Friday night lights

Christine Guerrini

Sirens screech loudly, the pitch getting higher and higher. Flashing Friday night lights cast a red and blue shadow in the midnight air. The Villanova Emergency Medical Services (VEMS) ambulance turns the corner, rushing in to South campus. As a group of people gravitate toward the vehicle, the whispers of the on-lookers are heard, “Someone is getting VEMed!!”

Quickly, the team exits the ambulance and disappears inside a dorm. Of 800 calls a year, only about 30 percent (or 240 calls) are alcohol-related. But, when these calls do come, the majority of them occur on the weekends. Friday night. Party night.

We’ve all imagined what happened before the medics arrived on the scene. Three drinks escalated to 10, and the dance floor turned into the bathroom floor. The pungent smell of beer, rum chased with soda and vodka mixed with cranberry juice escaped from subject’s mouth as he or she spoke. Half-glazed eyes wandered back and forth between the different volunteers as they evaluate the situation. Public Safety loomed in the background, as students prepared for the inevitable speech on underage drinking.

Because of rumors and speculation, VEMS may be the enemy to you. After all, once they whisk you away in that shiny white ambulance, your friends take license to mock you for the rest of the semester.

Little does the student body know, however, that the VEMS team is here to help rather than hurt. They take control of the situation, making sure that you are in a “conscious, alert and oriented” state before they identify the primary issue. Keeping your health stable is their concern, not getting you in trouble. Public Safety is responsible for filing a report based on the information gathered, and Residence Life takes it from there.

Those bright lights and piercing sirens may still excite you when you’re sober. They may always scare you when you’ve had a drink too many. But the VEMS team should be thought of as even less intimidating than Kathy the Omelet lady.