News, Training

Can Am Police & Fire Games Add EMS Skills Component

Issue 9 and Volume 39.

On July 16, for the first time in its 37-year history, the Can Am Police and Fire Games held an EMS skills competition as part of its bi-annual event. Held at the York County, Penn., Fire School, teams were presented with a simulated carbon monoxide poisoning incident.

Based on the JEMS Games clinical competition held annually at the EMS Today Conference & Exposition, teams responded to the incident in an ambulance, identified and answered questions about a hazardous material, entered the building and performed an initial rescue of the victim. Teams were then challenged to properly manage the airway of the victim. The scene then became “hazardous” and the teams were forced to egress the building with their victim.

Once outside, the patient became pulseless and the teams ran a cardiac arrest scenario, ensuring high-quality CPR was performed, appropriate electrical therapies were administered, and proper medications were given at the right time. Once the patient was stabilized, they were transported back to the start/finish line.

Teams were timed for the event, but in the end, it was the quality of care they administered that ultimately determined the winners. All three teams performed admirably and the judges, seasoned paramedics guided by an EMS medical director who was himself a paramedic, took great care in their scoring task.

The gold medal was won by the team from Queen Anne’s County, Md., Department of Emergency Services. JEMS has offered them an invitation to compete in the 2015 JEMS Games in Baltimore, Md., and will waive the registration fee.

The silver medal was earned by the team from the New York City Fire Department, Bureau of EMS. Performing in their usual professional yet entertaining style, they were definitely a crowd favorite.

Taking the bronze medal was the team from Sussex County, Del.

The medals were presented by the families of three York County paramedics who died during the time preparations were being made to host the 2014 Can Am Games. Bruce Bowen, Ed Sneeringer and Mike Eshbach, who all worked for Medic 102 of York Memorial Hospital, were great paramedics, great mentors and, most of all, great friends to EMS personnel throughout York County and other areas where they worked. The teams attended a short memorial service for our lost brothers.

Also on hand were members of the organizing committee of the 2016 Can Am Police and Fire Games, to be held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. They intend to build on what the York County crew has started. EMS events will be a part of the schedule when the Games head north of the border in two years.