LARGO, Fla. (July 1, 2013) — Members of the Sunstar Paramedics SWAT team took three of the top four places in a competition called the “Intubation Rodeo,” held recently at Nature Coast EMS in Inverness, Fla.
In the event, EMS professionals were required to establish an airway in accident-victim simulation manikins by inserting a flexible plastic tube into the trachea (windpipe). It is important for EMS professionals to be skilled at emergency intubation, as it is commonly performed in the field.
Josh Schuster, Chris Jennings and Joe Herzhauser took second, third and fourth places at the inaugural event, held at Whispering Pines Park in Inverness, which had more than 30 emergency agencies participating. Each participant dealt with 25 emergency scenarios — a helicopter crash, SWAT officer shot, someone trapped upside-down in a tight space, a baby stuck in a well, and an icy water rescue, to name a few — then given three minutes or less to assess the situation and intubate the accident victim, or establish an airway, at each challenge site.
The event, held in late May, was sponsored by Nature Coast EMS and drew participants from as far away as Miami and the Florida Panhandle.
With breakthroughs in modern technology, intubation has been de-emphasized because of other airway adjuncts available. Nevertheless, it is still a crucial skill that EMS professionals must possess. Stronger EMS skills in the field equate to a higher chance of survival for the patient.
“Over the past several years, intubation has been a skill that’s been lost by paramedics,” said Ron Bray, Nature Coast EMS lead paramedic instructor. “With this event, those who participate regain their skills in a fun way. By doing it 25 times, they walk away with a skill set they probably didn’t come in with.”
About Sunstar Paramedics:
Sunstar is the 911 ambulance transport service for all Pinellas County residents, employing 500-plus local residents, and responding to around 500 calls a day. Highly awarded and accredited, Sunstar utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and software, and (along with parent company Paramedics Plus) is an innovator of the industry’s best practices. Sunstar’s people are heavily involved in Pinellas communities, focusing largely on public safety programs for the public and for schools.
Sunstar is also a recipient of the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award, the state’s most prestigious award recognizing “role models for organizational performance excellence.” More info at SunstarEMS.com.