Stokes EMS contender in state competition

By Nicholas Elmes -

Two Stokes County EMS personnel will be competing with teams from across the state this weekend in the 25th annual North Carolina Office of EMS Paramedic Competition in Greensboro.

“The purpose is to showcase the paramedics, but also those who compete in this have to study really hard to be competitive,” said Stokes County EMS Director Greg Collins. “It is not just about winning, it is about studying and learning how to be better paramedics. The end result is better medicine and treatment for patients in the field.”

This year is the first time since 2011 that Stokes County has had a team make it to the state competition. The county won the state competition in 2008.

This year’s team is comprised of Lawsonville’s, Station 2, Timothy Settle and Danbury’s, Station 5, Christopher Chandler.

“There are two key factors in the competition,” said Chandler. “You have to run the scene and then there is the patient care. Usually they give you one scene that is a combination of scenarios. Usually they will intermix a trauma situation with a medical situation.”

He said previous mock scenes in the competition had involved everything from an exploded moonshine still to a NASCAR wreck.

The two EMS paramedics will help lead a team composed of fire and police.

“But you don’t know what kind of fire department you are going to work with,” said Chandler. “You may have two members or you may have 10. It could be an ALS or a BLS. That is an unknown.”

Both paramedics volunteered to compete this year for the first time and were pleasantly surprised when they found out they had won in the regional competition.

“I was surprised, but was really happy,” said Settle. “We thought we had done pretty well, but the proctor had told us the teams that usually win are the ones who do it year after year.”

But Settle, who has been a paramedic for over 10 years, said the two made a good team.

“Chris has been here for a year and half, so he is fresh with a lot of book knowledge,” said Settle. “He is going to be sharper on those key parts that they look for.”

“Tim is going to be much better with the scene management,” said Chandler.

“We are going for the win,” said Settle. “I think our chances are as good as anybody else. I think nerves may come into it a bit, but I think once we get into it, as long as we do what we do and remember what we have studied, then we will do pretty well.”

The competition is open to the public, and will be held at the noon at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

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