MIT EMS is a Massachusetts licensed basic life support (BLS) ambulance serving the MIT community. We operate a transporting ambulance and offer an annual EMT-B training course in January. We are entirely student-run and operate on a volunteer basis under the authority of the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS). We are also an MIT ASA recognized student organization.
Our ambulance is staffed to respond to emergencies throughout the school year. We are dispatched by the MIT Police Department, which can be reached by dialing 100 from a campus phone or 617-253-1212 from any phone. We receive approximately 1200 calls per year, with a wide variety of emergencies ranging from ankle injuries and flu-like symptoms to severe traumas and cardiac arrests. We are also the primary inter-facility transporting service for the MIT Medical Department.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How do I call the ambulance?
We are dispatched by the MIT Police Department. To call the dispatcher from a campus phone, simply dial 100 for emergencies. You can also dial x3-1212 from campus phones. From outside lines, dial (617) 253-1212.
Please also see MIT Medical’s website for more information on receiving emergency medical care.
2) Are MIT EMS Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) as good as ‘regular’ EMTs?
Yes! Our EMTs are ‘regular’ EMTs. While we are a volunteer service, all MIT EMS EMTs are state certified following a 132 hour (minimum) standard course. Many of our EMTs have jobs with outside ambulance companies and have gained experience through practical application.
3) Is MIT EMS capable of handling pediatric and geriatric emergencies?
Yes. MIT EMS EMTs are trained in the full scope of EMT-Basic capabilities, meaning they can respond to any medical emergency. This includes pediatric and geriatric emergencies.
4) Where will the ambulance take me if I am sick/injured?
The destination depends on the severity of your condition. If we determine that your condition requires a level of care that the MIT Medical Department is not equipped to provide, we will transport you to one of the local hospitals. If you have a preference of hospital, we will accommodate your request.
5) How confidential is the ambulance service?
By law, we are required to maintain a level of confidentiality that includes not divulging your information to parties not directly involved in your medical care. After transport, we are not allowed to talk with your parents (unless you are under 18 years of age), your friends, or even the police.
6) I’m really embarrassed to have to be taken in an ambulance, what should I do?
It is not uncommon for people to feel embarrassed for needing to be transported by ambulance, but this should never prevent you from calling for one if you need it. In fact, you should not have to feel embarrassed for taking advantage of a medical service provided for your community. If you are hurt or ill, we can and will help. Your situation will be handled with medical professionalism. If you need emergency medical attention, you should call for an ambulance.
7) I know some MIT EMTs, and I’m afraid that if I ever need to call the ambulance, one of them will be the one who arrives (how embarrassing!). What should I do?
This is a common issue encountered within small communities. By law, EMTs do not gossip about patients (see #6). Additionally, your level of care will not differ based on how well or if at all you know the EMTs on duty personally.
8) Does the MIT EMS service area cover FSILGs?
Yes. MIT EMS’s service area includes all of MIT’s Fraternities, Sororities and Independent Living Groups.
9) Why is the ambulance’s engine always running even when it is parked?
We leave the engine running in order to keep the back of the ambulance’s temperature comfortable by constantly running climate control. It is also required in order to power/charge all of the medical devices in the ambulance.
10) How many ambulances does MIT EMS have? Is it enough?
MIT EMS operates one transport-capable ambulance 24/7, as well as a special operations vehicle for large events. This is typically quite adequate for serving our community’s needs. In cases when a second transport-capable ambulance is needed, an outside company (Professional Ambulance), will be called by the dispatcher.
11) Who can participate in MIT EMS?
Those individuals who affiliate with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Our service is primarily composed of current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni who participated in the service while they attended MIT. We also accept cross-registered students. If you have no affiliation with MIT, you cannot join the service.
12) How do I join MIT EMS?
You can join MIT EMS if you are already certified as an EMT-B in the state of Massachusetts; please contact the Executive Board for more info.
If you are already certified in another state, Massachusetts now offers reciprocity for National Registry, so please look at the OEMS website for information on obtaining an EMT-B certification in Massachusetts.
If you are not yet certified as an EMT-B but hold a current American Red Cross or American Heart Association CPR/AED card, you may contact the Executive Board for information on how to schedule a ride-along to learn more about the service.
If you are not yet certified and wish to take the class, please take a look at the Applications page. Space in the class is limited. Other options around Boston do exist, so please see this listing or contact the Class Officers for more information.
13) Will the police come if I call for an ambulance?
When you call 100, (617) 253-1212, or even 911 for a medical emergency, there is a possibility that the MIT Police will respond. While they do not come to all medical calls, they will respond for very serious medical emergencies and any time there may be large crowds or motor vehicles at the scene of the emergency. This is primarily done in the interest of safety for the EMTs and so that they can provide first responder care for a very seriously ill person before the ambulance arrives. Once the ambulance does arrive the police may direct traffic and/or deal with bystanders on scene that may interfere with patient care.
14) When is the ambulance available?
During the school year (Registration Day through Commencement), the ambulance is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergency responses. During the summer and holidays, the ambulance is staffed as often as crews are available. Regardless of the ambulance’s availability, the campus emergency numbers (x100 or 617-253-1212) are intended for use for emergencies of any nature and an ambulance will always be available.