Upstate News

August 12, 1999
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Life-saving Skills of Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians to be Tested in National Competition Oct. 3

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians will race against the clock as they attempt to extricate victims from a car crash, resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest and navigate an ambulance through an obstacle course during the first-ever national emergency medical services (EMS) competition to be held Sunday, Oct. 3 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The winning EMS team will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

The event is presented by the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center at Syracuse.

While many states have similar competitions to test EMS skills, this events marks the first-time such a competition will be held at the national level.

Richard Hunt, M.D., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the SUNY Health Science Center, said the National EMS Competition will help improve public awareness of EMS professionals as medical specialists. “The training, knowledge and skill needed to be one of these life-savers is not to be taken for granted,” he said. “This competition, which simulates the real-life situations encountered daily by emergency personnel, will help enlighten everyone on what it takes to be one of the best.”

Jon Krohmer, M.D., president of NAEMSP, said, “The competition will showcase a variety of coordinated athletic and didactic activities that objectively measure the ability strength, stamina and knowledge of the EMS providers.”

Teams will participate in various emergencies featuring live “patients” or mannequins. Participants will be timed to see how quickly they complete the activity. Judges will award points depending on how well the task was executed.

Participants will compete in nine events:

  • Shock Against the Clock. Participants must climb a flight of stairs, assess the “patient,” use an automatic external defibrillator to correctly treat the victim.
  • Resuscitation Race. Participants must resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest. They must correctly defibrillate and intubate the patient, initiate IV fluids and administer appropriate drugs.
  • Up, Down, Around and Under. Each team must navigate an obstacle course carrying numerous emergency medical supplies including a backboard, c-collar and head blocks.
  • Ambulance Rodeo. Each team must navigate an ambulance through an obstacle course, load a patient into the ambulance and return to the starting line.
  • Car Crash Dash. The team will remove a patient (complaining of back and neck pain) from the driver’s seat of an automobile, assess the patient and immobilize the patient on a backboard.
  • Four-Person Fun Run. Four team members will compete in a relay race carrying and passing equipment that will include cardiac monitor, airway and medication kit.
  • Sort and Save. A team member will tag and triage four patients at an accident scene. Patients must be extricated on a priority basis using four different methods.
  • Trauma-Rama. Each team will assess, treat and prepare to transport a live moulaged pediatric patient. (Moulage is a makeup applied to resemble actual injuries.)
  • EMS Brain Attack. The three teams with the highest point totals will participate in this Jeopardy-like queston-and-answer session.

Teams from all across the country are eligible to participate. Two teams from the Central New York area will be selected by the regional EMS office. Teams must consist of four people and include at least one parademic and two basic EMTs. At least one team member must be female. The competition will follow the national conference of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technician’s (NAEMT) annual conference, which meets Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 in Syracuse.

In addition to the Department of Emergency Medicine at the SUNY Health Science Center/University Hospital, Syracuse, and NAEMSP, competition sponsors include GM OnStar, Laerdal Medical Corp.,Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, Rural Metro Ambulance Service, Ferno-Washington Inc. Physio-Control and Veridian. The competition is also supported through a mini-tourism grant from the office of New York State Sen. John DeFrancisco and the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.

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