidential?
DUEMS staff values your privacy as much as you do. You should know that any call for medical help will be kept in the strictest of confidentiality by our staff and that of any other agency responding to your call. Though DUEMS members may be students you could be familiar with, it is important to realize in this setting we act as professionals and will maintain that relationship when dealing with your medical problems or concerns. Medical confidentiality is governed by federal HIPAA legislation, and it is illegal for members of DUEMS to share any of your personal information or reveal that they have even treated you to anybody but yourself. For more information about these laws, please feel free to search for local and federal laws governing the release of medical information by healthcare providers.
17. Does DUEMS provide medical support for large events?
DUEMS does provide EMS coverage for large events. This is the only service that we charge for. The cost of this service does not go to the crew providing the service, but toward additional necessary equipment and operations. A fully staffed crew and full set of equipment is sent to any event (academic, sporting, concert, etc.) to which DUEMS is requested to stand by. If additional resources are necessary for care, treatment, or transport, these crews are in direct contact with the regular DUEMS campus call crew and dispatch. To request a DUEMS crew to standby at a large event you may be hosting (or simply for further information) contact our Operations Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also consult our event coverage page.
18. Does DUEMS respond on LDOC?
DUEMS is a very large part of LDOC each year. LDOC is one of the busiest days for DUEMS during the year. DUEMS traditionally staffs a small medical station in Kilgo Quad and utilizes our Quick Response Vehicle as well as a bike team and several teams on foot to respond to emergencies on East and West Campus. DUEMS works closely with Durham County EMS, Duke Police, and the Duke A-Team to ensure the health and safety of all LDOC participants.
19. Where does DUEMS get its funding?
DUEMS is a subsidiary of Duke Police, and therefore our primary funding source is the Duke University Police Department. DUEMS has a finance officer in charge of managing the budget, procuring funding, and allocating resources to the rest of the officer corps for appropriate spending. Additionally, DUEMS is funded by donations and gifts from family, friends, students, faculty, and alumni, as well as staffing fees for stand-bys at athletic and other large events. To learn more about how to donate or about our funding, see the question below, or contact our Finance Officer.
20. How can I make a donation to DUEMS?
DUEMS gladly accepts gifts, donations, and anonymous donations. Seniors, please consider making (part of) your senior gift to DUEMS. Practicing EMS is an expensive task and our members receive no monetary compensation for the work they do. Donations keep DUEMS afloat and help us to provide the best service possible to our community and campus. If you make a donation to Duke University, you can specify how that money is used and if you would like your money to go to DUEMS. To learn more about how to donate to DUEMS (or to actually donate), please contact our Finance Officer.
21. Who can join DUEMS?
DUEMS members must be somehow actively affiliated with Duke University. Our membership primarily consists of undergraduate students, though we have some graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff. DUEMS traditionally has 2 application and interview programs each year, one in the Fall and the second during the Spring Semester. For more information on membership, visit the Membership page of our website, or contact our Personnel Officer.
22. How do I become a part of DUEMS?
Joining DUEMS is a competitive endeavor. That said, we don't discourage anyone who is interested from applying. Typically, we receive 10-15 applications during each application window and are only able to accept 3-5 new members. DUEMS does not only accept members based on experience and/or certifications, however. Those items certainly help, but enthusiasm, energy, and interest can more than account for a lack of state certification. Our membership drives are held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters each year. For more information on membership, visit the Membership page of our website, or contact our Personnel Officer.
23. How can I have someone from DUEMS speak to my group?
If you're interested in having someone from DUEMS speak to your group or organization about the service we provide, EMS operations, EMS skills, CPR, first aid, or any other topic you feel we can help you with, please feel free to contact our Training Officer. DUEMS often speaks at public events, housing events, and other times throughout the year as a part of our community outreach and EMS awareness programs.
24. Does DUEMS host CPR or first aid classes?
Yes! Duke EMS is an American Heart Association certified Training Site at the Basic Life Support Level. We offer certifying classes in CPR/AED and First Aid for non-medical personnel as well as medical personnel. We also offer shorter, non-certifying courses in CPR/First Aid for those who are interested in the skills but do not have the time, money, or need for full certification. See the "CPR and First Aid" tab for class details and registration information.
25. How can I contact DUEMS with other questions, comments, compliments, or complaints?
If you have any further questions that you cannot find the answers to here, please feel free to contact our Director. If you feel your answer may be better answered by another member of our Officer Corps, please feel free to contact that person as well. We encourage questions, comments, complements, and complaints about the service we provide. It allows us to maintain and improve our service to the ever-growing community that is Duke. Please feel free to contact us by email email@example.com, telephone (919-641-4165, non-emergency only), or mail (Duke University EMS, 301 Swift Avenue, Townhouse #3, Durham, NC 27705).
Special thanks to Cornell University EMS for the structure of this FAQ. Last updated by Elish Mahajan on 11/10/2017.