The Cougar Volunteer Spirit is Alive and Well in Charleston

This blog is a project by public relations students at the College of Charleston. Since its inception in 2004, the Cougar Volunteer Spirit has showcased dozens of students who give of their time, effort and hearts to helping those in need. They don't do it for recognition like this, but their stories need to be shared because of their admirable qualities of character and caring. "Be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Ghandi said. That's the Cougar Volunteer Spirit that roars through these pages. Click on the side photos to see the articles. See photos of the students who wrote the pieces at the end. Thanks!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Cassie Wise (top left) at mock car crash last
semester on George Street.

Helping Others When They Need It Most
By Katherine Merkel

Cassie Wise is one Cougar that has your back...literally. The CofC junior spends her free time volunteering with College of Charleston Fire and EMS, offering students, faculty, and staff with free medical care.

Before coming to College of Charleston, Wise volunteered with Six Forks EMS in her hometown of Raleigh, N.C. She started volunteering with CofC EMS as a freshman and now serves as the team's chief of training. Her duties include conducting bi-monthly training meetings to keep her team up-to-date on procedures and protocols.

Committed to serving her fellow Cougars and the Charleston community, Wise is running for this year's program director, where she intends to give back even more. With three years under her belt, what she enjoys most is "being able to help the community when they need help the most."

About Cassie Wise

Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Major: Physics
Expected Graduation Date: May 2012

Volunteer Activities: As a senior in high school I started volunteering with Six Forks EMS. When I came to College of Charleston I started volunteering with the school's programs, but during breaks when I go back home I still volunteer with Six Forks.

What is your most memorable volunteer experience? Well there are many patient stories that have stuck with me over the years, but I'm not allowed to share those. So I guess, the most memorable would be ranking 8th in the National Collegiate EMS competition last year. I along with three other team members traveled to Baltimore, M.D. to compete in the competition where we had to perform protocols for different medical scenarios.

What are you most proud of contributing to your organization? There are two things that I am most proud of. One is that I helped our division go from BLS (Basic Life Support) certified to ILS (Immediate Life Support) certified. Now that we are ILS certified we can start IV's (Intravenous Therapy) and give out medicine. I'm also proud of the mock car crash CofC EMs put on last semester on George Street because I was the one to come up with the idea. I wanted to show students that CofC EMs does more than hand out band-aids and get people in trouble for being drunk.

How have you personally benefited from volunteering? Thanks to this exprerience I have better decision-making abilities, I work well under stress and I have good time management skills. This type of volunteer work has also allowed me to work with and treat various types of people; therefore I have learned to work well with all of them no matter the circumstances.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering? To not be afraid to step up, and don't be intimidated that you are on an emergency scene. Just take a step back and take a deep breath, definitely don't panic.

How do you think friends and family would describe you? Hopefully as someone who works hard and knows when its time to focus. I've actually been referred to as a bad ass, which I'm pretty proud of.

What are your plans after graduation? My plans after college are to go into the Navy as a nuclear officer. I would stay with navy for six years, where I would be stationed on an aircraft carrier. Hopefully I'll be stationed abroad because I would love to travel.

To find out more about volunteering with College of Charleston Fire and EMS you cans visit their website at

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