Colby Emergency Response

    Colby Emergency Response

    Emergencies: 207-859-5911
    General Contact:

    Colby Emergency Response (CER) was founded to provide the Colby College campus with exceptional and reliable emergency medical coverage 24-7 during the school term.

    The service is a volunteer first-responder organization whose goal is to provide optimum patient care utilizing resources both on and off campus. CER aims to provide emergency care to patients as well as to transfer care in the most appropriate manner, whether it is to Delta Ambulance, Waterville Fire-Rescue, or another medical facility. The organization shall also provide members with opportunities for obtaining continuing education as well as experience in the emergency medical field. It is the responsibility of the officers and members to stay up to date with Maine and national EMS protocols and apply them in such a manner that best suits the Colby College campus.

    Emergency Information and CER

    The Garrison-Foster Health Center does not provide emergency medical care. We employ the services of Colby Emergency Response (CER), a student-run group of emergency medical technicians, who are able to respond to a wide variety of medical emergencies.  If you have a medical emergency, please call 207-859-5911 and Security will dispatch CER rescuers. When in doubt, call for CER. When CER responds, they will provide medical care and make one of three determinations:

    • Dispatch Delta Ambulance for transport to the emergency room
    • Escort via Colby College Security to the emergency room
    • Clear patient if no medical treatment is required
    Please remember that CER rescuers are students on this campus who volunteer their time to provide professional medical care. CER often responds with Security but is not a disciplinary body. All services provided by CER are free of charge. If a transporting service (e.g. Delta Ambulance) is required to provide transport, fees may be added to your insurance. CER rescuers are trained to respond to a wide variety of medical emergencies including, but not limited to, traumatic injuries, severe illness, alcohol and drug related illness, and mental health emergencies.


    ER is a student-run organization of volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) working as an extension of the Garrison-Foster Health Center. As EMTs, the squad provides on-scene basic life support (BLS) for medical emergencies within the Colby College community. CER is a non-transport, first-responder service that requires minimal licensing at the EMT level. Although all of CERs members must maintain a Maine EMT certification or higher, CER is not a Maine EMS (MEMS) licensed service. CER operates under protocols provided by the medical director, Dr. Scott Lowman, and the Garrison-Foster Health Center. The Garrison-Foster Health Center also acts as medical control. Current protocols are modifications of the Maine state EMS protocols, with additional consideration given to ALS-intercepts and patient transport. When prudent, patients are transported to MaineGeneral-Thayer Emergency Department in Waterville or transferred to Advanced Life Support (ALS) care—most often provided by Delta Ambulance and Waterville Fire-Rescue.

    During the academic year, CER is available to members of the Colby community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Volunteer rescuers run 24-hour shifts on a per-diem basis. CER crews usually consist of 2-4 members, though additional rescuers may be placed in service for concerts and other special events that require additional personnel. While on duty, rescuers carry rescue packs and radios and have access to additional gear (including oxygen, a backboard, another defibrillator, and more) stored in the security vehicles. CER’s equipment inventory is based on the standard required of a Maine BLS first-response agency; however, the inventory has been modified to this service’s unique operations on a collegiate campus without an ambulance. CER is dispatched by Colby Security and works closely with their officers; officers respond simultaneously with CER and are always available to assist on scene.

    In addition to providing emergency medical care, CER also serves as an on-campus resource for emergency medicine education. Some services provided include: Continuing Education Unit (CEU) opportunities, guest speakers, information about EMS-related classes offered in the area, and general information about EMS and EMS-related employment opportunities. American Heart Association CPR/BLS classes are also offered by CER periodically throughout the semester.


    In 1978 a group of EMT-trained Colby students saw the need for a first-responder service on campus. Soon, these students founded Student Primary Emergency Care Service (SPECS). Cate Talbot Ashton ’80 recalls that Jim Elmore ’80 and Alice Domar ’80 were the founders; they took an EMT-B class with Waterville Fire Rescue. At first, SPECS had no formal communications system and it was up to the nurse on duty to call each EMT’s room with the hopes that someone was there. In 1979, with assistance from Health Services, Security, and Student Government, SPECS was given radio pagers, which aided communications. Keep in mind that this was the era when 911 EMS services were beginning to start around the country; Colby was already ahead of the curve.

