Standard Operation Procedures

Patient Care

It is the goal of UMass Lowell EMS to provide professional quality emergency medical care to members of the university community 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the academic year and at all university events. UMass Lowell operates as a Basic Life Support, Quick Response Service (BLS/QRS) as defined by the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services foundation (NCEMSF). At present, UMass Lowell EMS does not operate an ambulance and is not a patient transport organization.

All Emergency Medical Technicians at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are bound by any and all applicable laws and policies concerning said position as defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) and NorthEast EMS Region III protocols. Any violation of laws or standard of care while working as an Emergency Medical Technician for the University of Massachusetts Lowell will be documented and reported to the proper authorities including local law enforcement and OEMS.

UMass Lowell EMS personnel are dispatched to calls by UMass Lowell Police dispatch. Upon arrival, UMass Lowell EMS personnel are in charge of patient care until the patient, if over the age of 18 and deemed of capable mental status, refuses treatment, the patient under the same qualifications receives treatment and refuses transport, or UMass Lowell EMS personnel are relieved of responsibility by a transporting ambulance or higher level of training. Examples include Trinity Ambulance or Saints ALS Paramedics.

All proper treatment(s) according to, but not exceeding the EMTs level of training, are to be performed as necessary under the Emergency Medical Services Pre-Hospital Treatment Protocols as defined by OEMS. These protocols may be found in the offices of UMass Lowell EMS. Failure to do the proceeding may be cause for abandonment or negligence charges. Any patient under 18 or not of capable mental status cannot be released from care until higher authority allows. Higher authority includes a transporting ambulance, paramedics or police officer who by doing so assumes responsibility for the patient.

  • Dispatch 
  • Disaster Response 
  • Operating Shifts 
  • Off-Duty Response 
  • Staffing 
  • Qualifications

UMass Lowell Police will dispatch EMTs over the police radio frequency. 

All duty EMTs are to carry a radio provided by UMass Lowell EMS at all times while on their duty shift. Failure to be out of communication with UMass Lowell Police or to respond to a call is grounds for suspension or dismissal from the position of EMT. By not responding, abandonment or negligence charges could be brought against the EMT. 

Dispatchers will provide the location and nature of each call following the two-tone page. If no nature or chief complaint is given, one should be requested from the dispatcher. Where applicable, dispatchers may assign priority of the response in the emergency response unit. Priorities are as follows:

  1. Priority One: Life threatening emergency.  Respond with lights and sirens in a quick, safe manner.
  2. Priority Two:  Not immediately life threatening emergency. Respond with lights and siren in a slow, safe manner.

If a call is unknown, Priority One is the acceptable response. The first unit on scene should advise of the situation to other responding units. For any call not dispatched by UMass Lowell Police, for example the on-site of an accident or direct call to the EMS office, UMass Lowell Police dispatch must be notified so a card can be punched on the call and additional units can be sent as needed. Further response priority can be made by the unit on scene.

Requests for ambulances are to be made in the following events:

  1. The nature of the call determines such, that Advanced Life Support (ALS) is needed per the ALS dispatch protocols (Appendix C) for Region III.
  2. The first responding unit determines the patient needs an ambulance or the patient is requesting one.
  3. Any event of an unknown nature or a multiple casualty incident, fire, or HazMat incident. In these events ambulances should be automatically dispatched.

Currently, UMass Lowell uses Trinity Ambulance as its ambulance provider, as well as Saints ALS Paramedic unit(s). In some cases, Lowell Fire will respond to calls as well.

Disaster Response

In the university setting and urban setting, the potential for disaster response exists. These could include fire, collapse, hazardous materials, radioactive accidents, Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs), and natural disasters. In the event UMass Lowell EMS is the first responding unit, the crews should determine the nature of the problem, relay the information to UMass Lowell Police and request appropriate additional response units (Appendix D). UMass Lowell personnel should not take responsibility or action for any situation beyond their scope of training. All MCIs should be reported to Northeast CMED (Central Medical Emergency Dispatch) for coordinated medical response. All fire, rescue and HazMat incidents are under the jurisdiction of Lowell Fire department. If UMass EMS personnel are requested to a scene by other units they are to report to the incident commander and follow their instructions.

