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News Release


UAlbany Volunteer Ambulance Service, Organized and Staffed by Students, Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 7, 2003) -- With approximately 17,000 students, more than 4,000 faculty and staff and its own zip code, the University at Albany is a small city. Like any city it has its own ambulance, the Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance Service, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. Organized and staffed by students, the group has about 70 active members who volunteer 20-40 hours a week to provide service to the UAlbany community 24 hours a day.

Members receive extensive training in American Red Cross cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid to answer more than 600 calls during the academic year. "Because Five Quad is located on campus, it is capable of responding to emergencies much faster than an outside ambulance company could," said Dr. Leslie Lawrence, Five Quad medical advisor and director of the University Health Center. "Over time, this results in lives being saved that otherwise might not have been."

The service operates with a budget of $84,000, provided by the Student Association. The students who volunteer come from all walks of life and many different majors, from biology to history. They have treated everything from heat stroke to chest pains. When school is not in session, some members serve with their local fire department or other service organization in their hometown. Several members even went to Ground Zero days after the September 11 attack to provide Emergency Medical Services for emergency personnel.

To contact Five Quad during an emergency, UAlbany community members simply dial 911. According to Lawrence, transport to a hospital by a private ambulance company can cost as much as $900. With an average Five Quad medical transport costing $450, he estimates the service has saved students $270,000 each year.


Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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