Call the Mopeds!

By Louise Sloan '88 / September/October 2017
September 11th, 2017

When Gary Kleinman ’80 and Jennifer Yolles ’79 first proposed the formation of a campus emergency medical service staffed by trained and licensed students, their idea met with “significant opposition from administrators,” Kleinman remembers.

But in 1977, they were allowed to organize a student club. Then, Kleinman recalls, “The blizzard of ’78 happened, and for the better part of a week, this small group of students was really the only emergency presence on the East Side of Providence.” When a student fractured her ankle badly after jumping into a snowbank from a third floor window, the volunteers located a snowmobile and a backboard and got her to the hospital. Brown EMS had arrived.

The group eventually got a license from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the University provided insurance. They started making rounds with mopeds and backpacks, treating everything from allergic reactions to a heart attack to a fall through a third-floor skylight.

“The only thing we never did was an emergency delivery,” Kleinman says, “though we came close a couple of times.” Today, Brown EMS has an ambulance and seventy student EMTs. EMS alums are invited to celebrate the 40th on Reunion Weekend—for info and to register, visit

Photo by Erik Gould



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September/October 2017