Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yet Another Lost Weekend

AFD A5 on scene slummy Phillips Street for ETOH female with head injury 12:09 AM

Amherst Fire Department made twenty eight (28) Emergency Medical Services calls to UMass Amherst over the weekend, twenty five (25) of them for overly intoxicated "college aged youth," and quite frankly the other three traumas I have a strong suspicion alcohol was a contributing factor.



Let me repeat that:  At least 89.2% of all "emergency" runs to our flagship institute of higher education last weekend were for otherwise intelligent people who voluntarily drank themselves almost to the point of death.

AFD Engine 1 and Engine 3 on scene Theta Chi Frat 496 N. Pleasant Street 12:23 AM

And notice too just after midnight Saturday-into-Sunday morning in the midst of a flurry of ETOH runs two engines responded to an alarm at Theta Chi fraternity.  What if that had turned out to be a major structure fire?

With all our ambulances (and 80% of the on-duty crew) dealing with drunks, how effective a response could they have mustered?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would say that UMASS needs to do more with alcohol education, but I think the students wouldn't even care. Do other big schools get these kind of numbers? Chris.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to hear any students chiming in with "this is the way it's always been in Amherst."

It's just not so.

This is a public health problem that needs to be addressed with the same degree of passion and energy as we've done with cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't UMass PD have a drunk tank? Why doesn't CDH complain? Where is university health services, and why don't they deal with this?

Anonymous said...

They should all be stoned. That's what we need, more public stonings. We could could get biblical on 'em, that'll fix it...

Anonymous said...

Maybe U-mass could come up with a fee for attending to the drunk kids. It would be a small flat fee (maybe $20 a semester) for all students but it would be 25 times greater, for the semester following any incident of intoxication that requires public assistance. All of this money could be used for U-mass to staff emergency professionals to handle more of these incidents themselves.

At $40 a year with 25K students, that is $1M. How many ambulances or detox areas could you staff with that money?

Anonymous said...

CDH will never complain...remember hospitals are businesses and drunk students are a relatively quick and abundant buck.

Anonymous said...

Sent to Subbaswamy

Larry Kelley said...

He really needs to step up and express his outrage the way he did almost instantly after the Blarney Blowout.

This past weekend was the EMS version of a Blarney Blowout.

Anonymous said...

Thirty years ago, Umass used to charge the students for any "Student Damage" done to Umass property. This came out of their "Lab Fees". Once the students found out they paid for it, damage would go down. Sounds like the same thing might work here.

Anonymous said...

How about UMass taking the burden off AFD by hiring a private ambulance service to shuttle people to CDH?

Anonymous said...

I recommend a $160,000 study to see how UMass is handling this alcohol problem, and what they can do differently.

Anonymous said...

Here's a suggestion, hire some private ambulance services for back up on Friday and Saturday on select weekends. It takes a lot of dollars to equip and staff an additional ambulance year-round, when all that is needed is 2-3 extra on selected weekend nights in the fall and spring.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually we had extra back up Friday night as Chief Nelson made the Mullins Center hire two extra out of town ambulances (South Hadley and Easthampton).

But at one point all 5 AFD ambulances AND the 2 from out-of-town were ALL occupied dealing with drunks, so Northampton had to respond to transport a drunk student at Amherst College.

Anonymous said...

Expressing outrage and blaming students is probably not the right response. Suggesting that this is some required rite of passage for young people misses the point, also.

Seeing this as a health problem is.

We have students who apparently can't stop from nearly poisoning themselves, and it's probably a small fraction of the entire student body. But it's a big enough number that it swamps our emergency services.

Yes, the Chancellor needs to have a strategy for this, to reduce these numbers, and "all college campuses have this problem" does not cut it as a response.

Larry Kelley said...

They keep touting the success of the Campus and Community Coalition, but we still seem to end up having a Blarney Blowout once a year, and these kinds of weekends even more frequently.

Dr. Ed said...

"Expressing outrage and blaming students is probably not the right response. Suggesting that this is some required rite of passage for young people misses the point, also."

UMass has an Alcohol problem for the exact same reasons that the Soviet Union had an Alcohol problem...

Anonymous said...

All these smart Umass administrative folks can't figure this out, here is some help. Stop mixing first year students with older 21 year olds in residence halls, start enforcing alcohol rules, adopt a real conduct code and actually use it.

Anonymous said...

How come UPD arrest 1 driver a weekend for DWI and the town cops get 7or 8.

Larry Kelley said...

Well, more like 3 or 4 but still more than UMPD.

Maybe UMass kids use public transit more.

Anonymous said...

Umass should institute a policy that if you get transported for ETOH then you have to perform community service (pick up trash, paint schools, sort library books) to pay back your ambulance bill. There is no way to "buy yourself out" so everybody is treated equally. I bet after a few kids realize that they will be held to it and are picking up trash, ETOH transport will go down. And they are giving back to the town.

Anonymous said...

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