Operating Shifts

UMass-Lowell EMS operations will be divided into three shifts:

  1. 0700 to 1500 
  2. 1500 to 2300 
  3. 2300 to 0700

Two EMTs, a crew chief and a technician will staff each shift. In addition, a cadet may be assigned to the shift by the cadet supervisor with the authorization of the Assistant Director of Operations.

EMTs assigned to a certain shift are responsible for providing emergency medical coverage during their assigned shift as mentioned above. Shifts are set up monthly during meetings and will be assigned by the Assistant Director of operations. Problems with shifts and shift changes should be addressed to the Assistant Director of Operations. If an EMT is unable to work, he or she must find appropriate coverage for the shift. Because of the nature of emergency work EMTs will be expected to stay as late as possible to keep coverage up until relief is found or determined to be unavailable. If the Director of Operations is unavailable, attempt to notify the Assistant Director of Operations. If no coverage is available, UMass Lowell EMS will go down coverage. This is the absolute LAST RESORT. In this event, UMass Lowell Police dispatch should be notified immediately by either the Executive Director or the Director of Operations ONLY. No other member of UMass EMS shall contact UMass Police dispatch to call down service under any circumstances. A list of home, cell, pager, and or dorm phone numbers are available to any and all members for this purpose.

Note: EMTs who receive a stipend may not be paid for missed shifts. This is at the Director of Operations and Faculty Advisors discretion.

Off-Duty Response

  1. No off-duty UMass Lowell EMS personnel are to respond to a call unless the following conditions apply:
  2. When additional EMTs are requested by the on scene crew such as an MCI, HazMat incident, etc.

If an off duty member is in immediate proximity to a life threatening (this does not include routine welfare checks) emergency (i.e. the same building), then the EMT can sign on as responding with dispatch and the responding duty crew. In such cases the EMT shall appear appropriately dressed, with proper identification on their person. Upon arrival by the duty crew, the EMT should give a summary of the patient’s condition and turn patient care over unless specifically requested otherwise by the duty crew. 

Note: Any cadet responding to a call on their own without an EMT will be suspended immediately and will be subject to further discipline by UMass Lowell EMS.

Staffing

Two EMTs will staff each shift. In the event that two EMTs are not available for a given shift, the shift may be covered with a First Responder, or, in extreme cases, a cadet. If one driver certified EMT is not available, UMass Lowell Police must be notified that UMass Lowell EMS is out of service by the Director of Operations only. 

All EMTs will begin on a probation and must work under the supervision of a senior EMT for as long as it is deemed necessary by the Director.

Qualifications

The following is a list of criteria needed to qualify as a SR EMT:

  1. Massachusetts certified EMT 
  2. EMT-B EMT-I or EMT-P certified 
  3. Driver certified 
  4. The crew chief is responsible for their Emergency Response Vehicle and the following tasks:
    a. Ensure completion of shift checklist.
    b. The crew chief is responsible for the duty crew, vehicle, and cadets.

The following is a list of criteria needed to qualify as a JR EMT:

  1. Massachusetts certified EMT 
  2. Driver certified (optional)

The technician (SR or JR) is responsible for the care of the patient on scene. In addition the technician is assigned the following tasks:

  1. Accompany the patient to the hospital in the transporting ambulance (if requested). 
  2. Report patient status to hospital or transporting ambulance crew. 
  3. Do checklist and maintenance on their vehicle.

All cadets must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a member of UMass Lowell EMS in good standing. 
  2. Have current first Aid and CPR certifications with either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association (AHA). 
  3. Be approved by the Assistant Director of Operations and verified by the duty crew. 
  4. Cadets may assist the duty crew in any way deemed necessary. Participation in medical calls is at the discretion of the crew chief and is not to exceed the cadet’s level of training.

Note: Priority for shifts will be given to cadets currently enrolled in an EMT course.