The primary purpose of this organization is to protect against casualty and loss of life, and to provide emergency medical care to all persons on the University of Delaware campus and neighboring communities. The secondary purpose shall be the continued education of our membership in the field of emergency medical care.


Formation The University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit, known as UDECU, is an ambulance service formed in 1976 by Kevin J. O’Neill, a sophomore University of Delaware student. Until 1976, all non-emergency ambulance transportation was provided by officers from the University of Delaware Department of Public Safety and emergency ambulance transportation was handled by the Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Company of Newark, DE. O’Neill believed that students could provide faster and better quality ambulance service and approached John Brook, UD Vice President for Government Relations, with the idea of starting a student-run university ambulance service. Brook liked the idea and referred O’Neill to Investigator Jack Lynn at the Department of Public Safety. Lynn also liked the idea as it would free-up public safety personal for patrol duty. Lynn then wrote a proposal to Mr. Brook pertaining to the ambulance and equipment and O’Neill went about attempting to organize student interest. The first student interest meeting was an overwhelming success with over 40 students showing interest. Kevin then approached the student activities office with his idea and received recognition as a student organization with Jack Lynn as faculty advisor. The “Student Security Emergency Care Unit”, as it was originally known, was born. The Student Security Emergency Care Unit received an early 1970’s Ford Econoline Van from Dining Services. They began doing non-emergency transports with this unit. The inside was homemade and pretty bare.
Chevrolet van Meanwhile, Lynn received funding from the Department of Public Safety to purchase a 1976 Chevrolet C20 van, complete with sliding side door with a tinted window. Inv. Lynn then spent the next 2 months in his driveway, along with interested students, customizing the van into an ambulance. The ambulance went into service January 1, 1977 and went on its first call later that week. The name was changed to the “University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit” about 2 years later. 1980s and 1990s UDECU dedicated its first commercially built ambulance, a 1981 Wheeled Coach Ford F-350 Econoline van, on March 20, 1981. UDECU continued to operate using this ambulance and received a well-used ambulance in 1982, as a donation from the Delaware Park Racetrack.
UDECU operated both ambulances until the second one burned up in a fire at a local automotive repair shop in 1985. After a small smoke condition in the ambulance during a call in 1990, Public Safety decided to replace the ambulance. The Department of Public Safety then purchased a 1990 Wheeled Coach Ford E-350 Econoline van as a replacement. Upgrading of Service In the spring of 2001, UDECU completed a historic agreement with Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Company, the Newark fire department. The agreement allowed UDECU to act as the third due ambulance for the city of Newark. This agreement has allowed UDECU to help Aetna to improve EMS coverage in the city. Since the agreement was signed, UD-1 has responded to car accidents, cardiac arrests, and many other medical emergencies. Then, in 2003, as a direct result of the success of the previous agreement, the district to which UDECU could respond to was extended considerably and UDECU was upgraded to a second due ambulance.
UDECU Today Today the University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit operates a fully custom Lifeline Superliner Type III ambulance on a Ford E-450 chassis. This ambulance was placed in service in September 2012 and dedicated to founding advisor Jack Lynn, on May 10th, 2013 (right).

Awards and Publicity

The Emergency Care Unit has been honored with many awards and moments of publicity over the years. The following are some highlights from the recent years:


  • February – UDECU was named Collegiate EMS Organization of the Year at the National Collegiate EMS Foundation conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The University was also named a HEARTSafe campus, recognizing UDECU’s efforts in providing and teaching life-saving CPR within the community.


  • March- During the National Collegiate EMS Foundation’s conference in Boston, MA, UDECU received two awards. The EMS Striving for Excellence award recognizes organizations that represent the gold standard of EMS care and delivery. The EMS Ready Campus: Bronze Tier recognizes UDECU’s emergency management and disaster preparedness.


  • March – During the National Collegiate EMS Foundation’s conference in Philadelphia, PA, UDECU won the best video award. See the video HERE.


