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Overview

Columbia University Emergency Medical Service (CU EMS) is a division of Health Services at Columbia and the Department of Public Safety.

CU EMS is a student-operated, New York State-certified, Basic Life Support (BLS) volunteer ambulance corps that provides prehospital emergency medical care, free of charge, to Columbia University's Morningside Heights Campus, surrounding University-owned buildings and the surrounding area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The corps has approximately 45 active members and responds to over 800 emergency calls per year.

Health Services at Columbia provides medical direction and administrative support, while the Department of Public Safety provides 24/7 dispatching services and on-scene logistical support.

In addition to the prehospital emergency medical treatment and transport, CU EMS works with EMS education programs in the city to host an on-campus EMT-Basic class that provides EMT certification to interested students. For more information, visit our Become an EMT page.

Columbia University EMS is often known by the ancronym "CAVA". CAVA stands for Columbia Area Volunteer Ambulance, and was our official name from our inception in 1962 to 2002.