    As the years progressed, so did SPECS. A Jan Plan EMT course was offered soon after SPECS’ founding and student interest in the EMS system grew. By 1985 SPECS boasted more than a dozen members. As the 1980s progressed, the call volume began to pick up and instead of responding to a handful of incidents, SPECS members now responded to dozens of incidents each year. In 1988 SPECS’ name was changed to Colby Emergency Response (CER).

    Over the next several years, CER expanded and changed the location of its squad room several times, from Dana to Roberts to its current location in the Garrison-Foster Health Center. CER saw some major calls in the 1990s, with students falling from windows and a car accident on campus. As always, motivated and professional student EMTs responded and helped to protect lives. CER now boasted a membership of more than 25 rescuers.

    With the new millennium came some major changes for CER. In 2003 the health center closed 24-hour care due to a national nursing shortage. Lacking applicable protocols when the health center closed, CER was forced to limit its operations to the hours when the health center was open. Shortly thereafter, 24-hour care returned as did 24/7 service by CER.

    In 2009 the College announced that the Health Center would be shutting down overnight care permanently due to a lack of available resources and limited use of the overnight services by students. CER was well prepared to fill this apparent gap and under the direction of the medical director of the College, CER continued to remain a 24/7 operation. A highly trained group of senior rescuers were charged as the primary caregivers to students when the Health Center was closed. If needed, these rescuers had the services of local hospitals, Delta Ambulance, and the on-call practitioner to assist with calls beyond their level of care. As a result of these recent changes, CER’s relationship with these organizations has continued to thrive due to the high quality of care provided by CER’s rescuers.

