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Ambulance Absence

By Alec Matuszak
Staff Writer

The most serious accidents sometimes require medical attention via ambulance, to transport the injured to the hospital quickly. Until the start of this semester, an ambulance provided the LIU campus with an extra layer of safety– just in case. However, this fall semester did not have an ambulance stationed on campus.

With an ambulance no longer present on campus, some students admittedly feel less safe, and are wondering why the change was made.

Photo: Elliott Ulrich
Photo: Elliott Ulrich

Din Djukanovic, a junior accounting major, sees a major problem with the ambulance service being shut down, citing time as a main concern. “I don’t think [the ambulance service] should have been shut down,” he said. “Rather than the EMT being on the scene in less than five minutes we [now] have to wait at least 20 [minutes] for an outside EMT to come into campus,” he continued.

Djukanovic also said that his friend Nick Manikis, a junior health and science major, was an EMT on campus last semester, before the ambulance services were shut down. Manikis is upset about the lack of emergency services on campus.

“I am aware that there [are] no more emergency medical services on campus and am very angered by that,” Manikis said. “We had an ambulance on campus 24/7 responding to medical emergencies within seconds, that made me feel safer,” he said.

Now, one of Manikis’ biggest concerns, is the time factor, reflecting back on a moment when the Post ambulance saved his friends life. “When one of my friends had an allergic reaction and had difficulty breathing last semester, the C.W. Post ambulance was there within seconds,” Manikis said. “If a serious medical emergency happens now, I’m afraid there won’t be an ambulance on campus in time,” he said. According to Manikis, there are almost 400 emergency calls made to public safety every two semesters. “We definitely need an ambulance on campus,” he said.

Student concern over their safety has raised questions as to why these services are no longer available on campus. Dean of Students, Abigail van Vlerah would not specifically state why the ambulance is no longer on campus. Van Vlerah said, “LIU Post is committed to a safe campus with a high quality response system for ambulatory services.” In addition, Van Vlerah said that public safety officers are trained in first aid and CPR, and maintain “continuous communication with local authorities.” Van Vlerah would not say whether there are plans to bring the ambulance back to campus.

Georgia Gantidis, a sophomore criminal justice major, is unsure on her stance on having an ambulance on campus. While Gantidis has not used the ambulance on campus personally in the past, one of her friends, who has a kidney problem, was taken by the on-campus ambulance to a hospital for more treatment, in the spring 2015 semester. Gantidis said that having an ambulance on campus is “helpful” but can understand the decision made by administration to eliminate the program. “[The ambulance] is helpful, but it’s costly and there are other ways people can get help. It can go both ways,” she said.

Only time will tell if the ambulance will make a return onto campus next semester. Spring semester is approaching, and although “spring” is in its name, Long Island has been hit with harsh winters during this time, making travel a dangerous task for just about anyone.

Should an emergency happen, the LIU community will need to put trust in public safety and its protocols to keep everyone safe. As of now, there are no plans to bring back the ambulance.

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