First Priority Medical Transport Wins Competition
Cayce, SC - The ninth-annual Paramedic Savers' Basic and Advanced EMT Challenge was held on Saturday, May 13th at Sumter County Airport. 10 teams from North and South Carolina took part in the competition that was attended by 80-90 spectators despite the inclement weather.
Kent Hall, assistant director of Sumter County Emergency Medical Services and founder of the competition has competed in 29 competitions during his career. He started the competition nine years ago as a way to give basic and intermediate EMTs an opportunity to compete because paramedics are usually the only emergency medical responders who can participate in these kinds of competitions. Both EMTs and paramedics provide emergency medical services, but paramedics are certified to provide more services to patients who sustain more life-threatening or severe injuries. Hall commented that some of the EMTs who participated in past competitions have gone on to become paramedics. During the competition, the teams responded to a simulated emergency as if it were an actual emergency. This year's scenario involved the teams responding to a call involving medical conditions and trauma. The original call was about a nurse having a seizure while she and a paramedic were transporting a patient, an inmate, to the airport to be flown out of the area for a heart transplant. Officers with Sumter County Sheriff's Office escorted the ambulance because there was an inmate involved. However, while the EMT teams were en route to the scene, they received a call that the officers were ambushed after arriving at the airport and the plane's pilot, a paramedic and an officer were shot. The active-shooter element was added to get the teams thinking hard under extreme stress. The participants were judged on how they performed field triage, managed the scene, assessed the patients, used their equipment and how they communicated with each other during a 15-minute response period. The scenario was then reset for each team. First place went to First Priority Medical Transport of Cayce, SC, the only private company competing in the competition, second place went to Sumter County EMS, and rounding out third place was Florence County EMS. All nine teams were in a very close margin to placing in the top three, a first for the competition. A special thanks to all the sponsors who provided meals and prizes, including Air Care, which also helped provide staff and equipment for the competition, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office which provided officers for the scenario and to the Sumter County Airport for providing access to its facilities, a plane and especially for the hangar that was used for the competition because of the inclement weather on Saturday.
The First Priority Crew
Below: Coach Gabriela Decker, Dylan Holas, Patrick “OG” Taylor, Arthur “Chip” Peavy and Coach Michael Cash
Competition Photo: Dylan Holas, right, of First Priority Medical Transport in West Columbia, treats a victim (Pate Cox) during the Paramedic Savers' Basic and Advanced EMT Challenge competition on Saturday at Sumter County Airport.
Photo A: L to R: Dylan Holas, Patrick “OG” Taylor and Arthur “Chip” Peavy