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Drew University Offers Cadet Program in Partnership with Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Jamie Barbian C’22 coordinates the program through Drew’s Center for Civic Engagement

November 2022 – Since 2017, Drew University’s Center for Civic Engagement and the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps (MVAC) collaborated to develop the Drew University MVAC Cadet Program.

The program provides Drew students with the opportunity to help the Madison community and gain professional experience in emergency medical services and public safety.

Each semester, four students are encouraged to apply and participate in the program. Student cadets are scheduled to ride with the MVAC during one four-hour shift each week—ideally on a set schedule so the student rides with a consistent crew.

Senior Jamie Barbian C’22 has been the program coordinator since January 2021. She is responsible for scheduling the training and shifts and ensuring the program is run properly. 

Student cadets can expect to learn the basics of emergency response, including radio use, quick response time, on-scene professionalism, and communicating with nursing staff. Student cadets are permitted to ride in the ambulance once CPR certified; the CPR class is provided by Drew.

“They get to experience the calls that come in, but they also get to know the people they’re working with during the downtime,” said Barbian.

Student cadets may pursue a full Emergency Medical Training (EMT) certification upon completion of the program, allowing them to return to MVAC as corps members.

Barbian became a cadet in 2019 and earned her EMT certification in 2020. She now volunteers with MVAC during a 12-hour weekly shift. 

“I have learned so much about communicating with people and it’s been really interesting to see myself grow outside of being an EMT through the program,” she said. “I’ve been able to experience some really incredible things, and see people at their best and worst times. Being able to help them through that has been really great.”

Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Barbian found herself at Drew because wanted to go to a smaller school with a good science program. “I wanted to branch out a little bit and see a different part of the country.” She will be able to graduate a full semester early thanks to Drew’s acceptance of the IB credits she earned in high school.

Barbian is majoring in biochemistry & molecular biology with a minor in public health. She has accepted a position with Invenra, Inc., a biotechnology company in Madison, Wisconsin. She will be aiding in the development of cancer drugs.

“I came out here not knowing anyone and the crew has become a second family to me,” she said.

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