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UA Emergency Medical Services receives new station from CAPLA


New UAEMS building, which is located south of South Stadium Parking Structure. Courtesy Mary Hardin.

The College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture recently donated a new station to house the University of Arizona Emergency Medical Services crews between calls.

UAEMS is a student-run agency of emergency medical technicians that responds to 911 medical calls on UA’s campus 24/7. They have stayed staffed, responding to calls throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UAEMS’ new station is located south of South Stadium Parking Garage, but they continue to use the other station as well, according to Jacob Robishaw-Denton, the deputy chief at UAEMS.

UAEMS was working out of the basement of Kaibab-Huachuca Residence Hall, which was about a 200-square-foot space before the new station was donated. Robishaw-Denton said they use the space they had in Kaibab for long-term storage.

“The new place was past anything we were expecting. It is two stories, two bedroom, two ath — it is more than my wildest expectations,” Robishaw-Denton said.

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Once the new year starts up, they might start doing their training at the new station.

“With COVID-19 still going to be a potential impactor next year, we are looking at new ways we can do our training,” Robishaw-Denton added.

They were able to move into the new station during the week of May 17. UAEMS had been wanting a new station to have more room for people.

“Before the coronavirus [pandemic], we had four-person crews at a time, so we would have a supervisor sleep in our home room, some crew sleep on the two beds and the fourth crew member would have to sleep on the couch,” Robishaw-Denton said.

There wasn’t a lot of space for the four-person crews, so UAEMS had been looking for a new space for a while.

Mary Hardin, a UA distinguished professor of architecture, teaches in CAPLA. According to Hardin, CAPLA’s architecture students designed and constructed the new station for EMS.

It took CAPLA one semester to design it, create the construction documents and obtain building permits. It then took two semesters to build it, according to Hardin.

Hardin found out about UAEMS wanting a new station through Marilyn Taylor, the senior assistant vice president for finance and administration in the Office of the Provost. Taylor contacted Hardin to ask about the residence CAPLA was building on the south edge of campus.

“Taylor said the EMS team had been working with campus real estate to find a better location for their station, and I believe Chris Kopach mentioned our project as a possibility for that use,” said Hardin in an email.

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The CAPLA students originally designed the project thinking it would be used for visiting scholars or newly arrived faculty or administrators as temporary housing.

“When approached by [Taylor] and [Kopach] about the possibility of it serving the EMS team, they were so enthused!” Hardin added in an email. “That seemed like a great use for a residence in that location and with the loft design that could accommodate the team, who work and sleep in shifts.”

Hardin said CAPLA’s goal with regards to building the new UAEMS station was to create spaces that would allow the team members to work and sleep with more privacy and space than they had in the dorm room they previously used as a station.

CAPLA wanted UAEMS to have a quiet space for sleeping and studying, as well as social space and the ability to cook their own meals.

“The neighborhood has requested some outdoor space that connected back to the neighborhood, so the students designed a second story balcony facing out into the [Rincon Heights] neighborhood,” Hardin said in an email.

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CAPLA is currently working on starting to build the second row house residence, right next to the EMS station. 

“This project is halfway through construction,” said Hardin in an email. “We expect that it will be used as temporary housing for visiting scholars.”

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