RIT Ambulance RIT Ambulance Patch of Service
Motto "Leadership Through Service"
Recognition 1981
Type Department
President Daniel Hoffman
Chief of Operations Oren Cohn
Website ambulance.rit.edu

RIT Ambulance (abbreviation: RITA) is a student-run volunteer ambulance service. RITA operates under the organization of the Student Health Center and is located in the August Center building below the Student Health Center.

RITA operates two emergency vehicles, an ambulance (6359), and a first response vehicle (Defib 63). RIT Ambulance is run under the supervision and license of the Student Health Center. RIT Ambulance is 911 dispatched, and will respond to any emergency on the RIT campus, 24/7. RITA is a completely student run Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organization certified by the New York State Department of Health. RITA operates a New York State Certified Basic Life Support ambulance and a Basic Life Support first response / command vehicle. In addition, RIT Ambulance provides standbys as requested for concerts, sporting events, and other social gatherings on the RIT campus.


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 the previous ambulance, a 2006 Road Rescue type III ambulance built on a Ford E-450 chassis from North Eastern Rescue Vehicles, was purchased in 2006. The current ambulance (see below) 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. Defib 63 replaced this vehicle in 2001, which is used today 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.

RIT Ambulance membership currently consists of student, faculty/staff volunteers, and RITA alumni. 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. As a student-run agency, RIT Ambulance provides leadership opportunities on both an Executive Board and Operations Staff. Positions are open to current RIT students and faculty/staff.


RIT Ambulance awarded Senator Jim Alesi as an honorary member in 2003 for his assistance in funding the program.[1]


Ambulance 6359

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2013 TraumaHawk Ambulance

The current 6359 is a 2013 American Emergency Vehicles Type III TraumaHawk ambulance built on a Ford E-450 chassis from Speciality Vehicles. Inside the compartments are stocked with BLS equipment for bleeding control, airway management, oxygen administration, and immobilization. In addition our ambulance carries a full complement of basic medications including Epi-Pens, Aspirin, Albuterol, Naloxone (Narcan®), oral glucose, and oxygen. The vehicle also is equipped with the Whelen Howler™, which provides deep, low frequency tones that are able to penetrate other vehicles, alerting inattentive drivers and pedestrians, a feature particularly useful given the many deaf and hard-of-hearing students on campus. Furthermore, the vehicle also has a Stryker Power-PRO™ XT cot and the Stryker Power-LOAD™ system.

Defib 63

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2011 Chevrolet Tahoe

Defib 63 is a New York State certified Basic Life Support First Response and Command vehicle built by Professional Vehicle Solutions. Defib for short, RITA's fly-car is a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe designed for quick response with an emergency light package and siren package utilizing the Whelen Howler™, their first vehicle to do so. Defib is fully stocked like 6359, including an AED, and is utilized when our ambulance is unavailable and for Command Officers to respond to scenes when needed for command. In addition to the normal basic supplies and medications, NIMS compliant triage tags and MCI supplies are also on board.


  1. RIT News & Events - May 16, 2003