Pender duo wins EMS competition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 4, 2023

GREENSBORO — The Pender Emergency Medical Services team of McKenzie Shipp and Owen Feest claimed top honors at the 31st annual paramedic competition, earning the title for the first time in the county’s history.

Shipp and Feest were among six top teams from across the state in this year’s competition, part of the North Carolina EMS Expo — an educational conference that brings together paramedics, EMTs and county emergency services directors to sharpen their skills with presentations from faculty from across the state and the U.S.

Rowan EMS was in on the competition along with other pairs of regional champions from competitions in March from Iredell and Guilford counties, along with FirstHealth of Chatham County and Mecklenburg EMS, which was defending back-to-back championships.

The teams all face the same scenario as each emerges from sequestration to respond to a mock emergency. This year’s scenario involved multiple gunshot victims at a live music show.

Tom Mitchell, chief of the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services, announced the winners at a banquet held Tuesday evening.

“These teams practice all year to get ready for this. They study and prepare for all kinds of emergencies because they never know what they’re going to face in this competition,” Mitchell said. “That extensive training results in improved quality of care rendered to the citizens and visitors across North Carolina who suffer from illness or injury.”

Hundreds of team member peers watched from bleachers set up inside the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center’s Guilford Ballroom, which had been transformed into the “Red Light Bar & Grill,” complete with tables, bar and a stage. The competition provided a training opportunity not only for the competing teams, but also for the paramedics and emergency medical technicians who closely observe each team’s analysis and reaction to the scenario.

In the competition, each team takes turns to assess, treat and stabilize victims in a scenario that lasts 15 minutes. They must use their experience, education and training to provide care to the victims. Teams are judged on professionalism including areas of communications, organization, patient rapport, conduct and attitude.