Leland Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department paramedics Chris Watford and Michael Herbert took first place in the North Carolina Office of EMS Paramedic Competition.
Leland Fire/Rescue has only been a paramedic-level provider since December 2009. Watford and Herbert have been paramedics for three and six years, respectively.
They competed against eight teams and won the regional competition in July at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. Then last week they competed against four other regional winners and last year’s champion team at the N.C. Emergency Medicine Today conference in Greensboro.
“These teams represent the best of the best that North Carolina has to offer in paramedicine.” said Leland chief John Grimes.
Herbert has worked for the department for about four years and also works as an EMS instructor with Cape Fear and Brunswick community colleges. Watford has volunteered with the department for about three years and currently serves on the separtment’s board of directors and also works as an EMS instructor with Cape Fear and Brunswick community colleges.
The competition was made up of 27 two-person paramedic teams who are tested in job knowledge, skill proficiency and critical thinking.
The scenario last week was based on a child who had fallen from a fair ride and had a head injury and was unconscious. While treating the child, a man who is high on bath salts rides through the fair scene (complete with a merry-go-round and bouncing house) on a moped and has to be taken into custody as he is attempting to interfere with the scene. He becomes extremely agitated and begins to fight with law enforcement and has to be treated by the team. The child then goes into seizures and the mother has an asthma attack and has to be treated as well.
Leland Fire/Rescue is the first fire-based EMS organization to win the competition in its 22-year history.