Montane Silverman and Noa Yee, members of Tufts Emergency Medical Services (TEMS), won the Richard W. Vomacka Student Speaker competition at the 22nd annual National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) conference, which took place from Feb. 27 to March 1 in Baltimore, Md.
According to Silverman, a junior who serves as the technical director of TEMS, the two of them presented about concussions, concussion management and emergency pre-hospital care at the conference, combining national data with data from Tufts into their presentation.
According to Yee, a junior who is the director of education for TEMS, preparations for the presentation began months ago.
“We had to submit [an outline] back in February for a presentation that they described as 45 minutes, as well as an abstract and intros and everything,” Yee said. “From there, they select six to eight speakers, and then those speakers who are selected … get a chance to present at this conference.”
Over 1,000 collegiate emergency medical services (EMS) students from 103 schools attended the NCEMSF conference, according to Haylee Rosenblatt, a junior who serves as the executive director of TEMS.
A large amount of work and preparation went into the presentation, which covered a variety of concussion-related information, Silverman said.
“We started … with a background on the topic, how it’s portrayed in the media and just presenting the issue as a whole,” Silverman said. They then discussed what a concussion is, how to manage one and how it manifests itself.
Silverman and Yee also examined how colleges handle concussions, especially in sports. “We went through rules and legislation about concussions [while] tying in facts about colleges in general,” Silverman said.
Silverman added that the presentation concluded with case studies on different concussions and how they could be handled.
Yee said that Tufts Medical Director Dr. Stacey Sperling was a hugely helpful and supportive figure throughout the process.
“She was incredibly instrumental, and continues to be,” he said.
Geoff Bartlett, who serves as TEMS advisor as well as the deputy director of public and environmental safety and director of emergency management at Tufts, expressed his pride for the recent TEMS achievements.
“The conference weekend was a big weekend for TEMS,” Bartlett said. “We’re all really proud of Noa and Montane. This is actually the first time that members of TEMS had their abstract accepted. People have to compete for the opportunity to speak … They were the first to win this award, and we’re really thrilled … and really happy to have their hard work reflect well on TEMS and Tufts University.”
According to Bartlett, Tufts also recently received HEARTSafe Campus designation, which TEMS helped earn. In order to receive this designation, at least five percent of the campus population needs to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Bartlett said. A short video that teaches hands-only CPR is offered on the TEMS website for any students who wish to learn.
“We are trying to provide people, in a way that’s quick and accessible to a rescuer, the basic skills to be able to render aid in a medical emergency,” Bartlett said. “The goal of all of these efforts and the HEARTSafe program is to strengthen … the chain of survival: The notion that in order for someone to survive from an out-of-hospital cardiac emergency, there are certain steps that need to occur, and they all need to occur relatively quickly.”
Nikki Margaretos, a first-year student and member of TEMS, also expressed her enthusiasm over Tufts’ recent HEARTSafe designation.
“I think this is huge for Tufts because it shows that our community … is committed to making the campus a safer place, and I think that going forward, it’s going to be really exciting to see how many members of our campus we can get certified in CPR,” Margaretos said.