    At the same time, with national concerns regarding EMS response times and scene safety coming to the spotlight, CER added another component to its relationship with Colby Security. On weekends, a group of rescuers would now ride with a security officer to provide care to students more quickly. In the coming years, CER will undoubtedly continue to grow and thrive, as it has since its inception in 1978.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    To reach CER in an emergency, dial Security’s emergency number: 207-859-5911. Be prepared to say where you are and give a brief description of why you are calling, and Security will then dispatch two to four CER members to respond to the emergency.
    CER is dispatched by Colby Security and works closely with their officers. Security officers respond simultaneously with CER to improve response times, to serve as an extra set of hands as needed, and to assure scene safety for CER, the patient, and bystanders. Due to higher call volume on the weekends, CER may ride with Security in the Security vehicle from 23:00-02:00 to ensure the fastest response time possible.
    CER responds to all medical emergencies including injury, illness (e.g. allergic reactions, diabetic emergencies, fainting, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, etc.), alcohol and drug related illness, and mental health emergencies. If you are ever unsure if your situation is truly an emergency, please call us — we are here to help!
    The Garrison-Foster Health Center may be used for general appointments with a physician or nurse to seek treatment for illness/injury, or for routine appointments (8:00AM-4:30PM Monday-Friday, and 12:00PM-5:00PM Saturday and Sunday; 207-859-4490). CER provides emergency care anywhere on campus, usually 24/7; our official Facebook page is updated with closures or limited hours.
    CER operates solely on-campus, and does not respond to any off-campus housing (e.g. the Bill and Joan Alfond Downtown Dorms or Lockwood Hotel Dorms).
    All information regarding calls, patient medical records, and patient information in general is kept completely confidential by CER. As licensed EMTs, all CER members know and abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules and regulations, and all CER members sign an additional oath of confidentiality. CER members are forbidden from accessing any medical records except in order to document a patient care report after a call, and only the CER members who were present at the call are able to access this report. Protected Health Information (PHI) obtained by CER, like a patient’s name, Colby ID, address/dorm room, phone number, etc., is only shared with others directly involved in that patient’s care and is never shared with other CER members, Colby Security officers, college faculty or staff, parents, or other students. However, Security may record the call or pass on student information to the office of the Dean of the College.
    Colby encourages both bystanders and, where possible, the person facing a medical emergency, to report the situation and seek assistance as quickly as possible, without fear of the sanctions outlined in the Alcohol and Drug Use Policy. According to the Good Samaritan policy, “bystander(s) who, in good faith, seek medical assistance for someone else will not be subject to disciplinary action for their own possession/consumption.” According to the Medical Amnesty Policy, “a student who may be experiencing a medical emergency and who reports that situation in good faith in order to seek medical assistance, will not be subject to disciplinary action if it is the student’s first violation of that policy.” However: a requirement that a student meet with the Coordinator of Substance Use Intervention, a class dean, or other College resource is not considered a sanction, and may be required even if disciplinary consequences are not imposed.
    CER is a non-transport service, but we have two options for transporting patients to the hospital when needed. In some cases, CER can escort patients to the emergency department via Colby College Security. If it is deemed necessary, patients can be transported to the emergency department via Delta Ambulance, Waterville-Fire-Rescue, or another transporting service if the situation warrants transfer of patient care to a higher level of service. Fees may be applied by the transporting service.
    To join CER you must be a nationally certified EMT-Basic (or higher) and/or a licensed EMT-Basic eligible for reciprocity in the state of Maine, if not currently licensed in Maine. Once you obtain your EMT certification and/or licensure, contact our Communications and Personnel Officer directly or email to set up a time for orientation.
    In order to become an EMT-Basic you must take an approved EMT-Basic course and pass the national registry exam to obtain EMT-Basic certification. Colby College offers an emergency medical technician course during Jan Plan in which students receive all of the training necessary to take both the psychomotor (practical) and cognitive (written) exams necessary to obtain certification. EMT-B classes are also offered as semester-long courses and summer programs, including courses at Kennebec Valley Community College; however, it is slightly more challenging to take a semester-long EMT course with a full course load at Colby. Once the psychomotor (practical) and cognitive (written) exams are passed and national certification is achieved through the NREMT, state licensure may be applied for. Applying for a state license often involves a background check and driving record check; however, this is state dependent, so check your state’s EMS website to see exactly what is required.
    If you already have an EMT-B license in another state you will need to apply for reciprocity in Maine. The Maine EMS website may be reached here, and specific information regarding reciprocity may be found here.
    All CER members must attend one to two trainings per month, attend one continuing education class per month, and staff approximately two to six shifts per month, depending on availability and scheduling needs.
    Trainings are typically held on two different days and times to help accommodate the various schedules of CER members. At trainings we simulate scenarios and work on practical skills to keep our skills and knowledge up to date and ensure that we are providing the best possible patient care on scene. Continuing education classes are held once a month at Colby and are usually taught by an outside paramedic. At continuing education classes, a wide range of skill sets and specialized topics within EMS (e.g. ALS assists, pediatric emergencies, efficient CPR, water rescues, etc.) are covered. These continuing education opportunities count toward the continuing education credits needed to maintain Maine EMS license.
    Of course! If you’re not yet an EMT but are in the process of becoming an EMT or are trying to decide if you want to be an EMT, you’re more than welcome to stop by trainings and/or our continuing education classes to see what CER and EMS are all about.
    All staffing crew members must possess a Maine EMT-Basic license, an AHA BLS Provider license, proof of hepatitis-B vaccination, and completion of a blood borne pathogens course (provided by CER upon joining).
    CER members do not receive payment for running shifts as EMS personnel, but the CER Officer Corps is paid hourly for administrative work.

