by Paul Bowers
The College of Charleston's Fire and Emergency Medical Services department will be honored in a recognition ceremony tonight. The group of unpaid emergency workers, most of whom are students, was recently named the Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year by the National Collegiate EMS Foundation.
"It was so overshadowed with [the controversy over] Glenn McConnell that these guys never got the recognition they deserved," says Rick Krantz, chief of the department. Krantz says some of the EMS workers will also receive Volunteer Service Awards from the White House.
According to Krantz, CofC's EMS was started in 1995 by two students with a pickup truck after their friend died in a dorm room because county EMS couldn't get to the campus on time. Today, the service uses state-of-the-art equipment, an emergency dispatch system, and a full-service ambulance to transport students, staff, and visitors from the College of Charleston to local hospitals. Charleston County EMS often recruits employees from the campus program.
"I've been here 30 years at the college, and I've seen the good and the bad, and I just feel like the students are what make the college. They should be recognized for what they accomplish," Krantz says.
The recognition ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Beatty Center (5 Liberty St.).