RIT Ambulance, FMS convert van to transport students in quarantine on campus

Student Health, RIT Wellness and Public Safety teams also contribute to temporary van service to ensure student and staff safety

Plexiglass barriers and door seals separate the driver side from the passenger area of the retrofitted van.

As the majority of students moved out of residence housing because of CV-19, several remained behind in quarantine. To ease their temporary stay and to provide better access to services needed, most were moved to different campus accommodations by an FMS van refitted by members of the RIT Ambulance group and Facilities Management Services.

Pulling together different campus resources—from student health to facilities—ensured that students had a safe path to new rooms and better care, said Knycos Ferguson.

“Safety was our number one priority. This is a way to see to the well-being of those students who may have had symptoms or whose roommates might. And it reduces contact with other students and staff,” said Ferguson, who is a service management analyst in RIT’s Information and Technology Services division and acts as captain of personnel and safety for RIT Ambulance.

The retrofitted van freed up RIT Ambulance (RITA) staff for continued emergency calls and is being used to transport students from dormitories where there are more shared spaces such as central restrooms and dining areas to campus apartments where quarantined students have access to spaces that limit contact with others. The new sites also allow for services such as food delivery as needed.

Installation of plexiglass barriers to maintain social distancing—for passengers as well as drivers and aides—and airtight exterior door seals were provided by members of the FMS services group, led by Dave Harris, also an RIT Ambulance volunteer.

Student Health and its wellness service providers contributed assorted equipment and safety coverings as well as worked with RITA to ensure that any staff volunteer would maintain the correct procedures to don and remove masks, gloves and other safety clothing.

“We’ll be working with Student Health as long as there are students on campus that need the service,” said Ferguson.

“We’re getting back to our roots in providing transportation services like this again. When the RIT Ambulance began, it was primarily a student transport safety unit.”

The team has come a long way since it began more than 50 years ago and continues to provide safety and health support to the campus.


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