What's the point of EMS competitions?

Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: In Greensboro, N.C., a group of responders are participating in a hunting challenge that tests their EMS skills.

Newsflash: EMS providers are a competitive group. I know, kind of shock isn't it? I mean, who doesn't think that they are the "best of the best" when it comes to providing care to their patients?

As corny as they can be, these types of "training" can be very beneficial. It promotes a healthy learning environment, paying attention to the details, and working closely with your team members. It also spices up the run-of-the-mill training drill, and can sometimes bring in new ways of thinking. If the problem being presented is very complex, it may take a different approach toward solving it, that might go beyond the standard protocol and scene management. Those new paradigms might make it into general practice, which promotes growth within an EMS system.

Finally, competitions such as these as great to promote Esprit de corps — literally the desire of members of a group to succeed as a group. This not only refers to individual team success, but the other teams as well. I think that's a healthy way to approach these events — and everyone wins.

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at Art.Hsieh@ems1.com and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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