A team of experienced paramedics from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is ‘elated’ after being crowned World Champions at a medical competition held in Copenhagen.
Ricky Harrison, from Derbyshire; Ross Ludford, from Leicestershire; Rosie Sears, from Northamptonshire; and James Harness, from Lincolnshire; went head to head with ambulance crews from Denmark, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden at the Emergency Services European Championship. Not only did the EMAS team win the overall trophy to be named EMS2018 Champions, but they became double winners as they were chosen as ‘audience favourites’ as well. They were the only British team to make it into the final of EMS2018 and had to face the challenging scenario of a road traffic collision between a car and a bicycle, involving five patients with serious injuries such as gunshot wounds.
Ricky Harrison, from Swadlincote, explained that the four paramedics had only met twice in training before the competition, but that they worked quickly and seamlessly to help the ‘patients’ who needed them. He said, “We are elated. Our hard work has paid off and we are so happy to have won; although it is still a bit of a shock. It’s amazing to think that six weeks ago we didn’t know each other, but we worked really well as a team.
“Dealing with emergency scenarios is what we do every day, it is our bread and butter, so we just pretended it was a real job and did the best we could for the people who were injured.”
EMAS was one of just two NHS ambulance trusts in the UK to qualify for one of the 12 spots at the European EMS2018 Championship, with the Scottish Ambulance Service taking the other place.
In the preliminary round, the EMAS team had to deal with two intense scenarios – a man who had been electrocuted and fallen from a ladder, and a young child who had gone into cardiac arrest. Their excellent clinical skills secured them a place in the final against just two other teams – both from Denmark.
The final involved the team dealing with a much more complex scenario – surrounded by an audience of 1400 clinicians, under spotlights in the centre of an arena and being scrutinised by judges.
As the team have won the overall competition, they have been invited to attend the conference next year and EMAS is guaranteed a place in the EMS2019 Championship.
The EMS2018 Championship is part of a three-day medical conference and all ambulance services in the world are able to enter the competition.