On this page:
- Origins of EMS at URI
- The “URICA” Years
- URI EMS Into the 21st Century
- Historical Highlights
- Retired Apparatus
- Former Headquarters
- Former Chiefs/Commanders
The origins of ambulance services at URI began in the 1970s when the URI Police and Security Department cross-trained their officers as Emergency Medical Technicians. When a medical call came in, one police officer would respond to the scene and another would respond to the station to pick up the ambulance. In 1984, URI Police suspended its ambulance transport service, relying on the now-defunct South County Ambulance and Rescue Corps (SCARC) to provide this service.
As it was, the South County Ambulance and Rescue Corps (SCARC) was stretched thin. When the University Police ceased offering EMS services in 1985, SCARC was forced to respond to URI in addition to the Towns of South Kingstown and Narragansett. When this proved unsuccessful, a group of URI students proposed to start a volunteer student-run ambulance service. While many doubted the concept of a student-based, volunteer ambulance service, on September 9, 1985, against all odds and under the auspices of URI’s Department of Public Safety (predecessor to the modern-day URI Safety and Risk Management), the URI Community Ambulance (URICA) came to be.
URICA operated out of “temporary” headquarters in the basement of a converted dormitory, Adams Hall, since its inception, moving to the Police Department in 2000 for a brief period during renovations at Adams. URICA originally operated the Police Department’s converted van ambulance, before receiving a donated Type II modern-design ambulance.
At first offering limited transport services and still heavily supervised by the EMT/police officers, URICA developed into an independent and respected EMS entity, finding its place in the University community. URICA operated a transporting ambulance providing primary EMS services throughout the school year and for some limited special events during the summers.
In 1994, URICA’s operational guidance and funding source was transferred from Safety and Risk Management to URI Health Services. Shortly thereafter, in 1997, URICA was renamed to URI EMS to reflect the changing environment of prehospital care providers.
In the later parts of the 1990s, URI EMS experimented with being in service during the summer. In early 2004, URI EMS experimented with 24/7/365 service availability, a tradition that continues today.
In 2002, URI EMS was moved to a “transitional headquarters” across from the Ryan Center while a permanent new building was being planned and designed. In 2005, work began on the new headquarters for EMS which opened on our 21st anniversary in September 2006. This headquarters was the first permanent headquarters for URI EMS, providing URI EMS for the first time with showers, a dedicated garage apparatus bay, customized office space, and a training classroom designed to meet our operational needs.
Currently, URI EMS operates one transporting ambulance, responding to all emergency calls at URI and to surrounding communities as needed for mutual aid. URI EMS handles approximately 950 medical incidents and provides standby EMS for over 200 special events each year, many of which generate multiple patients (large summer events can generate up to 300 patients in a single event).
This section is being updated, please check back soon.
- Did you know that URICA was one of the first ambulance services in the area to use an AED? Our AED use SOP developed into the State of Rhode Island Health Department Protocol for AED use.
Raymond B. Maxim (September ’85 – January ‘86)
Michael T. Handrigen (January ’86 – January ‘87)
Ronald Pope (January ’87 – January ‘88)
Charles Davey (January ’88 – January ‘89)
David Dicioccio (January ’89 – July ‘89)
Barry E. Bell (July ’89 – May ‘90)
Jeffrey Lindauer (May ’90 – January ‘91)
Lisa C. Strom (January ’91 – April ‘92)
David Lovesky (April ’92 – January ‘94)
Gregg-Allen Mederios (January ’94 – January ‘95)
Ryan G. Duffy (January ’95 – January ‘97)
Andrew Azzinaro (January ’97 – January ‘98)
Scott R. McKeating (January ’98 – May ‘98)
Peter P. Pascucci (May ’98 – January ’00)
Christopher G. Cowan (January ’00 – September ‘01)
Robert T. Hart (September ’01 – June ‘04)
Shad U. Ahmed (June ’04 – January ’11)
Robert T. Hart (January ’11 – Present)