History

1979

Survival Technological Company donates the “survival cart” to Georgetown’s Emergency Department.

FEBRUARY 1981

Bob Doherty (COL ’83, M ’87) meets with Hap Arnold of the Emergency Department. They plan to use crews consisting of one EMT-B and one First Responder. The survival cart is to be used for transporting if possible.

SPRING 1982

Bob Doherty submits a budget to Dr. Rolnick, head of the Emergency Department. The proposal includes $8,000-$10,000 for supplies and $70,000-$80,000 for a new ambulance.

SEPTEMBER 1982

GERMS receives a charter from Student Activities Commission, establishing GERMS within the Georgetown community.

DECEMBER 1982

34 members of GERMS pass their District Emergency Medical Technician test.

SPRING 1983

GERMS obtains its first ambulance, a converted hearse.

APRIL 1983

A student falls through glass on campus, severing an artery. The attending physician reported that “It’s difficult to tell what would have happened if GERMS were not there, but there is a good possibility (the student) would have died or at least suffered severe shock.”

AUGUST 1983

GERMS is officially dispatched for its first call – Chief Complaint: chest discomfort and pain radiating down the left arm.

MARCH 1984

All calls on campus will go to GERMS.

JANUARY 24, 1985

GERMS dedicates a new ambulance, Unit 3. The ambulance is a converted van donated by Robert Doherty’s high school ambulance service, Explorer Post 53.

MARCH 1985

GERMS assists DC Fire and EMS firefighters with first-aid stations during a 4-alarm townhouse blaze. GERMS transports two firefighters suffering from smoke inhalation.

DECEMBER 1986

Georgetown University purchases Unit 4 for GERMS.

APRIL 1987

John “Jack” DeGioia, then Dean of Student Affairs, names GERMS Outstanding Student Activity for 1986-1987. DeGioia would go on to become the 45th President of Georgetown University.

SUMMER 1987

GERMS stays in service for its first summer.

APRIL 1990

Jack DeGioia becomes an Honorary Member of GERMS.

APRIL 1990

Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) takes over GERMS dispatching from hospital security.

SEPTEMBER 1990

Dennis Kanach becomes the new GERMS advisor.

SEPTEMBER 1990

Village C West becomes the new home of the GERMS office.

FEBRUARY 1992

Unit 5, a 1991 Ford Ambulance, goes into service.

OCTOBER 1993

Villanova University Emergency Medical Service (VEMS) travels to Georgetown to discuss the formation of “a national association” of collegiate Emergency Medical Services which later became known as the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF).

JANUARY 1994

The Director of the District of Columbia Department of Health requests GERMS to staff a standby at the World Cup Soccer Tournament.

APRIL 8-10, 1994

GERMS hosts the first ever National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference in Washington, DC. This conference became an annual tradition which still takes place today, and it serves as a hub for EMS education, skill building, and networking.

FALL 1996

GERMS launches its first website.

MAY 1997

Unit 6 arrives on campus.

WINTER 1997

GERMS mourns the loss of its co-founder, Robert Doherty. We are still indebted to his foresight and hard work.

SPRING 1999

GERMS purchases a repeater and new duty radios, giving a clear dispatch signal at least as far as Reagan National Airport.

FALL 2000

Point-of-care blood glucose testing and pulse oximetry are introduced into the GERMS protocols.

JANUARY 2001

GERMS sends 1 ambulance and 40 EMTs to provide standby coverage for George W. Bush’s Presidential Inauguration.

FEBRUARY 2001

Unit 7 goes in service for the Georgetown community.

APRIL 2001

Alumni are invited to celebrate the arrival of Unit 7. Hap Arnold travels from the state of Washington to attend.

APRIL 21, 2001

Unit 7’s first two calls include a refusal (tooth pain) and a helipad (neonatal equipment transport).

SEPTEMBER 2001

GERMS sends an ambulance and two EMTs as mutual aid to DC Fire and EMS following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon. The GERMS crew covered Engine 29 on MacArthur Blvd. Additionally, GERMS sent 10 EMTs to assist at the Georgetown University Hospital.

