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Leland Fire/Rescue paramedics tops in North Carolina


North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
For Release: Immediate
Date: October 10, 2012
Contact: Jim Jones, of 919-855-4840

GREENSBORO – A team from Brunswick County won top recognition Tuesday night among its peers to become North Carolina's 2012 champion paramedics following a six-team competition held here on Sunday co-sponsored by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the N.C. College of Emergency Physicians and participating community colleges.

The team of Chris Watford and Michael Herbert from Leland Fire/Rescue out-performed the previous year's champions from Cabarrus County and four other teams in the 22nd annual North Carolina Paramedic Competition, held at the Joseph S. Koury Center here. Two teams from Mecklenburg County and one team each from Wake and Rowan counties survived regional competitions in July to advance to Sunday's championship.

"Our teams truly are the best of the best, and we congratulate them all on coming this far," said Regina Godette-Crawford, chief of the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services. "Our winners did an outstanding job with the scenario that each team faced.”

The performance of each team was timed and graded before an audience of hundreds of peers. A team of judges from South Carolina scored the contenders. This year’s scenario provided a touch of seasonal reality with an unconscious child with a head injury at a county fair, and a dose of societal problems with a drug abuser high on bath salts crashing a motorbike into the area where the child was being treated.

"Unfortunately people using store-shelf and designer drugs are some of the realities our paramedics face, particularly when they are in crisis," Godette-Crawford said. "The drug abuser often puts others at risk as well as themselves through the use of substances that literally can cause their own death."

The paramedic competition is part of the Emergency Medicine Today Conference, now in its 42nd year. The conference brings together about 500 EMS medical directors, hospital emergency room directors, EMTs and paramedics from across North Carolina to learn up-to-date skills, to discuss trends in pre-hospital care and to exchange ideas.

Preliminary paramedic competitions were held in July at Gaston College, Surry Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Wake Technical Community College and Cape Fear Community College. Regional winners advanced to Sunday’s championship.

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