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In 1970, a group of RIT students formed the Student Safety Unit (SSU) for the purpose of providing students with off-hours non-emergency transport to Rochester health care facilities. In 1980, the SSU was renamed to the RIT Emergency Medical Unit (EMU). After increasing its campus mandate, the EMU acquired its first ambulance in 1981 and was certified by NYS Department of Health as a transporting ambulance agency. In order to better define its role within the RIT community, in 1982, EMU was renamed to RIT Ambulance (RITA).

RIT Ambulance’s first ambulance was a 1980 Ford Type II Wheeled Coach. This ambulance remained in service until 1983, when an electrical fire destroyed the vehicle. Another Type II Ford was purchased, with this ambulance remaining in service until 1991. A 1991 Med-Tech Type II ambulance was in service from 1991-1996, which was replaced by a 1996 Type III Wheeled Coach ambulance. This vehicle remained in service until 2006. The current ambulance was purchased in 2015. All of RITA’s ambulances have carried the designation 6359.

In 1989, a 1981 Type I Ford modular ambulance was donated to RITA, and was utilized as a command/special operations vehicle. The RATT, as it was affectionately known, carried the designation of Car 63. This vehicle was replaced with an SUV in 2001, and renamed Defib 63. Defib 63 was replaced in 2011 with a Chevy Tahoe. Defib 63 is used to provide first-response service when the ambulance is on another call or out of service, or for scene command purposes.

Until 1991, RIT Ambulance was headquartered in Ellingson Hall, with the vehicles attached to outside electrical shorelines to provide heating and battery power. Today, RITA is located on the A-level of the Student Health Center, with a bay provided to store the ambulance out of the inclement weather. Defib 63 is parked outside the base, where an electrical shoreline provides heat and battery power.

Prior to 2010, both RIT Public Safety and the Monroe County 911 Emergency Communications Department (ECD) dispatched RIT Ambulance. RIT Ambulance is now solely dispatched by ECD. RIT Ambulance membership currently consists of student, faculty/staff volunteers, and RITA alumni. As an agency that values student leadership and development, RIT Ambulance provides leadership opportunities on both an Executive Board and Operations Staff.

Quick Information

Emergency: 911 or (585) 475-3333
Phone: (585) 475-2605
Fax: (585) 475-7788
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We are always looking for highly-motivated volunteers: Information on joining RIT Ambulance. You can also talk to one of our members by visiting our base located in Building 23A, the Student Health Center, on the bottom floor.

Need an ambulance for your event? All standby requests are booked through RIT's Event Management System

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