Office of Public Safety

2007 WEMS Group Photo

About Western Emergency Medical Services (WEMS)

Western EMS is an Illinois licensed Basic Life Support service.  Our services are free. There is no charge to the patient for our crews to respond, evaluate, and provide treatments to patients. Services are available to anyone, including both students and visitors. 

Western EMS is a registered student organization with the Office of Student Activities. Western EMS works closely with the Office of Public Safety through its advisors. All current members in WEMS are licensed Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) or Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT-B).

New candidates of WEMS will participate in a state licensed Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course. No prior medical certification or experience is required for participation in the course. This course is a free one-semester course that is not taken for university credit. 

Western EMS also accepts new members with pre-certifications including FR-D, EMR, EMT-B, EMT-A, and EMT-P. 

Western EMS does not provide Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses. There are numerous opportunities available for EMT courses in McDonough County including:

  • Western Illinois University's two-semester EMT course (through McDonough County Health Department)
  • Spoon River College's one-semester EMT course

Members of Western EMS are not required to take an EMT course, but several members choose to pursue an EMT-B license through one of the options listed above or other EMT courses. At least one member working each shift is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) that has received extra training to lead emergency calls in addition to passing an EMT course and the NREMT license examination. 

Coverage AreasWEMS Patch

Western EMS provides 9-1-1 response service to the WIU campus and community. Primary response coverage is property owned by the University. WEMS provides a secondary response coverage to the city of Macomb, and outlaying coverage to the rest of McDonough County through Mutual Aid agreements.

Interested in Joining WEMS?

Each semester, Western EMS recruits new candidates. We will hold an interest meeting in the Corbin/Olson E-Classroom at the beginning of the semester, at which we will provide applications and information about joining the organization. If you are unable to attend, applications will be available at the Office of Public Safety or online.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Plan to attend WIU for a full year from the date you join, including the current semester. 
  • Maintain 2.25+ GPA.
  • Good standing with the university.
  • Pass criminal background check. 
  • Pass Western EMS Emergency Medical Responder class (the class is free and not for university credit).

Contact us at with any questions.