SEMS trains students in the lifesaving skills necessary to respond in medical emergencies. We issue American Heart Association CPR/AED, First Aid, and Basic Life Support certifications to University of Colorado students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Boulder community for FREE.
To sign up for classes, please visit the CPR, First Aid & BLS Classes page and click on a date to register.
SUMMER CLASS UPDATE: Since our instructors are student volunteers, many of whom leave for the summer, we will not be holding classes from May until the fall semester starts in late August.
Interested in holding a class for your group? Please contact Jessica.Smith@SEMSBoulder.org with questions.
Student Emergency Medical Service (SEMS) was formed in 2004 in response to a death of local fraternity pledge member. He passed away because of excessive alcohol consumption prompted by peer pressure and a lack of knowledge on his fellow student’s part on how to prevent alcohol emergencies. SEMS founders believed that there was a way to convince fellow students to drink responsibly, a way to teach them the risks of binge drinking, and a way to foster a more collegial and supportive environment on the CU campus so that no person would be left to “sleep it off” and subsequently die from alcohol poisoning. The vision of SEMS was simple – prevent anymore student deaths.
SEMS was officially created when J.T. Young, a CU faculty member and emergency room physician, agreed to join the cause by acting as faculty advisor and medical director for the group. This allowed the group of volunteer EMTs to provide medical care at events with the express purpose of preventing deaths from binge drinking through educating party-goers on alcohol related issues and treating various medical and alcohol related emergencies.
By the spring of 2005, SEMS gained student organization status and had their efforts acknowledged by the CU student government. The first parties were staffed in early March of 2005. National and local media attention has focused on SEMS and the effort to curb binge drinking at CU Boulder and other campuses across the country.
The local effort gained so much support that SEMS founders envisioned a larger goal. Binge drinking is not just a local problem, it is a problem on most college campuses across the United States. The SEMS model of point of decision education can save many lives, and the culture of binge drinking could be changed forever. The SEMS Foundation was created in an effort to spread the SEMS model to all college campuses across the country.
During the spring of 2013, we expanded into two groups: SEMS (which is now called Students for Education, Medicine & Service) and CU-Boulder Emergency Medical Services. Currently, SEMS Boulder provides CPR classes to University of Colorado students, faculty, and staff as well as the community. SEMS also offers CPR Instructor Certification to its members, as well as providing continuing education and leadership opportunities.
The original vision of SEMS has no limits – we will do everything we can to make sure no student dies because of alcohol, but the mission starts with you…peers saving peers at the point of decision.
Looking for EMTs?
We’re now two separate groups. Check out CU Boulder Emergency Medical Services for the former SEMS EMT Division.