UDaily
Logo Image
Each year, UDPD honors students from its UDECU and Cadet programs for their service and commitments to the community. In a May 17 special ceremony, the students received stoles to be worn, along with their caps and gowns, as they walked at Delaware Stadium on Saturday, May 25, with fellow Blue Hens in the Class of 2024.
Each year, UDPD honors students from its UDECU (pictured) and Cadet programs for their service and commitments to the community. In a May 17 special ceremony, the students received stoles to be worn, along with their caps and gowns, as they walked at Delaware Stadium on Saturday, May 25, with fellow Blue Hens in the Class of 2024.

Where campus safety meets hands-on experience

Photos courtesy of Alaina Battle and Shannon Hummel

UDPD honors students from Emergency Care Unit and Cadet programs for their service and commitments to the community

Kaila McCabe’s ambulance team was transporting a young woman to a local hospital when the patient, who had suffered a seizure, reached for McCabe’s hand and asked to hold it. 

On another ambulance run, a patient — this time, a pre-teen girl who had suffered injuries from a fall — looked at McCabe and asked, “Am I going to die?” McCabe’s training kicked in, helping her communicate clearly with the young girl and reassure her that she was handling a scary moment with tremendous poise. That approach calmed the nerves of the girl’s justifiably jittery mother, too.

“Handling these moments, answering these questions — these are lessons you can’t learn in any EMS classes,” said McCabe, a member of the University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit (UDECU). “You need field training to know how to react. Being on this team has been a unique experience that shows you the humanity of our work and the empathy that is required of us.”

A human physiology major in UD’s Class of 2024, McCabe is eyeing a career in emergency medicine. Each of her applications to medical school has referenced the practical knowledge and tangible lessons she acquired in four years with UDECU, the University’s student-run, volunteer ambulance service.

A human physiology major in UD’s Class of 2024, McCabe is eyeing a career in emergency medicine. Each of her applications to medical school has referenced the practical knowledge and tangible lessons she acquired in four years with UDECU, the University’s student-run, volunteer ambulance service.

A native of Sussex County, Delaware, McCabe was among the two-dozen students recognized by the University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD) prior to UD’s Commencement. Each year, UDPD honors students from its UDECU and Cadet programs for their service and commitments to the community. In a May 17 special ceremony, the students received stoles to be worn, along with their caps and gowns, as they walked at Delaware Stadium on Saturday, May 25, with fellow Blue Hens in the Class of 2024.

“Maintaining a safe campus requires the expertise, commitment and support of our entire department, including the integral roles of the students who comprise our Cadets program and UDECU,” said Patrick Ogden, associate vice president and chief of UD Police. “We are proud to honor them each year, as Commencement approaches, in celebration of their professional development, the skills they have acquired and the next steps they have taken on their paths toward bettering their communities — whether in law enforcement or any other field.”

UDECU has been around since 1976. Back then, students used a van to tend to non-emergency medical needs on UD’s campus. It wasn’t until 1981 when UDECU acquired its first ambulance. Twenty years later, they started serving as backup emergency responders for Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company, which serves the greater Newark community. UDECU offers on-site support, as well as transport in the event that a patient needs to reach a medical center or a hospital.

From UDECU’s modest roots, a critical service was born. Today, UDECU responds to 500 calls annually. These unpaid volunteers, like McCabe, act as the standby team for large-scale campus events. They tend to all on-campus emergencies — and some off-campus needs. No fewer than two members of each UDECU response team are nationally trained and accredited emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

“We are all students who are managing classes, personal lives and other commitments,” said McCabe, “but we’re also completing national and state certification programs to serve as EMTs, allowing us to serve a community of people on this campus and in Newark. That’s a truly special thing.”

Joining UDECU, which has 50 volunteer members, requires an application process. Per semester, the team will receive up to 100 applicants for only eight to 12 spots. McCabe and UDECU’s command staff, which she previously led, found “great diversity” in the applicant pool, from varied majors and backgrounds.

UDECU is staffed day and night during the academic year. Its students often sleep in the bunk room of the Solar House, on Academy Street, to ensure speedy response times to overnight calls. They maintain on-call duty during the day, too. That commitment to excellence led to a national accolade. The National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) honored UDECU as its Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year in 2022, in recognition of its longstanding service to UD.

Master Corporal Alaina Battle, a 16-year veteran of UD Police, is a certified emergency medical technician who oversees UDECU. 

“Our student EMTs have such tremendous strength and resiliency,” Battle said. “To watch their professionalism in a moment of need or crisis, it’s a privilege to see their training in action and build themselves up.”

Each year, UDPD honors students from its UDECU and Cadet programs for their service and commitments to the community.
Each year, UDPD honors students from its UDECU and Cadet programs for their service and commitments to the community.

UD Police’s Cadets maintain a similar commitment to safety preservation on the University’s campus.

Cadets are part-time UD Police employees who work closely with the department’s police and security divisions. The program employs roughly 40-50 per semester and requires application, interview and background-check processes. All Cadets are trained in CPR and rendering basic first aid and must attend mandatory in-services twice annually. 

Their assignments range from campus patrol to building security. Additionally, when students dial 302-831-RIDE, it’s a UD Police Cadet who is ensuring their safe passing home.

The Cadet program “builds a foundation for a career path in law enforcement,” said Master Corporal Shannon Hummel, who oversees the program. “It’s an opportunity for the Cadets to interact with our department and gain experience working within a law enforcement agency, receiving hands-on training and networking with professionals in their field.” 

“The Cadets program is, to me, a stepping stone for a variety of people who aspire for careers in this field,” said Madeleine Fairlie, a recent graduate who served with the Cadets since February 2023. She is pictured with Patrick Ogden, associate vice president and chief of UD Police.

“You are, in many ways, the eyes and ears of campus,” said Madeleine Fairlie, a political science major who has served with the Cadets since February 2023.

Cadets need a minimum of 20 shifts to move into the next phase of their training, and to earn consideration for a student supervisory position, Fairlie said. They have duties that include patrolling and surveying campus, providing safe rides for students, and responding to building lockouts. They see the inner workings of police and dispatch and learn to speak properly over a radio — two skills, among others, that will translate to future careers in law enforcement. 

“The Cadets program is, to me, a stepping stone for a variety of people who aspire for careers in this field,” said Fairlie, who aspires to work in criminal defense.

Between classes in the criminal justice realm, and her work with the Cadets, Fairlie landed at the doorstep of a career in the criminal justice system. Her Cadets experience provided her an introduction to the American law enforcement and criminal justice systems, and the inspiration to pursue a law degree next year.

“There’s more to police than the uniform you see responding to a call,” Fairlie said. “I’ve learned that the people behind the uniforms and behind the badges have genuine care and respect for the communities they serve. If not for this program, I wouldn’t have seen the intricacies of this profession or understood so greatly the roles they serve.”

More Campus & Community Stories

See More Stories

Contact Us

Have a UDaily story idea?

Contact us at ocm@udel.edu

Members of the press

Contact us at 302-831-NEWS or visit the Media Relations website

ADVERTISEMENT