SUMMER 2003

GERMS members in summer housing are required to also take Georgetown Emergency Response Team (GERT) shifts. GERT was created for campus preparedness in case of large-scale emergencies.

MARCH 2004

GERMS transports its first patient to Sibley Memorial Hospital because Georgetown University Hospital is closed.

APRIL 2004

GERMS hires Dr. Jonathan Davis as medical director.

MAY 2004

GERMS officially transports its first trauma patient to the George Washington University Hospital.

JULY 2004

GERMS starts the Public Relations directorship and begins educating the summer population on campus about GERMS, increasing the call volume significantly over the summer, and leading to increased recognition of the need for GERMS on campus.

AUGUST 2004

GERMS Academy, a weekend reorientation at the beginning of the school year, is held for the first time. GERMS holds three Mass Casualty Incident drills to train members in the Rapid Response plan.

NOVEMBER 2004

New GERMS protocols adopted.

JANUARY 2005

GERMS starts carrying and using epinephrine for treatment of allergic reactions and albuterol for treatment of respiratory problems.

JANUARY 2005

GERMS sends seven EMTs to provide standby coverage for George W. Bush’s second Presidential Inauguration.

FEBRUARY-APRIL 2005

GERMS provides medical standby support for people on hunger strike in Red Square.

JUNE 2005

GERMS adopts new bylaws and a new constitution, solidifying the role of Crew Chief, among other changes.

JULY 2005

GERMS reaches agreement with GSB Associates at Georgetown Hospital to teach all Basic Cardiac Life Support CPR classes.

SEPTEMBER 2005

GERMS provides more than 240 hours of standby coverage at the Armory for evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

OCTOBER 13, 2005

GERMS mourns the loss of its co-founder, Robert ‘Hap’ Arnold. For over a decade he enthusiastically supported the organization’s growth and helped it to develop into one of the premier campus ambulance services in the nation. Unit 8 is later dedicated in his honor.

NOVEMBER 2005

GERMS begins providing standby coverage at all women’s basketball games for the 2005-2006 season.

JANUARY 2006

Unit 8 goes into service. Its first calls are a helipad, abdominal pain, and left-foot injury.

FEBRUARY 23-25, 2007

2007 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Baltimore, MD) GERMS is awarded the NCEMSF Striving for Excellence in Campus EMS Award, an award created to “recognize quality campus EMS organizations and hold them out as examples to other campus EMS organizations that are newly starting or are still developing their programs.”

JUNE 2007

GERMS members work with LeadAmerica staff to teach EMT skills to high school students in summer medical programs.

OCTOBER 2007

GERMS celebrates its 25th anniversary with a reunion weekend. Alumni from throughout the country visit and reconnect with past friends and colleagues.

JUNE 2008

GERMS hires Dr. Korin Hudson at Georgetown University as Medical Director.

OCTOBER 2008

An outbreak of Norovirus in the campus cafeteria gives GERMS over 100 patients in less than four days. Crew Chiefs set up a modified incident command structure with three on-foot crews working on two ambulances.

JANUARY 2009

GERMS sends 45 EMTs to provide standby coverage for the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.

FEBRUARY 26-28, 2010

2010 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Baltimore, MD) GERMS renews its Striving for Excellence in Campus EMS Award, an award created to “recognize quality campus EMS organizations and hold them out as examples to other campus EMS organizations that are newly starting or are still developing their programs.

MARCH 2010

GERMS names Dr. Robert Katzer at Washington Hospital Center as Assistant Medical Director.

SPRING 2010

GERMS transitions to an electronic charting software, emsCharts, for all Patient Care Reports (PCRs).

FEBRUARY 2011

Unit 9 arrives on campus. It is dedicated on February 20th at a ceremony in Healy Circle. In attendance are President John DeGioia, VP of Student Affairs Todd Olson, and Patti Arnold Wills, the daughter of Hap Arnold, GERMS’ co-founder.

