Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps Continues Its Legacy

New recognitions, awards give boost to the agency

Stony Brook University has always been one step ahead, especially when it comes to medicine. With Stony Brook University Hospital just on the other side of Nicolls Road, the university has always been privy to new medical techniques and technologies. Add to that the amount of health science and pre-med programs the university offers, as well as a nursing program, dental school and medical school.

While it seems like the perfect blend, Stony Brook is always striving for greatness. Cue the Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SBVAC), a New York State certified emergency ambulance agency primarily serving Stony Brook University and its surrounding areas. Founded in 1970 by volunteer student leaders, the Ambulance Corps has recently earned several awards and recognitions that prove how far it has come.

“It has been an honor to be able to give back to both SBVAC and the campus community at large over the past year,” said Jayden Reilly, president, EMT-B, SBVAC. “For myself, and many of our members, SBVAC has been the defining part of our time at Stony Brook, with thousands of volunteer hours poured into the organization.”

SBVAC is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staffing more than 100 athletic games in 2023. They are also one of a dozen collegiate ambulance corps throughout the nation that are Advanced Life Support Agencies, operating with a year-round membership. They have a response time of less than six minutes and recently increased their district response rate from 94 percent to 97 percent.

Sbvac upd and c cert“Ever since its founding in 1970, SBVAC has been at the forefront of collegiate EMS,” Reilly said. “I look forward to seeing this continue for years to come as we continue to uphold the standards necessary to be a HeartSafe Campus, an EMS Ready Campus, and an Agency Striving for Excellence in Collegiate EMS.”

This year, the commitment has gone unmatched. Through the work of SBVAC and its partnership with the Divisions of Enterprise Risk Management and Student Affairs, Stony Brook was recognized as a HeartSafe Campus for the first time ever. This, Reilly said, was due to the Ambulance Corps training more than 1,200 students on how to administer hands-only CPR. Reilly also explains that another metric that was measured for this recognition was the amount of hours — “thousands of hours, collectively” — that volunteers spent on shift, as well as continually working to lower response times.

“While each of us have different roles, it has been incredible to know that I could rely upon each member of our team — whether it’s our treasurer filing taxes, our lieutenant restocking our ambulances, or our chiefs ensuring that our agency is operating at the highest level possible,” Reilly explained.

SBVAC also brought home several other honors, including the Striving for Excellence in Collegiate EMS Award, reflecting the immense efforts of its membership to operate at the highest level possible, and was recognized as an EMS Ready Campus — a marker of SBVAC’s improving emergency response capabilities.

“Knowing that we have been able to live up to SBVAC’s rich 54-year legacy — which has included accolades such as New York State EMS Agency of the Year and National Collegiate EMS Agency of the Year — is an incredible feeling. It has me very excited to see what the future may bring for SBVAC,” said Reilly.

— Emily Cappiello

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