The Student Government Association (SGA) recently passed a bill that will facilitate a quicker and safer response by student first-responders to on-campus emergency situations. This bill will grant six parking permits to the Hamilton Fire Department (HFD). These parking permits give select students the same parking allowances as university faculty and staff, as opposed to their current restricted permits. Additionally, first-responders will be allowed to park in various lots around campus, including the lots on Academic Drive, Lally Lane, near Alumni Hall and by the O’Connor Campus Center (COOP).
The HFD is an all-volunteer department that serves the Village of Hamilton. Of the department’s 50 active firefighters, 30 percent are Colgate University students. The HFD responds to over 600 calls annually, including medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, HAZMAT spills, gas leaks, fire alarms and structure fires on and off campus. The university and town of Hamilton have seen an increase in reliance on student firefighters.
SGA members collaborated with the HFD for several years to create this bill, which seeks to promote a faster and safer response time for student responders.
Student Body President senior Matthew Swain shared his positive outlook on these reforms.
“This idea has been floating around the SGA for years – I couldn’t be more excited to have had the opportunity to work with school administrators and finally put ideas into action,” Swain said.
Senior Andrew Brodell serves as a volunteer for the Hamilton Fire Department and spoke to the implications of this bill.
“A revised parking situation gives us the ability to respond from anywhere on campus – the previous layout had our calls all in one corner, adding many minutes to our response time. It was virtually out of the question to respond from places such as Alumni Hall and Frank Dining Hall, especially trying to run across snow and ice to our personal vehicles,” Brodell said. “Now we’ll spend more time with four wheels on the road getting where we’re going safely, and less time slipping and falling on foot. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”