    CER Team

    CER Officers

    Joanelle Tran

    Hometown: Sandy Hook, CT

    Class of 2021
    “Hey y’all! I’m a psychology major with a concentration in neuroscience. I took the EMT JanPlan my freshman year, joined CER sophomore year, and I’ve been in love with EMS ever since! I’m so grateful to work for Newtown Volunteer Ambulance back in Connecticut, and Delta Ambulance and Waterville-Fire Rescue here in Maine. During my free time you can catch me at the Woodsmen field or skating on Johnson Pond. In the future, I’ll hopefully be heading to paramedic school!”
    Sam Kwon

    Hometown: New York City

    Class of 2021
    “Hi! My name is Sam and I’m a chemistry major and theatre and dance minor. I became an EMT when I was sixteen, and I’ve been an officer on CER since my first year at Colby! My favorite part about CER is hanging out with the ghost of Runnals on late night shifts. I’m planning on taking a gap-year and then applying to medical school after I graduate. Outside of CER, I play for Colby Ultimate, act and direct plays, lead hikes for the Outing Club, and I bake a ton of bread.”
    Katie Burton

    Hometown: Winnetka, IL

    Class of 2022
    “Hi! My name is Katie and I’m a junior pursuing a Biology major with a Neuroscience concentration and a Sociology minor. I am an SVP Peer Educator for first-years and sophomores, a CPR instructor, and a research assistant in the Biology department. In my free time, I enjoy running outside, exploring Maine with friends, watching movies, and skating on Johnson Pond! I took the EMT course at Colby during Jan Plan of my freshman year and joined CER shortly after receiving my license. My favorite thing about CER is that the service has introduced me to a lot of great people that love EMS as much as I do!”
    Emma Balkin

    Hometown: Ellicott City, MD And York Harbor, ME

    Class of 2021
    “Hi all! My name is Emma and I am a senior Psychology: Neuroscience major. I have been working on CER since my freshman year, and I absolutely love getting the opportunity to help train our new members. After Colby, I plan to pursue some type of graduate education in healthcare, perhaps nursing! Working for CER, as well as my own experience, has made me fall in love with patient care and the field of medicine. In my free time, I enjoy making gluten free snacks, eating said snacks, and acting for Powder and Wig!”
    Devon O'Connell

    Hometown: Coventry, Connecticut and Stevens Point, WI

    Class of 2022
    “Hi! My name is Devon O’Connell and I’m a junior at Colby this year. I’m majoring in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. Outside of CER, I’m an SVP peer educator, a BLS instructor and I’m pursuing the pre-med track. I love to ski, hike, cook and making frequent weekend coffee runs! I’m originally from Coventry, CT and I’m now living Stevens Point, Wisconsin with my mom and two dogs.”
    Jack Indritz

    Hometown: MN

    Class of 2021
    “My name is Jack and I am this year’s Quality Improvement officer. I’m a senior from Minnesota double-majoring in mathematics and philosophy. I became an EMT before coming to Colby and have worked and volunteered as an EMT outside of Colby. Besides CER, on campus I am involved in the Outing Club, Project Pengyou, and the Mountaineering Club. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, meeting new people, and reading. I am very excited to develop CER’s Quality Improvement program over the year. I look forward to connecting with our CER members and partners, and to creating strong Quality Improvement policies and practices that enable CER to serve our community better.”

    CER Members

    Cat Biegel

    Hometown: Standish, ME

    Class of 2021
    “Hi! I am a student on the pre-med track majoring in biology with a concentration in biochemistry. Aside from CER, I also work in the Office of Campus Events and am a member of the women’s rugby team. I (really) hope to eventually attend medical school. My hobbies include playing sports and/or board games, watching movies, and eating chocolate :)”
    Michelle Cao

    Hometown: Queens, NY

    Class of 2021
    “Hi, I’m Michelle! I’m a Chemistry-Biochemistry major and East Asian Studies minor from Queens, NYC. Outside of CER, I’m involved with the Asian Student Association and sew face masks for the local public schools. I also love to cook and paint! After Colby, I hope to enter medical school and pursue a career as a physician.”
    Hailey Cerrato

