Columbia University Emergency Medical Service (CU-EMS), formerly known as CAVA, provides pre-hospital emergency medical care at no charge to the person being transported. CU-EMS is a student-operated, New York State-certified, Basic Life Support volunteer ambulance corps. Volunteers are also New York State-certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). CU-EMS provides services to the Columbia University Morningside campus, surrounding University-owned buildings, and the surrounding neighborhood.
CU-EMS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are experiencing a medical emergency and are on the Morningside campus, dial 4-5555 from any campus phone or call (212) 854-5555 if dialing from your cell phone. A CU-EMS ambulance will arrive within minutes of your call. Your destination, whether it’s Columbia Health’s urgent care, or an off-campus emergency room, will depend on your condition.
In the rare situation that CU-EMS is out-of-service, Columbia Public Safety will contact 911 to send a NYC EMS ambulance. In addition to calling CU-EMS, you can also go directly to the St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Emergency Room at 113th Street and Amsterdam Avenue when facing a medical or psychiatric emergency. If you are in an off-campus emergency, dial 911. For a more detailed overview of what to do in an emergency, visit Go Ask Alice!’s In An Emergency page.
Should you utilize CU-EMS, all details regarding your treatment and transport will be kept confidential. Information regarding your care will only be shared with health professionals who are directly related to providing your healthcare.
If you have an urgent medical concern, but are not in an emergency situation, you can visit Medical Services Urgent Care office, located on the 3rd floor of John Jay Hall. For urgent concerns after clinical hours, contact the clinician-on-call at 212-854-9797. S/he will assess your concerns and make recommendations for further treatment.
Do you want to get involved? CU-EMS sponsors an on-campus EMT course. Students interested in the on-campus EMT course should attend the information session held at the beginning of each semester. The dates, times, and location of the semester's EMT course will be announced at the information session. More information can be found on the CU-EMS website.
Here’s to hoping you will never have to call CU-EMS!Alice!