Administration and Leadership, News

New Jersey Cadets Compete in EMS Competition, W.V. Flood Relief, and Reckless Behavior in Georgia

Issue 8 and Volume 41.

Competing Cadets

Future medics gathered for some friendly competition and important education at the third annual Bayshore Cadet Competition in Keyport, N.J. Twenty teams from New York and New Jersey went head-to-head, performing basic medical tasks such as taking a pulse and advanced skills like vehicle extrication.

The 80 young EMTs rotated through stations located in classrooms, ambulances and even medical helicopters. While the cadets put their skills to the test, observing evaluators didn’t just judge them-they pointed out their mistakes right then and there so the students could easily learn.

East Brunswick Rescue Squad won first place in both the basic and advanced categories. But the day wasn’t just about declaring a winner. Event creator Keyport First Aid Chief Ken Krohe says he hopes that participants were able to hone their skills while also making new friends who may be their future coworkers. He succeeded in creating a “friendly, stress-free event for all to work together, meet each other and most of all, have a good time.”

We give a thumbs up to East Brunswick Rescue Squad for their superior medical skills, and to the rest of the participating teams for challenging themselves and for dedicating their young lives to serving others. We also give a thumbs up to Krohe for organizing the competition, and to all the volunteers who gave their time to better the future of EMS.

Flood Search, Rescue & Relief

Heavy rains and massive flooding hit West Virginia earlier this summer, leaving areas devastated and damaged. Though the weather destroyed hundreds of homes and took several lives, emergency crews helped prevent further destruction and comforted those affected.

Heroic rescue efforts included saving a woman clinging from a tree after her home had flooded and exploded from a natural gas leak. Another rescue involved a 71-year-old wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran who had water up to her shoulders when emergency crews found her and saved her.

Unfortunately, 24 lives were taken in the chaos, making it the third deadliest flooding ever in the state. When rescue was impossible, search teams were able to find and identify bodies, giving closure to families.

In response to the tragic flooding, people and businesses across the state donated time, money and items to get citizens back on their feet. One local volunteer fire department said their phone was ringing off the hook after it announced it was collecting items such as water bottles and blankets. A nearby high school announced its plans to donate football gear to a neighboring football team that lost everything in the flood. And a state police unit held a teddy bear drive to bring joy to the affected children.

We give a big thumbs up to all the first responders who helped save lives and the community. We applaud the local search, rescue and relief teams, many of them comprised of volunteers, for their invaluable hard work.

Bad Behavior

A Georgia EMT is facing misdemeanor charges after he recklessly tore through a Duluth neighborhood in an ambulance, knocking over mailboxes and causing property damage to several homes.

Kyle Lathon, 22, had already been arguing with his shift partner all day when the two went to pick up a transport patient that evening. When they arrived at the home, Lathon was supposed to help the patient into a wheelchair, but instead he grabbed his partner by the throat, pulled him out of the ambulance and started chasing him with a knife. Lathon then got into the ambulance and sped away, but his partner was standing on the rig’s rear bumper.

Clinging to the ambulance, the other EMT screamed for help and for neighbors to call 9-1-1. He eventually jumped from the ambulance, injuring his leg.

Lathon continued to speed through the neighborhood, driving over curbs and into people’s lawns. He eventually returned the ambulance to the private EMS company he worked for, and was promptly arrested.

We give a thumbs down to Lathon for harming the community he was meant to serve, and for damaging the reputation of medical responders across the country.