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- How do I call the WEMS?
The WEMS are dispatched by the Wheaton Public Safety Department. To call the dispatcher from a campus phone, dial x3333. From an outside line, dial 508-286-3333. The WEMS respond to any call for medical assistance no matter how large or small.
- When are the WEMS available?
During the academic year, WEMS are available to respond to emergencies on-campus from 10 PM - 2 AM on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Are the WEMS emergency medical technicians (EMTs) as good as "regular" EMTs?
Yes! WEMS EMTs are "regular" EMTs. While WEMS is a volunteer service, all WEMS EMTs are state certified following a 132 hour (minimum) standard course. Many WEMS EMTs have jobs with outside ambulance companies and have practical experience.
- How confidential is treatment obtained through the WEMS?
By law, the WEMS are required to maintain a certain high level of confidentiality that includes not divulging your information to parties not directly involved in your medical care. After transport, the WEMS are not allowed to talk with your parents (unless you are under 18 years of age), your friends, the college, or even the police.
- I'm really embarrassed to call the WEMS for help, what should I do?
It's not uncommon to feel embarrassed, but this should never prevent you from calling for assistance. In fact, you should not feel embarrassed for taking advantage of a medical service provided for your community. If you are hurt or ill, the WEMS can and will help. Your situation will be handled with professionalism and compassion.
- I know some members of the WEMS, and I'm afraid that one of them will be the one who arrives when I call. What should I do?
This is a common issue encountered within small communities. By law, EMTs do not gossip about patients. Additionally, your level of care will not differ based on how well or, if at all, you know the EMTs on duty.
- Do the WEMS respond to off-campus sites?
No, the WEMS only respond to on-campus medical calls for students, staff, and guests.
- Will the WEMS call an ambulance for me if I'm sick/injured?
After the WEMS assess your condition, they may decide, based on the severity of your presenting illness/injury, to contact Norton Fire & Rescue for transport to Sturdy Memorial Hospital.
- Will I receive a bill for using WEMS EMT services? What if I'm transported by ambulance?
No. the WEMS services are free for students, staff and guests of Wheaton College.
Yes. Norton Rescue (ambulance) will charge a $400 - $600 base fee, plus the cost of any interventions. Speak with your insurance company representative regarding your specific coverage.
- Will the police or Public Safety Officers respond if I call for assistance from the WEMS?
When you call 508-286-33333 or x3333 from a campus phone for a medical emergency, there is a possibility that Wheaton Public Safety will respond. While they do not respond to all medical calls, they will respond for moderate to severe medical emergencies and anytime there may be large crowds or motor vehicles at the scene. This is done to ensure community safety as well as the physical safety of the WEMS as they provide treatment before an ambulance arrives. Once Norton Fire & Rescue does arrive, WPS may direct traffic and/or deal with bystanders on scene that may interfere with patient care.
- What happens if I call 911?
If you dial 911, the WEMS will not receive your call; Norton Fire & Rescue will be dispatched for your emergency. The Wheaton Public Safety dispatcher attempts to monitor the Norton radio frequency for calls originating from Wheaton (as WPS can respond faster and and knows the campus better), but the dispatcher is not always able to intercept these calls. If you are on-campus, call 508-286-3333 or x3333 from a campus phone to obtain the quickest possible response for your emergency.
- How do I join the WEMS?
You can join the WEMS if you are already certified as an EMT-B in the state of Massachusetts; please contact Cynthia Maricle at firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. If you are already certified in another state for which Massachusetts does not offer reciprocity or accept National Registry, please refer to the OEMS website for information on obtaining an EMT-B certification in Massachusetts. If you are not yet certified and wish to take the class, please refer to the WEMS homepage for EMT-B course information.