HGH EMS Rescue Makes Impressive Showing During National Competition

Jawdropping. That's the only word that can describe HGH EMS Rescue's performance during a nationwide EMS skills competition last month.

Not only did Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue qualify to compete in the prestigious field of 19 teams, but they beat out the 2012 and 2013 reigning champion, New York City Fire, to place fifth overall.

"And they also beat London Ambulance," said an enthusiastic EMS Chief Pat Songer. "They're one of the world's best; London vetted 60 teams just to send one to D.C."

The JEMS Games were sponsored by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services as part of the 2014 EMS Today Conference & Exposition, held February 5-8, in Washington, D.C.

The object of the competition is to introduce competitors and audiences to new techniques and technology that can be used to manage patients at all levels of care.

The competition also enables participants to share their expertise, experience, techniques and technology with EMS colleagues from throughout the world.

When all was said and done, it was the Cumberland County, North Carolina EMS team that walked away with first-place honors.

Still, the local agency is celebrating the performance of teammates Lacy Constable, Louis Mendiola and Monique Rose.

"They did an amazing job," said Songer. "To go up against some of the world's largest and most well-known agencies would be a feat for any large, urban system; to come from a small rural system and do so well is really exceptional."

Songer said top teams, including Humboldt, were able to complete the competition in about 11 minutes; bottom teams were closer to 20 minutes.

But Songer said the competition isn't about reciting assessment protocols or getting points for 'doing the right thing.'

"This is about each team's ability to work as a team to manage patients' conditions in the most compassionate and efficient manner possible," he said.

Songer said while the public is not allowed to view preliminary rounds of competition, the final round of competition serves as an exceptional learning opportunity for the audience and participating teams. "So it's a good learning experience on the floor and in the stands."

He added, "We were thrilled with the opportunity to participate. We congratulate Lacy, Louis and Monique on a job well done and look forward to future years and more chances to prove ourselves."