Emergency -

University of South Florida

Medical Response Unit Volunteers Recognized as Culture Champions


On February 18, 2021, the USF Medical Response Unit’s COVID Response Team was recognized as Culture Champions by Mark Moseley, MD, chief medical officer for USF Health, and Terri Ashmeade, MD, chief quality officer at USF Health. The Medical Response Unit (MRU) is comprised of students from multiple disciplines of study at the University of South Florida who are also certified Emergency Medical Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics. The MRU Program was formed from a departmental collaborative between Student Health Services (SHS), the University Emergency Medicine Student Association (UEMSA) and Student Government. The MRU Service launched in February 2020 and provides students, staff, faculty and guests on the USF Tampa campus with on-scene Basic Life Support (BLS) medical interventions and free courtesy medical transportation to and from SHS, the USF Health Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare and the on-campus residence halls.

Not long after the program’s inaugural launch event, COVID-19 shut down the USF Tampa campus. By August 2020, the MRU’s COVID Response Team became the only approved student-run program on campus. The volunteers not only continued to triage and transfer sick students, staff, faculty and guests as well as provide ancillary MRU vehicle stand-by, but they also completed training in order to help swab patients at USF Health-run COVID testing sites.

“During the height of the pandemic, when everything was uncertain and everyone was scared, I saw this group, instead of running to the back, I watched them all sprint to the front,” Austin Jared, operations director of the MRU, said. “They put themselves in harm’s way for no other reason other than they wanted to help people. They are working night shifts at their other jobs on ambulances or in emergency rooms, and then come here to volunteer their time on the Medical Response Unit. I’ve never seen a harder working group of people and I’m overwhelmingly proud to lead and to be a part of this group.” Jared nominated the MRU COVID Response Team for the USF Health Culture Coin. He is a USF alum and during his time as a student, he was part of the group of UEMSA students who helped to create and get funding for the MRU.

Receiving a USF Health Culture Coin from Dr. Ashmeade, Austin Jared, operations coordinator of the Medical Response Unit (MRU), is the one who nominated the MRU COVID Response Team.

The MRU COVID Response Team includes Alison Pullen, Amanda Rogers, Austin Jared, Austin Sapp, Cheyenne Robinson, Darrys Reese, Douglas Benson, Emily Gray, Erin Carter, Gunj Patel, Jack Bales, Nikhil Kulkarni, Randall Nolin, Tuquyen Vo, Junhee Kim, Keshavi Pate, Marcos Dell’Isola, Mariana Sanchez, Myles McCrea, Nick Miller, Sebastian Claro, Victoria Lopez and Vincent Maldonado.

The Medical Response Unit (MRU) program functions as a field extension of the USF Student Health Services (SHS) clinic with Stephen Poff, MD, FAAEP, FACEP, USF SHS clinic physician, as the medical director of the MRU program and faculty advisor of the University Emergency Medicine Student Association.

2020 Year-to-Date MRU Stats

  • Total Transfers: 33
    • 4 patients tested positive for COVID-19
  • Total Stand-Bys: 30
    • College of Nursing Joint Training
    • USF Rocky Bull – Photo Shoot
    • Police Support – Kaitlyn Bennett Protest
    • 2020 Engineering Expo (2)
    • Morsani Flu Clinic Support (3)
    • EMR Training Support (10)
    • USF Public Health COVID Screenings (12)
  • Operation Totals:
    • 165 Days
    • 1024 Hours of Clinic Coverage
    • 4148 Personnel Hours

COVID Response Team

  • Public Health COVID Clinic Screenings:
    • 4567 Screenings Performed
    • 656 Personnel Hours
    • 0 Personnel Exposure Incidents


Students, staff, faculty, and guests of the USF Tampa campus can call 813-974-4MRU for medical intervention for illnesses such as nausea and stomach pain, and injuries such as burns, broken bones and splinting.

Operation hours are during normal SHS hours, Monday and Friday from 10am – 6pm, and Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-8pm.

Click here to learn more about the MRU.