Terzah Hill observes Evan Komorowski and Thomas Wobby moving a gurney.

Shadowing Pro EMS workers on ambulance calls exposes students to patients outside campus. Here, Terzah Hill accompanies Pro EMS staffers Evan Komorowski ’18 (a Crimson EMS alum) and Thomas Wobby (pictured).

Photos by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

Crimson EMS in action

Harvard’s own student-run medic squad offers training in CPR and other life-saving techniques

3 min read

Terzah Hill ’20 remembers the kindness and professionalism of the first responders who helped her family when a lightning storm destroyed their home in 2010.

It’s partly why she joined Crimson EMS, Harvard’s student-run emergency medical services organization. The group provides EMT training and assists with emergency care at many campus events.

When Crimson EMS started seven years ago, it had only one fully certified emergency medical technician (EMT). In the years since it has boosted its ranks to 63.

Crimson EMS trainees commit to 15 hours a week each semester. The course covers first aid, CPR, prehospital life support, emergency vehicle instruction, and hazmat training. Harvard University Health Services subsidizes the cost, and Pro EMS of Cambridge provides support, allowing students to train at its facilities and accompany its medics on ambulance calls.

“Since taking and later helping to teach the class, I’ve learned so much about the human body, pathophysiology, and emergency medicine,” said Benjamin Ho ’21, who, like Hill, plans to go to medical school after graduating.

During her time at Harvard, Hill has traveled to Nicaragua and Peru to provide medical support to rural communities without access to health care. She said her Crimson EMS training has been indispensable.

“Being able to use my skills as an EMT on these service trips has been a huge motivation for me to continue pursuing this field and keeping families healthy around the world.”

EMTs exit the back of an ambulance parked on the street.
Arriving at a call, Terzah Hill hops out of the ambulance.
The three EMTs talk in the back of the ambulance.
The ambulance navigates Memorial Drive traffic.

Between calls, Evan Komorowski (right), Terzah Hill, and Thomas Wobby review equipment and protocol. The ambulance navigates traffic on Memorial Drive on the way to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Silhouetted against a window, students check each other’s pupils for dilation.
Tolu Adeniji ’22 (left) and Emma Jakobson ’21 practice checking each other’s pupils for dilation.
A student lies on the floor as another checks for bleeding.
A student wraps a bandage on a fellow trainee.

Nhu Dang ’21 plays the role of a patient as Saher Siddiqui ’21 checks for bleeding. Emma Jakobson and Tolu Adeniji practice wrapping bandages.

Students sit at desks in a CPR class.
Students take a Wintersession CPR class on the sixth floor of the Smith Campus Center.
Photos of student EMTs and instructors are clipped to a line at Crimson EMS.
Photographs of students and instructors are on display in the Crimson EMS space in the Smith Campus Center.
Students perform CPR on a dummy.
Dummies line a wall.

Katherine Lou ’21 (left) and Nina Uzoigwe ’21 practice CPR on one of Pro EMS’ training dummies.

An instructor helps students performing CPR on a dummy.
At Pro EMS, Evan Komorowski (center) coaches Fahedur Fahed ’22 (left) and Nina Uzoigwe as they perform CPR on a dummy. “Teaching is a fundamental part of medicine, and I’ve found in my time in the hospital that the best providers are the ones who recognize and embrace that role,” Komorowski said.
A student performs the Heimlich maneuver on another.
Students practice resuscitation using a dummy.

At Pro EMS, Emily He ’22 performs the Heimlich maneuver on Grace Greason ’21, and students learn resuscitation.

EMTs stand for the national anthem at Harvard’s Bright Arena.
Rebecca Lisk ’21 of Crimson EMS stands for the national anthem with Pro EMS staff at the Women’s Beanpot at Harvard’s Bright Arena earlier this year.

Benjamin Ho takes notes during an ambulance ride-along.

Benjamin Ho takes notes in the back of an ambulance.
Benjamin Ho is seen through the back door of an ambulance.