Paramedics win EMS competition

First Posted: 10/7/2009

GREENSBORO Two paramedics from Surry County unseated the three-time defending champion team from Stokes County to become the states top paramedic team following competition in Greensboro earlier this week.
Surry County Paramedics Barry McMillian and Roger Horton were announced as the winners at an awards banquet Tuesday night during the 36th annual North Carolina Emergency Medicine Today conference. The competition was held Sunday afternoon.
In claiming the title, the team of McMillian and Horton topped the best efforts of the Stokes team of Fred Lawson and Scott Brown, who had won the championship in 2005, 2007 and 2008. The Surry paramedics also outscored teams from Mecklenburg, Davidson County, Eastern Wake and Pasquotank-Camden counties.
John Shelton, director of Surry County Emergency Services, said Wednesday that he was proud of the men for bringing the win back to the county. Surry County had not won the competition since 1999.
They did very well. We are extremely proud of them. They did a great job, Shelton said.
The paramedics will be recognized at the Surry County commissioners meeting on Nov. 2.
Horton said he thought the competition went well.
I think it went well. It was a tough competition. Im just glad I got to compete alongside Barry McMillian, Horton said.
McMillian said he was pleased with the results. He said after all the excitement, he was happy to have a day off Wednesday to reflect on the teams victory.
It was stiff competition and there were some really great teams there. You always have your hopes up and think about everything that youve done and then you think about things you might have done a little differently, he said.
He said the wait between Sundays competition and the Tuesday night awards banquet was stressful.
I knew it was going to be close. I just could not believe it when they called out Surry County. We worked hard for it. We had a lot of practice. We thought about a lot of things and weve done a lot of studying. It really paid off. Roger was a great guy to work with. I couldnt have done it without him and all of the other people who helped us, McMillian said.
The winners of this years competition are automatically qualified for next years state championship. McMillian said he knows they will face off against the Stokes team again next year.
Those guys are real gentlemen and it was a pleasure facing off against them. I look forward to seeing them next year, McMillian said.
Dr. Jason Stopyra is the medical director over Surry County paramedics.
The thing that was the most important is that our medical director was there. Hes the one that allows us to do the things we do. You dont want to make yourself look bad in front of him, McMillian said.
McMillian and Horton and the other teams competed in a graded and timed exercise viewed by about 300 of their peers in a ballroom at the Sheraton at Four Seasons. In the exercise, teams were sequestered and each was called to a mock emergency on a set with two interior rooms of a family home. In one room, an elderly woman suffered heart failure. In another room, a young child in her care had accidentally overdosed on the older womans medicine. A schizophrenic relative showed up in the middle of the emergency to bring additional stress to the drill.
These scenarios are a great teaching tool for the audience of professional responders, as well as a tough challenge for each team that encounters them, said Drexdal Pratt, chief of the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services. We base these on real situations that we know our states EMS professionals encounter.
There is no substitute for being there but having this competition in front of peers, and set up in a way that the audience gets a good look at the action, is a great way to help sharpen everyones skills. That is a powerful tool for triggering the most effective responses from our states paramedics when they encounter these types of situations in peoples homes.
Horton and McMillian will soon begin preparing for another competition on an international level in Charlotte in November.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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