BUNNELL, Fla. - Competition coming in second place, a mere three points behind a team from Slovakia. "Our team could not have worked together better," Flagler County Firefighter Paramedic Dennis Kline, said. Kline is also competition team leader.
"We all know our job and we know what needs to be done." There were a total of 108 teams from 50 countries, Flagler County Team USA was the only representative from the United States in the invitation only competition. The teams are sorted according to ability and Flagler County competed against 35 teams from 12 different countries.
"Placing second in the world in a competition like this is a major accomplishment. It proves that our EMS System and our paramedics are among the best in the world," Flagler County Fire Rescue Chief Don Petito said. "The paramedics that compete on the team are indicative of the type of service our paramedics deliver to the residents and visitors of this county on a daily basis."
In the competition called Rallye Rejvis the Flagler County team competed against teams from Austria, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Japan, Turkey, Servia and Croatia. Some 23 teams that Flagler competed against had doctors included as part of their team. Flagler County's prowess on the paramedic competition is creating a demand for the team's training. Kline said two countries, Poland and Slovakia are interested in an exchange program with some of their people coming here to train or Flagler personnel traveling overseas to train their personnel. "The other team members kept saying that we are trained perfect," Kline said. "One of the doctors on another team said we are a paramedic machine on the scene."
With the second place finish the Flagler County team was invited back again next year to the Czech Republic to compete in Rallye Rejvis. Kline said fundraising to pay for the team's traveling expenses will determine whether they can return. "The dedication and ability of our Paramedics is really amazing," County Administrator Craig Coffey said. "The County benefits from this competition in that team members are the same people who ride on county ambulances and train our other paramedics on the job. We can truthfully say our paramedics are among the best in the world." Individuals who want to contribute for next year's efforts can contact Kline at 386-479-4025.