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Cabarrus County paramedics selected as North Carolinas’s best

 

For release: Immediate    October 5, 2011
Contact: Jim Jones (919) 855-4840

GREENSBORO – Following a competition that pitted regional champions against each other and the previous year’s state champs, a pair of first responders from Cabarrus County Emergency Medical Services was named Tuesday night as North Carolina’s top paramedic team.

The team of Mark Kirk and Jeffery Penninger out-performed the previous year’s defending champions from Surry County and teams from Eastern Wake, Forsyth, Lincoln and Stokes counties during a judged and graded competition. The contest was held Sunday afternoon during the Emergency Medicine Today Conference at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. The competitors were winners of regional contests held in July involving 36 teams from 24 counties.

“Each year the state’s best of the best paramedics come together from all across our state to compete for this championship,” said Regina Godette-Crawford, chief of the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services. “It is a learning experience for all – the teams, the paramedics who watch each team intensely, and for us. We congratulate all the teams. They are all winners.”

The winning team was announced Tuesday night to a loud cheer from the hundreds of EMS professionals attending the conference.

The Cabarrus County champions were among six teams sequestered and called out separately to face the same mock emergency scenario in front of the watchful eyes of judges and an audience of hundreds of their peers, county EMS medical directors and families filling bleachers and seats set up in a ballroom.

The competition requires each team to rapidly assess and appropriately treat victims of the mock accident that may include bystander injuries as well.

In Sunday’s scenario, set in a remote wooded area, a hunter has fallen from a deer stand. He’s about to die from anaphylactic shock after an allergic reaction to food. While the paramedics are treating him, a gunshot sounds, and two minutes later a ‘hunter’ helps his best friend into the scene with arterial bleeding from a leg wound. As the paramedics shift their attention to the gunshot victim the hunter, bereft over shooting his friend, collapses and may be having a heart attack. The timed competition lasts 13 minutes.

Teams are judged on professionalism; communication with each other, the patients and bystanders who may share important information; patient rapport, conduct, attitude, appearance and attire.

Sunday’s competition was the 21st annual paramedic contest. A team of four seasoned judges from South Carolina helps to ensure impartiality.

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Note: A photo of the winning team is available upon request: Jim.Jones@dhhs.nc.gov