MARCH 2011

GERMS names Dr. Julie Vieth at Washington Hospital Center as Assistant Medical Director after Dr. Robert Katzer completes his residency training.

FALL 2012

GERMS celebrates its 30th anniversary!

FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 2, 2014

2014 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Boston, MA) GERMS renews its Striving for Excellence in Campus EMS Award, an award created to “recognize quality campus EMS organizations and hold them out as examples to other campus EMS organizations that are newly starting or are still developing their programs.

SEPTEMBER 2014

GERMS mourns the loss of Andrea Jaime (NHS ’17), a 19-year-old human science major who passed away from bacterial meningitis. Andrea was a member of GSP and had just completed the GERMS EMT class at the time of her passing. In Andrea’s memory, GERMS created and maintains the Andrea Jaime GSP Tuition Award, a full-tuition scholarship for one GSP student to take the GERMS EMT class each time it is offered.

FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 1, 2015

2015 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Baltimore, MD) Through GERMS, Georgetown University is recognized as a HEARTSafe Campus for the promotion and support of rapid response by CPR and AED trained first responders, rapid public access to defibrillation, early access to advanced care, public CPR and AED training for the community, and engagement in preventative cardiovascular healthcare activities.

OCTOBER 2015

Unit 10 arrives on campus and is placed in service, replacing Unit 8. Unit 10’s first few calls include finger, ankle, and foot injuries.

FEBRUARY 23-25, 2018

2018 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Philadelphia, PA) GERMS renews its Striving for Excellence in Campus EMS Award, an award created to “recognize quality campus EMS organizations and hold them out as examples to other campus EMS organizations that are newly starting or are still developing their programs.

FALL 2018

GERMS appoints Danielle Maduka (NHS ’19) to be its first Director of Diversity and Inclusion. In its first year, the Diversity Team raised over $10,000 for scholarships for the GERMS class and began working to make the GERMS EMT class, and GERMS itself, more accessible to a wide variety of Georgetown undergrads.

FEBRUARY 22-24, 2019

2019 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Pittsburgh, PA) Through GERMS, Georgetown University is re-certified as a HEARTSafe Campus for the continued promotion and support of rapid response by CPR and AED trained first responders, rapid public access to defibrillation, early access to advanced care, public CPR and AED training for the community, and engagement in preventative cardiovascular healthcare activities.

FEBRUARY 22-24, 2019

2019 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Pittsburgh, PA) GERMS’ Medical Director, J.V. Nable, MD, receives the “EMS Advisor of the Year” award for his significant contributions to the success of GERMS through his mentorship, time, and energy.

FEBRUARY 18, 2020

[Left to Right] Joseph Maccarone (NHS ’21), Jack Ryan (COL ’20), Nicole Chen (NHS ’20), and Zachary Culbertson (SFS ’21, not pictured) are recognized by DC Fire and EMS with Cardiac Arrest Save Coins for their role in the successful resuscitation of a Georgetown football coach in September of 2019. Through GERMS, Georgetown University is recognized as a HEARTSafe Campus for the promotion and support of rapid response by CPR and AED trained first responders, rapid public access to defibrillation, early access to advanced care, public CPR and AED training for the community, and engagement in preventative cardiovascular healthcare activities.

FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 1, 2020

2020 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) Conference (Boston, MA) Through GERMS, Georgetown University is recognized as an EMS Ready Campus at the Bronze Level for excellence in emergency management and disaster preparedness. Nicole Chen (NHS ’20) and Jack Ryan (COL ’20) are recognized with a CPR Save Award by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA).

MARCH 2020

Georgetown University announces its transition to virtual learning during the 2019-2020 COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. GERMS remains out of service indefinitely following spring break as students return to their permanent addresses.

SPECIAL THANK YOU TO JACK RYAN (COL ’20) FOR PROVIDING THIS ACCOUNT OF GERMS HISTORY. TYFYS JACK!