Operations - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I contact GERMS?
GERMS can be reached at (202)-687-HELP(4357). No one plans to call GERMS until they actually need to, so be prepared and plug the number into your phone in case of a medical emergency.
2. Is it better to contact 911 in the case of a serious medical emergency?
The two ambulances of GERMS hold the same certification level as BLS (Basic Life Support) units dispatched by 911. Due to our servicing a smaller area than DC Fire & EMS, our response time is much shorter at an average of 5 minuts. Every member of GERMS holds a valid national certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.
3. Is calling GERMS expensive?
There are no charges for services rendered by GERMS. On average, ambulances dispatched through 911 will charge from $400-$800 for hospital transportation. However, transport and all services provided by GERMS are free. In addition, GERMS is guaranteed to transport you to Georgetown University Hospital, unless your illness/injury permits specialized care from another hospital in the city.
4. Does GERMS only respond to students on campus?
GERMS has set response boundaries (hyperlink to the Operations – Boundaries), which includes West Georgetown, Burleith, and Foxhall in addition to the entire campus. Anyone inside of these boundaries can call GERMS, whether or not affiliated with Georgetown University.
5. Are alcohol-related emergencies the most common type of call?
In recent years, less than 13% of GERMS calls have been for severe alcohol intoxication. In the past year, GERMS has received patients suffering from cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, as well as injuries sustained from motor vehicle collisions, severe allergic reactions, diabetic emergencies, behavioral emergencies, large falls, and assaults. The most common types of calls are sports-related injuries.
6. Will my classmates know if I call GERMS?
The members of GERMS can never disclose any information concerning patient identity or medical condition due to federal patient confidentiality laws.
7. Are all members of GERMS pre-med?
While many members of GERMS hope to pursue careers in medicine, the organization has members in all four schools of Georgetown. Currently, there are GERMS who have majors ranging from Marketing in the McDonough School of Business to International Politics in the School of Foreign Service.
8. Are the members of GERMS paid?
All members of GERMS work entirely as un-paid volunteers.
For additional questions, contact the Director of Public Relations, Kate McClellan.