ACEMS Frequently Asked Questions

See below for a list of frequently asked questions about ACEMS. Please feel free to email us at with any additional questions.

When should I call ACEMS? 

You should call ACEMS for any physical or mental health emergency that requires immediate care. If you are unsure, we encourage you to call. 

What kind of care does ACEMS provide? 

All ACEMS members are nationally and state certified EMTs. We provide Basic Life Support Quick Response (BLS/QRS) to emergencies. Three ACEMS members respond to every call. If a call is thought to be of a potentially life-threatening nature or at the request of the patient, the Amherst Fire Department (AFD) Ambulance is dispatched along with ACEMS responders.

When is ACEMS available? 

ACEMS operates 24/7 when classes are in session. 

Do I have to pay to call ACEMS? 

Calling ACEMS is always free. However, if a higher level of care is necessary, costs may be incurred depending on transportation and further treatments. In non life-threatening situations, the college reimburses a taxi service for Amherst students. 

What happens after I call? 

You will be put through to ACPD dispatch. They will ask you basic information about the nature of the emergency and your location. Dispatch then contacts the ACEMS members on shift, who will immediately respond to the call. If you are calling for somebody else, we ask that you stay near the patient at least until ACEMS members arrive. You are also encouraged to provide as much care as you are comfortable with. 

Do I have to go to the hospital? 

If you are legally able to consent, you may refuse any form of medical treatment, including care by ACEMS or higher levels of care. If further treatment is recommended, options may include the following, depending upon hours: Keefe Health Center, University Health Services at UMass, urgent care, or the ER. Legal consent requires that you are oriented and of sound mind to make decisions. Minors enrolled at the college are legally able to consent to ACEMS care (however, if AFD is called, this does not apply). Minors not enrolled must obtain parent/guardian consent.

I have an alcohol or drug-related emergency. Will I get in trouble if I call ACEMS? 

ACEMS follows a strict policy of medical amnesty under the jurisdiction of Amherst College Health Services. When you call ACEMS, you will not be subject to any alcohol or other-drugs violations, and nothing will go on your permanent record. 

Will my call be kept confidential? 

ACEMS practices a strict policy of confidentiality. We will not disclose any personal information about your call outside of the Health Services network. 

How can I become a member? 

Every January Interterm, ACEMS offers a free EMT course paid for by the College; interested candidates must apply to the course through the application released at the end of September. Individuals who are nationally certified EMTs through external program will have the opportunity to try out for ACEMS during semesterly tryouts.