Chief Bruce K. Farr said that the competitions are a true reflection on the world class service that we in Toronto receive each and every day.
On October 27, 2010 a four person team from Toronto EMS Paramedics went to the Dutch Open Ambulance Competition. The team John Klich, Jennifer Shield, Don Reid, Sunnybrook Base Hospital Doctor Michael Feldman, and Coach and International Liaison, Maud Huiskamp competed against over thirty teams from Europe in Harderwijk, Holland. The team only had 16 hours from the time they touched down in Holland to the start of competition.
That lack of sleep did not stop them from showing their winning teamwork. From gauging what to do at the scene at a high fall, traumatic stabbing or dealing with an unresponsive toddler that had drowned the Toronto team's actions were right on the money. One of their tests was to drive an ambulance at high speed and not allow balls to fall off a riveted board in the rare of the ambulance.
"The scenarios that took place were a realistic view of what we deal with. In trauma calls anything can happen very fast. In each of the reenactments the team was in and out within ten minutes. All of our patients survived," John Klich told the audience today at EMS's Toronto headquarters.
In November another team of three Toronto EMS, Jason Hess, Kelly Sheppard, and Shamez Kassam won second place at the ITLS (International Trauma Life Support) Competition in Reno, Nevada.
After the ceremony Jason Hess and Kelly Sheppard took time out of their busy day to talk about their time in Reno.
"The enactments were very realistic," Hess said, "Everything was inside the hotel."
"We used to have more of these type of competitions in the 1980's and 1990's," veteran Sheppard said adding that he was at those also. "They are important for us to do."
Both Hess and Sheppard said that the education process is important for Toronto's EMS. They both are educators for the department.
The Reno competition was different than the one in Holland Sheppard said because it was based on trauma and life support while the European one had the medical diagnosis aspect added in.