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REMSA Earns 2nd Place at the 2019 National Tactical Medic Competition

On May 5, 2019, Avery Baldwin and Cody Clifford represented REMSA in the National Tactical Medic Competition, held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The competition brought competitors from across the nation and Canada. The competition evaluated the team’s physical fitness, clinical knowledge, rope skills, and the ability to think critically. They spent countless hours training for this year’s event to improve upon last year’s fourth-place finish.

When they showed up this year, they were presented with challenging scenarios. These included care under fire, care across the barricade, breaching, treating multiple trauma victims and this year’s curveball – CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive). They had to treat victims exposed to nerve agents from point of injury to providing critical care in the evacuation setting.

Avery and Cody earned second place! SOARescue conducted the competition and said it was the closest first, second and third place in the history of the competition. They missed first place by just a single point.

Here is a video from the 2018 competition:

We sat down with Avery Baldwin, who recently was awarded EMS Person of the Year, to learn more about his experience and his commitment to the Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) team:

    • Why do you participate in TEMS?
      TEMS offers us the opportunity to perform medicine in high-threat environments alongside our partners in law enforcement. The brotherhood and camaraderie you develop within the teams are the best part.
    • How has it advanced your clinical skills?
      TEMS has encouraged me to train harder than I ever have on physical fitness, assessment, skills and medical knowledge. We have to be able to operate at a high level of care quickly, and in austere environments on anyone from our teammates to the suspect to civilians. Being on TEMS has changed my outlook on how I approach calls as a supervisor and as a medic on the ambulance. It has even affected my philosophy in teaching the EMS programs here at REMSA.
    • What’s rewarding about contributing through the TEMS team?
      The most rewarding part of TEMS is having a role on the team as a medic and being there for law enforcement as they are there for us when we need them. Families saying “thank you for protecting my husband out there” during Christmas parties or having a police sergeant say, “I will go into any call with you guys by my side” after a dangerous call means a lot to us.
    • Who’s the right person to consider TEMS?
      The individual considering TEMS would have to have a strong commitment to the team and possess strong leadership and clinical skills. All of us have had to make sacrifices like leaving holiday family gatherings or missing kids’ sports games to be there during operations and callouts. You should be attempting to be the first one on the scene, taking the hardest job and being the most active team member.
    • What was most exciting or challenging about the competition this year?
      One of the most exciting scenarios in the competition this year was Care Under Fire and Medicine Across the Barricade. Our team had to perform a remote assessment on two officers, approximately 50 yards beyond a locked gate. We had to assess them, instruct them to perform treatment on themselves, breach the gate using a thermogenic cutting tool, and then perform a rescue and evacuation during a simulated firefight. By far, the most challenging scenario this year was the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive) scenario. One of us had to don a CBRNE suit and gas mask, perform a rescue on an officer including medical treatment and decontamination while the other assessed and treated multiple officers injured at the same time.

We also talked with Cody Clifford, EMS Supervisor and TEMS team member, to learn more about why he participates on this special team.

    • Why do you participate in TEMS?
      I participate in TEMS for many reasons. It is a tight-knit group, I love the family aspect and esprit de corps. I enjoy working closely with top-tier tactical and law enforcement teams and expanding my medicine into the tactical realm.
    • How has it advanced your clinical skills?
      TEMS requires clinical proficiency and the ability to critically think under immense pressure. Medicine is combined with tactics to accomplish the mission of the teams. Operating under this type of stress, often alone, brings to light the need to advance your knowledge, skills and education to meet the unique needs of those we work with, medically and tactically.
    • What’s rewarding about contributing through the TEMS team?
      Being able to operate with these tactical teams is awesome and is easily the best part of the job.
    • Who’s the right person to consider TEMS?
      Someone who works well both on their own and with others. Someone who is professional, likes challenges, is medically competent, and interested in what we do.
    • What was most exciting or challenging about the competition this year?
      The competition is always close – all of the other teams are very good. It’s exciting and motivating, knowing that we have to be on our game.
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