  • March – Four members of UDECU competed in the annual Physio-Control EMS Skills Competition at the National Collegiate EMS Foundation’s conference in Arlington, VA. Mary Fannon, Paige Sacher, Jesse Marsh, and Jeff Sands worked as a team to win First Place in the competition! Also during the conference, UDECU received the Continuing Excellence in Collegiate EMS award for our dedicated service and unique training techniques, and UDECU’s Advisor of 35 years, Jack Lynn, was presented with a plaque in honor of his years of service both to our organization and to collegiate EMS.


  • May – UDECU was a finalist in many categories at the annual Registered Student Organization (RSO) Dinner, we received the following awards!
  • Jack Lynn Received the RSO Advisor of the Year Award!
  • UDECU Received the Outstanding Community Service RSO Award!


  • In February, the organization was distinguished when a team of four UDECU members won First Place at a EMS Skills competition at the National Collegiate EMS Foundation’s conference in Philadelphia. The clinical, leadership and creativity skills of Ross Cohen, Harland Westgate, Megan Leiblein and Steve Snow were tested as they out-scored 34 other teams.
  • Eric MaryEa, a UDECU member, was given the George J. Koenig, Jr. DO Service Award by the National Collegiate EMS Foundation which is presented to an individual for distinguished service to the Foundation or extraordinary support thereof.


  • The same day, UDECU was once again recognized as a top campus emergency medical service organization with the award, “Striving for Excellence in Campus EMS.” Although organizations are only eligible for this award every 3 years this is the 3rd time UDECU was honored with this distinction since the award’s inception in 1997.
  • UDECU was featured in the April issue of EMS magazine in a feature about Campus EMS. The article highlighted UDECU as one of the premier campus EMS organizations in the country. It briefly covers our history and accolades and included quotes from members and two pictures of our ambulance and membership.
  • In October, the National Association of EMT’s presented UDECU with the coveted “Leo R. Schwartz Emergency Medical Service of the Year” award. Sponsored by EMS magazine, UDECU is only the second university ambulance to win the award in it’s 23 year history.
  • In December, the New Castle County Fire Chief’s Association of Delaware and the New Castle County Volunteer Fireman’s association for Delaware each issued resolutions saluting UDECU “for outstanding efforts…and the valuable service they provide.”
  • Eric MaryEa, a UDECU member, was given the EMS provider of the year award by the National Collegiate EMS Foundation.
  • UDECU received the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Leadership award for “Outstanding RSO Web site.”
  • The University of Delaware presented the Emergency Care Unit with an award for being the “Volunteer Organization of the Year” for the 2001-2002 academic year.


  • University of Delaware recognized longtime UDECU advisor Jack Lynn for his dedication to the organization.
  • UDECU was recognized for its “Outstanding RSO Achievement” in reference to its historic agreement with Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder Company to respond in the city of Newark when Aetna units are otherwise commuted.
  • UDECU received the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Leadership award for “Outstanding RSO Web site.”


  • Jack Lynn was honored as the “EMS Advisor of the Year” by the National Collegiate EMS Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you accept applications?
We accept applications at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. For more information about the application please visit the Volunteer page.
Can I request to have EMS coverage at an event?
Yes! Please please fill out our Event Request form.
Do you host in-house EMT classes?
Unfortunately at this time we do not host EMT classes. We use outside agencies such as the Delaware State Fire School to provide in depth, high quality, training for our members.
Do you host CPR/AED classes?
Unfortunately we do not host public CPR/AED classes at this time. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety provides CPR/AED training which you can register for HERE.
Can I ride along on your ambulance?
We do allow ride alongs, however our schedule is very tight. If you would like to inquire about riding along, please fill out our Get In Touch form.
Can I call you if I need a ride to Student Health Services or the hospital?
No. We are a 911 ambulance dispatched by New Castle County Government. If you are having an emergency dial 9-1-1. For non-emergencies call University of Delaware Police Department at 302.831.2222.
I was transported by UD1, will I receive a bill?
The University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit now bills insurance for all EMS services rendered to patients.
Do you report to The Office of Student Conduct?
We do not report to The Office of Student Conduct. Reporting personal information would be strictly against the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.