Geneseo’s First Responders Play Key Role in Campus Surveillance Testing

Geneseo First Response member Abigail Duvivier ’20 assisting at the weekly pooled testing on campus.

Geneseo First Response member Abigail Duvivier ’20 assisting at the weekly pooled testing on campus. (SUNY Geneseo photo/Keith Walters '11)

Geneseo First Response (GFR), a student-run volunteer organization that provides emergency medical services to the campus community, has played a critical role in the scheduling and supervising of SUNY Geneseo’s weekly pooled testing program. SUNY-mandated testing encompasses more than 700 Geneseo students each week—on-campus, off-campus, and commuter—as well as an increasing number of employees.

In addition to running the agency’s everyday operations, GFR officers work hand-in-hand with Student Health and Counseling, the University Police Department, Human Resources, and other campus administrative offices to ensure testing runs smoothly. GFR members—who are all either current or prospective New York State Certified EMTs—assist with sign-ins, distribute and direct the use of swab test-kits, pool the samples, and transport the samples to Syracuse each day of testing.

“Each week, we find ways to be more efficient than the last with testing and procedures,” says Kaylee Hausrath, GFR chief of operations. “In preparation for the greater number of tests during pre-Thanksgiving break testing, we have scheduled several more employees and volunteers to keep things running smoothly.” 

The extra assistance in implementing the demanding pooled testing program has been essential, says Megan Syfrett, the principal administrator of Student Health and Counseling, but GFR’s help has meant more than just effectively meeting COVID-19 protocols. “GFR students have shown dedication to the safety of their peers and other community members,” Syfrett says. “Each of them has demonstrated exactly what it means to be a Geneseo Knight.”

SUNY Geneseo is fortunate to have students willing to commit their time to help, says Scott Ewanow, assistant chief of University Police. “Whether it’s a medical emergency or a community health initiative such as the current pooled testing efforts, GFR students are always ready to answer the call.” 

For more on GFR, visit Ethan Nagasing ’20: Collegiate First Responder.


Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529