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Team from Surry County is tops in the state

Release Date: October 7, 2009
Contact: Jim Jones, 919-733-9190

GREENSBORO – Two paramedics from Surry County unseated the three-time defending champion team from Stokes County to become the state’s top paramedic team following competition here earlier this week.

Barry McMillian and Roger Horton were announced the winners at an awards banquet Tuesday night during the 36th annual North Carolina Emergency Medicine Today conference. The competition was held Sunday afternoon.

In claiming the title, the team of McMillian and Horton pushed aside the best efforts of the Stokes team of Fred Lawson and Scott Brown, who had won the championship in 2005, 2007 and 2008. They also outscored teams from Mecklenburg EMS Agency #1, Davidson County EMS #2, Eastern Wake EMS and Pasquotank-Camden EMS.

McMillian and Horton and the other teams competed in a graded and timed exercise viewed by about 300 of their peers in a ballroom at the Sheraton at Four Seasons. In the exercise, teams were sequestered and each was called to a mock emergency on a set with two interior rooms of a family home. In one room, an elderly woman suffered heart failure. In another room, a young child in her care had accidentally overdosed on the older woman’s medicine. A schizophrenic relative who shows up in the middle of the emergency brings additional stress to the situation.

During the mock response by each team, a hush swept over the crowd as they focused on the performance of each paramedic and a judge calling out vital signs as the team gets to work. Responders’ voices and the vital signs are amplified for the audience, which also can watch the work of their peers in detail on video projection screens. 

“These scenarios are a great teaching tool for the audience of professional responders, as well as a tough challenge for each team that encounters them,” said Drexdal Pratt, chief of the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services. “We base these on real situations that we know our state’s EMS professionals encounter.

“There is no substitute for being there; but having this competition in front of peers, and set up in a way that the audience gets a good look at the action is a great way to help sharpen everyone’s skills. That is a powerful tool for triggering the most effective responses from our state’s paramedics when they encounter these types of situations in people’s homes.”