FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Interested in learning more about becoming a nationally certified EMT through the GERMS EMT course? Contact our Director of Training at training@georgetownems.org.
  • For general inquiries about the GERMS EMT class, becoming CPR/AED certified, GERMS continuing medical education, or any other education-related inquiriy, reach out to our Vice President of Education at education@georgetownems.org!
  • Interested in joining GERMS or learning more about what it’s like to be a probationary member? Reach out to probationary@georgetownems.org!
  • For more general inquiries about the GERMS membership or what it is like to be in GERMS, contact our Vice President of Staff at staff@georgetownems.org.
  • For questions the GERMS ambulances or GERMS operations in general, contact our Vice President of Operations at operations@georgetownems.org.
  • For questions about GERMS event standby services, email our Director of Standbys at standbys@georgetownems.org
  • If you are another EMS agency, collegiate or not, interested in learning more about how GERMS operates, reach out to our President at president@georgetownems.org.
  • For more information on our standby services, please visit the Standbys tab. 
  • To contact our director of standbys, email standbys@georgetownems.org
  • If you are an alumni of GERMS, please reach out to our Director of Alumni Relations at alumni@georgetownems.org with any questions, life updates, or anything else!
  • All GERMS alumni are encouraged to join our GERMS Alumni Facebook Group. Reach out to our Director of Alumni Relations for access to the Alumni Registration Form where you can complete your alumni registration and start receiving Alumni Newsletters!
  • If you were a previous GERMS patient interested in obtaining a copy of your chart, please contact our Captain at captain@georgetownems.org.
  • The GERMS office phone number (for non-emergencies only) is (202) 687-7546. However, please note that since our duty crew is not required to remain in the office while on duty, the office may be empty depending on when you call. Therefore, the best way to contact us is via e-mail at publicrelations@georgetownems.org.

Georgetown University has a medical amnesty policy that was created to ensure that nobody gets in trouble for calling GERMS in the event of a medical emergency. The policy can be found in Appendix E of the Georgetown Code of Student Conduct, and it exempts both the patient and the person or people who called GERMS from disciplinary action from the university for violations to the alcohol or drug use and posession policies.

GERMS is dispatched by GUPD, not by DC’s Office of Unified Communication (OUC). Therefore, you must call (202) 687-4357 in order for GERMS to respond to your location. If you call 911, a DC Fire and EMS ambulance will respond to the call.

When you call GERMS, you will be connected with a GUPD dispatcher who will ask for your location, the patient’s chief complain, and a few questions about the patient’s current condition. GUPD will dispatch the on-duty GERMS crew to the scene. 2-4 GERMS EMTs will arrive on scene along with one of our ambulances. GERMS EMTs will perform an assessment of the patient and ask the patient whether they would like to be transported to the hospital. If so, GERMS will walk, carry, or wheel the patient to the ambulance and transport them to the appropriate hospital. If not, GERMS may allow the patient to refuse care/transport once the patient signs a release form.

In most cases, it is up to the patient whether or not they would like to be transported to a hospital. GERMS EMTs are not physicians, and our ability to assess and diagnose medical conditions or traumatic injuries is limited; therefore, we always recommend our patients go to to the hospital to recieve a higher level of medical care. However, patients generally have the right to refuse care and transport. We simply request they sign a release form for documentation purposes.

However, GERMS is not allowed to let patients with a less-than-perfect Glasgow’s Coma Score (GCS) refuse transport, so these patients must be transported to the hospital. Patients experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideations are also not allowed to refuse transport. These policies are in-line with DC Department of Health regulations.

Currently, GERMS may transport patients to three hospitals: (1) MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (2) The George Washington University Hospital (3) Sibley Memorial Hospital. We generally transport patients to Georgetown, but we can transport to GW or Sibley per patient request, and we transport our most critical trauma patients to GW since GW is a level 1 trauma center.

GERMS can also transport patients to the MedStar Georgetown Student Health Center if a physician at the SHC calls GERMS and requests that a student be transported to the SHC.

GERMS may transport Georgetown University students to the MedStar Georgetown Student Health Center at the request of the nurse supervisor or any physician at the Student Health Center. The aforementioned individual must call the GERMS number at (202) 687-4357 and request that a GERMS crew be dispatched to that patient’s location. GERMS will respond to these calls per routine (no lights or sirens), and will transport per routine to the SHC.

GERMS can only transport patients to the hospital, and we are unable to arrange transport for patients discharged from the hospital. Georgetown students at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are encouraged to utilize GUPD’s SafeRide program via the LiveSafe app or by calling (202) 784-RIDE. All other patients must arrange their own transportation home.

GERMS is bound by the privacy clause of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), meaning it is illegal for GERMS or any GERMS EMT to release actually or potentially identifying information about our patients to anyone besides hospital staff. If you believe your privacy has been breached, or if you have any other privacy concerns, please reach out to the GERMS Captian (Privacy Officer) at captain@georgetownems.org.

GERMS can respond to calls on Georgetown’s Main/Med campuses as well as calls in West Georgetown, Burlieth, and Foxhall. Our western border is Foxhall Rd, our southern border is M St / Canal Rd, our eastern border is Wisconsin Blvd, and our northern border extends up to Calvert St.

All GERMS members are nationally certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). We carry an active National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) EMT-B certification, DC Department of Health EMT-B certification, and American Heart Association BLS card at all times while on duty. We carry the exact same certifications as any other EMT in DC, including those riding on DC Fire and EMS BLS units.

GERMS EMTs can perform CPR, use an AED, provide airway and breathing support, and stop major and minor bleeding. We perform thorough physical and neurological assessments as necessary, and we can administer oxygen, aspirin, nitroglycerin (if prescribed), epinephrine, naloxone (Narcan), oral glucose, and activated charcoal. GERMS EMTs are skilled in patient movement and lifting, and we can transport patients via ambulance to a nearby hospital.

GERMS EMTs are trained for any situation that may be thrown at them, and they are prepared to call for additional resources if necessary. If the safety of the patient, GERMS EMTs, or other individuals on-scene is at risk, GERMS can request additional GUPD or MPD support, depending on the location of the call. GERMS has access to on-line medical control via telephone, meaning we can call an attending physician at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital for assistance. GERMS crews have access to a DC Office of Unified Communications radio which provides them with access to additional resources and manpower, including additional EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, HazMat trucks, poison control, and more.