The Midnight Ramblers were right when they handed off the Boar’s Head to the Medical Emergency Response Team last night – MERT is truly one of the most valuable organizations on campus.

MERT is the primary medical care team for not only the undergraduate community, but for visitors, faculty and staff as well, 24/7. With between 250 and 300 calls for service each year, MERT does a lot more than just help students who drink too much.

With this idea in mind, the College, UR Security, and UHS have taken a new initiative to aid those who give us first aid. MERT will soon be adding a new tool to its arsenal – a Jeep Cherokee equipped for emergency response.

The MERT vehicle came about under the premise – an absolutely correct one – that, although MERT can be quick to the scene of an emergency, they have the potential to be much faster. It can take at least 15 minutes to get from one end of campus to the other, and that is only after receiving the call that there is a problem. The minutes saved by having a vehicle are enough to keep a bad situation from becoming worse.

In addition to saving time, this addition also allows MERT to easily carry all of the equipment they need. Previously, MERT members had to lug their bags across campus. Now, all the tools they need, from backboards to bandages and from drugs to defibrillators, are available at a moment’s notice.

The addition of a vehicle to the MERT arsenal is far from unprecedented – indeed, student EMS vehicles are standard on most comparable college campuses, and operational policies have proven effective.

So long as the MERT members allowed to drive the vehicle are given extensive background checks and strictly regulated from abusing this privilege, there is no reason not to trust MERT with a Jeep – we already trust them with our lives.

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