The Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS), an entirely student-run, volunteer emergency ambulance service, welcomed 12 new members and a new supervisory vehicle to begin the academic year.
The new 12 members join a cohort of student volunteers trained to provide emergency medical response on and off campus.
All GERMS members are EMT-certified and offer free and confidential services year-round to students on-campus and in the surrounding Georgetown neighborhoods. With the new membership additions, there are now 60 members of Georgetown EMS.
GERMS announced the acceptance of the 12 new members in an Aug. 26 statement on their website.
“GERMS recently welcomed a group of twelve accomplished students to the Fall 2023 probationary class after they successfully completed the application and interview process,” the announcement reads.
The 12 new members are what GERMS members call “probies,” meaning that this semester, they will go through a “probationary” period during which they are trained and mentored before they become full members of GERMS.
“Probies quickly learn about the organization’s culture and protocols as they ride shifts, participate in training exercises, and partake in social events,” a GERMS statement on membership reads.
Hayden Giles (CAS ’26), a new “probie” who was selected to GERMS this application cycle, said he previously participated in an EMS agency at Colgate University before transferring to Georgetown, and he was searching for a similar experience at Georgetown.
“It is important to me to continue my clinical work while being a full time student at Georgetown University,” Giles wrote to The Hoya.
Giles said the semester-long probationary period will allow him to develop his skills as an EMT.
“Being a probationary member means I am not a full member in GERMS yet, but after I demonstrate enough skills to confirm I can be a viable and capable EMT with this agency, I will become a full member,” Giles wrote.
Captain and Director of GERMS Operations Lauren Aslami (CAS ’24) and GERMS Vice-President of Staff Sabreen Mohammed (SOH ’24) said that new “probies” have the opportunity to learn from older members as they begin their GERMS careers.
“GERMS is proud of its integrated, multilayered mentorship system that will ensure each probationary member has a senior member with whom he or she can ask for guidance to be successful in the organization,” Aslami and Mohammed wrote to The Hoya.
GERMS also welcomed a new EMS vehicle this month, according to a Sept. 1 announcement on its website.
The 2010 Ford Explorer, named EMS 1, will join two Type III Ambulance units in the GERMS fleet. Unlike the two ambulances, GERMS will not use EMS 1 in response to distress calls, but rather as a “supervisory vehicle” to be manned by GERMS Duty Officers, according to the GERMS website.
Aslami and Mohammed said that the new EMS 1 is equipped with features to make it an effective emergency response vehicle, including a siren system, a light bar and an 800 MHz radio communication system.
GERMS received EMS 1 from Darien EMS – Post 53, a volunteer ambulance service in Darien, Conn. Aslami and Mohammed said this relationship dates back to the 1982 founding of GERMS by Robert Doherty (CAS ’83, MED ’87) — a former Post 53 member.
“Over the years, we have also welcomed several Post 53 alumni into the GERMS family, further cementing the bond between our organizations,” Aslami and Mohammed wrote.
With the new class and the first-ever supervisory vehicle provided to the team, GERMS members said they are excited for the upcoming year.
“I am most excited to grow close to the wonderful members that make up this organization and learn from the best,” Giles wrote to The Hoya. “I hope prospective students interested in being either a first responder or provider will throw out an application to the team, it is a special group.”
Aslami and Mohammed said that future goals for GERMS include getting involved with other student organizations on campus such as Georgetown Scholars Program (GSP).
“GERMS hopes to work more in the future with on-campus groups during recruitment
processes such as GSP!” Aslami and Mohammed wrote.
Aslami and Mohammed said that the incoming members can expect to join a tight-knit community.
“We all spend so much time together riding shifts, working on administrative projects, or solving operational issues with EMS,” Aslami and Mohammed wrote. “Being in GERMS is definitely busy, but in the end, a very rewarding experience that I don’t think I will ever forget about my college career.”