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Penn MERT (Medical Emergency Response Team) Credit: Michael Chien

Penn’s student-run Medical Emergency Response Team will now be running a 24 hour service on weekends to accommodate MERT’s growing membership.

MERT, which usually runs between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. seven days a week, will remain active during those hours on weekdays. However, the organization hopes to extend its 24 hour service to all seven days of the week in the future, said MERT Lieutenant Royce Reeves-Darby , a College senior.

“We ideally would like to be 24 hours at all times for the entire week, but due to having to abide by certain rules” — like how long a student organization can be active on campus — “and having certain sponsors on campus, that hasn’t necessarily been the case,” Reeves-Darby said. “This is hopefully a step to reaching that goal.”

Reeves-Darby said that as a result of growing membership, there are more members on shift per hour. As a result, MERT leadership felt that it was time to expand its service in order to offer more shifts to its members.

Reeves-Darby believes that the service change will increase MERT’s presence on campus.

“I think this is a great way for us to grow as an organization,” Reeves-Darby said.

“I think that it would be great to see us in an atypical fashion, instead of during our late night hours, when any number of incidents or emergencies could be occurring,” he added. “We’ll be interacting a whole lot more in a less hostile environment. I see it as being a better tool for Penn to understand how MERT works.”

MERT serviced about 450 student calls during the 2012-2013 school year, nearly half of which were for alcohol or drug intoxication and nearly a fifth of which were related to traumatic injuries. Statistics for calls from the most recent academic year are not yet available.

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