Just outside FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn, an unusual string of events occurred on May 24, involving a tandem skydiving jump that went horribly wrong, a car accident and a woman giving birth. And it all happened near where people were taking CPR training classes and donating blood.
Yet it wasn’t a chaotic emergency scene, it was simply part of the 2012 EMS Week Health Fair and Competition.
"This all shows how well we do business," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. "It’s a pleasure to be the Commissioner for such a great group of paramedics and EMTs."
Chief of Department Edward Kilduff added, "You all truly showed your talent level to the world today."
The annual EMS Competition included five ALS and five BLS teams responding to a scenario that involved a skydiving instructor going into cardiac arrest while strapped to a student. The pair then crashed into a moving vehicle, severing the student’s hand.
Inside the vehicle was a couple on their way to the hospital. The woman was in labor, and was moments away from giving birth. She then delivers a baby who is not breathing and has a slow pulse.
The Advanced Life Support (ALS) team from Division 3 and Basic Life Support (BLS) team from Division 1 received first place honors in this year’s competition.
"Everyone did a great job and really made the FDNY proud," Chief of EMS Abdo Nahmod said.
EMS Deputy Chief Andrew Werner, said every year, when planning the competition, the team likes to think of a theme and link it to new EMS initiatives.
"Our members know a lot about technology," he said. "But we wanted [this scenario] to bring it back to the basics, to keep it simple and make teams focus on the patient."
Lt. James Fallar from the EMS Safety Command said he thought of the scenario concept after his daughter told him about her recent skydiving trip.
Although there was a lot for the teams to think about in this scenario, he added, "This is straightforward patient care. If they format themselves, they should have no problem."
Among the competitors was EMT Steven Aumoithe from Division 3, who described the competition as "a great challenge both physically and mentally … it gives you the feeling of a real scenario."
EMT Nicholas Welch, who also competed as part of Division 3, added that the competition "makes me more aware. It opens me to calls that aren’t your every day call."
In the end, the teams from Division 2 won second place honors for both ALS and BLS, and Division 5 received third for both ALS and BLS.
During the ceremony, an EMS-themed music video also was debuted by Lt. Farooq Muhammad.