    Hometown: Concord, NH

    Class of 2022
    “At Colby, I am a Psychology major with minors in Chemistry and Italian. I am a research assistant in the Rice lab and SETO lab, a CCAK mentor, a Maine General Hospital volunteer, and a member of Colby Dancers. In my free time, I enjoy baking, photography, dance parties, and spending time with my friends. In the future, I hope to do something women’s health-related, likely pre-PA, but I’m open to exploring other options as well!”
    Erica Chung

    Hometown: Burbank, CA

    Class of 2022
    “I am a psychology major with a concentration in neuroscience and a chemistry minor. In addition to CER, I am a research assistant in the Cognitive Development Lab (Baby Lab) and a TA for Psychology Research Methods and Statistics. I am a student advisory board member and mentor of Colby Cares About Kids. I also play the violin in Colby Symphony Orchestra. In my free time, I enjoy ice skating and spending time with my friends! I hope to pursue a career in medicine after I graduate from Colby.”
    Zachary Eisenbies

    Hometown: Carlisle

    Class of 2023
    “I am a Pre-med Biology Major with a concentration in Neuroscience. At Colby College, while not working shifts with CER, I play as a goalkeeper on the Men’s Soccer team and during the winter I like to ski. I love reading and playing guitar in my free time, and if I get the chance I like to explore Maine and go for hikes around New England. I took the EMT program during Jan Plan here at Colby College because it was one of the things I knew I wanted to do when I was initially applying. After college, I hope to go to graduate school but the exact career I am looking for hasn’t made itself obvious to me yet. CER is organized and is composed of some of the most supportive people I know on campus; I’m equally as excited for each shift as I am proud to represent CER around campus.”
    Ming Fung

    Hometown: Gresham, OR

    Class of 2021
    “I am a Biology major with a concentration in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and an Economics minor. On-campus, I am also a Community Advisor, Outing Club Trip Leader, Biology Research Assistant, CCAK mentor, and Sexual Violence Prevention Peer Mentor. Additionally, I am involved in the Running Club, Quest Club, and Colby Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. My interest in volunteering as an EMT at Colby stems from my interest in medicine and passion for helping our campus to be a safer space. After Colby, I plan to go to medical school and study to become a family physician. When I am not busy with academics, you can often find me fishing, hiking, running, or skiing in the great outdoors.”
    Molly Gardner

    Hometown: Minnesota

    Class of 2022
    “Hi! I am a Global Studies and Environmental Science double major with minor in Chemistry! In addition to CER I am involved in Food for Thought, a civic engagement club focused on Food sustainability in Waterville, the Colby Outing Club, and Sexual Violence Prevention Peer Education. In my free time, I enjoy being outside, running, skiing, or hiking! In the future, I hope to attend medical school.”
    Hannah Griffin

    Hometown: Scarborough, ME

    Class of 2022
    “I am a biology major with a concentration in neuroscience and a religious studies minor. After Colby, I hope to attend PA school. I am looking forward to being on CER this year!”
    Kurt Harmening

    Hometown: Edina, MN

    Class of 2023
    “Hello! I’m Kurt and I’m currently majoring in economics and neurobiology! (Who knows how long that’ll stick) I became an EMT so I’d always be able to help my friends and family if they needed it. My favourite thing about CER is of course the wonderful CER members I get to work with, and helping make Colby a safer place for students. My motto, “I can help you once you get injured, but only you can prevent yourself from getting injured in the first place.””
    Jordyn Kim

    Hometown: Glenview, IL

    Class of 2022
    “I am majoring in mathematical sciences and biology and minoring in chemistry. Besides CER, I am a member of SHOC and ASA, as well as a research assistant for Lindsey Madison’s Computational Chemistry Lab. In my free time, I enjoy going outside with COC and watching movies with friends. I hope to pursue a career in the medical field after Colby.”
    Cat McIntyre

