President's Report Masthead
December 1, 2016

Harpur’s Ferry saves lives

This semester was a particularly challenging one for Harpur’s Ferry, the University’s student-run ambulance service. Early on, as members were still accepting the end of the summer and beginning to acclimate back to campus life, they were called to respond to two separate incidents of cardiac arrest at Binghamton University. Both times, student responders quickly arrived and effectively began administering CPR. Local physicians who later cared for these patients hailed the work of our student volunteers as the reason that both of these individuals are alive and well today.

If you ask anyone in the field, they’ll tell you how rare it is to get a “save” when it comes to cardiac arrest. They’ll tell you how critical response times are, and they’ll tell you how important it is for crews to function as a team. Doctors, nurses, EMTs and paramedics who’ve worked in the medical field for years will tell you how they can likely count the number of cardiac arrest saves they have witnessed in the field on just two hands. And any person who is knowledgeable on the subject, will explain to you how leading researchers and experts have identified that patients who go into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital have a less than 10 percent chance of survival – a number that goes down every second that care is not initiated.

At Harpur’s Ferry, we tell ourselves that a 10 percent chance of survival is simply not good enough if there is something we can do to give somebody a better chance at living another day. We say this because we know that by applying our love for education and our presence at an institution of higher learning to the work we do on the ambulance, we can beat the odds ordinarily given to cardiac arrest patients. Harpur’s Ferry’s success rate when it comes to treating patients in cardiac arrest is significantly higher than the national averages because of that fact that we simply won’t accept 10 percent as is. Because our will to train and to become the best is driven by our love for the community we’re a part of. Each and every member of this team is invested in our mission to save lives, and none of us will rest until we know we’ve done everything we can for best possible patient outcome.

On Dec. 6, Harpur’s Ferry, joined by Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, NYS Sen. Fred Akshar and representatives from the offices of NYS Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and U.S. Congressman Richard Hanna, honored our members for their commitment to public service, and presented awards to those involved in the responses to both cardiac arrest calls this semester. The event was an opportunity for us to recognize those who volunteer their time to serve the students, faculty, staff and guests of this community – because whether it’s a cardiac arrest or simply a student in need of someone to talk to, our members are there – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.