This is my first time at EMS Today, and my first time watching the JEMS Games. I may not yet know the excitement of watching the final scenario or the glory the winning team experiences (as well as the extent of the bragging they’ll participate in), but I know one thing: The JEMS Games are serious business. Both the competing teams and the organizers take this event very seriously, but that goes double for the judges, who must watch and listen carefully to make sure the teams hit all the marks when the clock is ticking.
So who are these vaunted few who wield enough power to elevate competitors to EMS Today superstar status or send them home in shameful defeat? Well, actually, they’re very nice people who sincerely value quality patient care.
I met Jasmine Elmore from Susquehanna Health, who, at 20, is the youngest this year. A first-time judge, she was a little intimidated by her assignment at one of the most challenging stations – the patient assessment and resuscitation station. But by the middle of the first team’s visit to her station, she had to hold herself back from jumping in and helping initiate IO when the team stalled. (Good restraint, Jasmine, but I would have liked to have seen that!)
Fellow first-time judge Karen Cieslewicz, an instructor at the University of Maryland, said she saw some interesting things at the respiratory station – like a team inserting a Magill forceps before an obstruction was identified (Ruh-roh). But overall, she says she would happily ride with any of the teams. Karen lamented being the only MD judge – she’d like to see doctors and EMS collaborate professionally more often. (Bravo, Karen!)
And then there’s Robin Davis from Fairfax County Police, who, in his second year judging is not exactly content sitting on the sidelines. He says this is the year his agency will put together a competing team of its own. (Robin, let’s see how you like it on the other side.) He believes competitions are a great way for EMTs and paramedics to keep their skills up while keeping things fun. (I agree.)
These guys are great, but definitely discerning --I can’t wait to see who they greenlight for the finals. I also look forward to getting to know them better, but then again, I’m not competing …