    Hometown: Darien, CT

    Class of 2021
    “I am a senior biology major with a concentration in neuroscience. On-campus I am a CCAK board member, a member of Colby dancers, and a tutor for the biology department. I am pre-health and plan on going to PA school in the years following Colby.”
    Krisy McNichol

    Hometown: Rockland, ME

    Class of 2021
    “I am a senior double majoring in music and biology with a concentration in neuroscience. At Colby, I work in the Athletic Training room and have enjoyed being a TA for Chemistry Labs and a Research Assistant for Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI). In addition to CER, I am involved in Best Buddies, Colby Wind Ensemble, Colby Symphony Orchestra, and Colby Dancers. After graduating, I hope to attend medical school to become a pediatrician!”
    Tiger Nguyen

    Hometown: Houston, TX

    Class of 2023
    “Howdy y’all! I’m Tiger and am a Biological Neuroscience and Music double major, in my second year! On campus, I am heavily involved with S.V.P. (Sexual Violence Prevention), G.S.D. (Gender, Sexuality, and Diversity), C.M.I. (the Colby Music Incubator), and C.E.R. (Colby Emergency Response). In my free time, I can be found composing and performing music, as well as working with local ensembles and bands in the greater Kennebec Valley.
    My goals at Colby are to:
    • See a moose
    • Have lobster at every meal
    • Find where they keep the big freaking throne that David A. Green sits on during convocation and sit on it
    I am looking forward to working alongside the other members of C.E.R. and all of you to make Colby and the greater Waterville community a safer home for our four years here!”
    Spencer Schaller

    Hometown: Avon, CT

    Class of 2024
    “My name is Spencer Schaller, I am a biology major with a concentration in neuroscience and pre-med. I took an EMT course before my Senior year of high school and I have been volunteering ever since. Outside of CER you can find me around campus singing with Collegium, practicing guitar, or walking around the arb. I am also an avid alpine and telemark skier. I hope to one work professionally in Emergency Medicine, either as a Flight Nurse/Medic, Critical Care Nurse, or Emergency Physician.”

    Hometown: York, PA

    Class of 2022
    “I’m a physics major and chemistry minor. On campus, I work as a chemistry research assistant and organic chemistry tutor, I’m a mentor and member of the student advisory board for CCAK, and I play with the club volleyball team! I took the EMT JanPlan my first year and joined CER the following year. After Colby, I hope to attend medical school.”
    Chloe Simms

    Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

    Class of 2023
    “Hello, my name is Chloe. Currently I am a Neuropsych major and German minor. Around campus I am a writing tutor, a writing fellow, a member of Collegium (choir), and a leader in IVCF (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship club). In my free time I like to play tennis and sing– but not at the same time. I also like to do stuff with yarn, like knitting, crocheting, and felting. I became an EMT because I thought it would provide helpful skills, and I always admired the job of CER at Colby.”
    Ethan Springhorn

    Hometown: Wellesley, MA

    Class of 2022
    “I am a Physics major but my interests span many other STEM fields such as Math and Biology. On campus I am a leader of the Society of Physics students, on the Disability Awareness Board, a Colby Outdoor Orientation Trip (COOT) leader, and I play soccer with the club soccer team. For two years before coming to Colby, I was a ski patroller at a mountain in Vermont and I decided to join CER to continue working as a first responder here at Colby. In my free time I often like to run, ride bikes (usually fast and down mountains but occasionally on roads), do just about anything outdoors like hiking and fishing, I also very much like listening to music and doing other spontaneous fun activities. After Colby, I plan on going to graduate school in some kind of interdisciplinary physics field.”
    Sophia Strine

    Hometown: Swarthmore, PA

    Class of 2024
    “I am a freshman here at Colby hoping to double major in Biology and English! I became an EMT in the summer before starting college as a way to experience patient care in the real world before I (hopefully) attend medical school. I am involved in Colby Chorale and Collegium here on campus as well as the Pulver Scholar Science Program, Biology Club and Colby Cares About Kids! I love to be outdoors and bake in my free time, and spend way too much time watching Netflix and online shopping!”