During a weekend jam-packed with events — the conclusion of sorority recruitment, Miami University’s 2018 Charter Day Ball and Brick Street Bar & Grill’s 6 a.m. opening for the Winter Olympics U.S. v. Russia men’s hockey game — 24 individuals were transported to the hospital for alcohol-and-drug-related EMS calls.
That’s more substance-related calls than the Oxford Fire Department (OFD) had seen in the two previous weekends combined.
The calls occurred from Thursday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 18. Eighteen of the alcohol-and-drug-related calls were for underage individuals, according to the OFD’s count record system.
There were 53 total EMS runs that weekend, said OFD chief John Detherage. Of the 24 alcohol-and-drug-related runs, 14 were male and 10 female.
In comparison, the department responded to 14 alcohol-and-drug-related calls during the first weekend of this semester and just five substance-related calls from Feb. 8 to Feb. 11.
Last year, President Greg Crawford called for an emergency meeting among fraternity and sorority leaders after 21 students were hospitalized from Thursday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 12 — the weekend that followed Greek recruitment season for the 2016-17 school year.
Of those 21 hospitalizations, 17 were females and four were males.
This year, no such meeting was called.
On Tuesday, amid reports of hazing allegations, Miami University’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) decided to suspend all fraternity activities and ended the new member initiation period early.
Last year, more than half of the alcohol-related calls made in during the weekend following Greek recruitment occurred within a three-hour period late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
OFD paramedic Ben Geiger said he was expecting a much higher quantity of alcohol-related runs this year on the night of Thursday, Feb. 15. However, Geiger said that the weekend’s calls were spread out over a longer period of time.
“Friday was one of those days where we didn’t make a lot of runs in short period of time, but we started at 9 p.m. and the calls stayed constant every half hour to 45 minutes until 5 a.m.,” Geiger said. “At one point we had three intox runs 15-30 seconds from one another. All three ambulances were dispatched within a minute and then the entire city was without EMS coverage.”
McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital was at or slightly over capacity throughout the weekend. Beds were in the aisle, and the hospital staff had to manage six additional people from the city who walked into the ER on Friday night, Geiger said.
Last Wednesday, Feb. 21 The Miami Student hosted a public safety forum, City Matters, in which Detherage spoke about the OFD’s burnout and acknowledged the majority of Miami students are not the problem.
“Most of the students that we have interaction with in town are wonderful kids,” Detherage said. “There’s just a few that cause the problems, and I think that everybody has to realize that and be tolerant of it.”