A team of students, staff and faculty from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College paramedic program swept every category in the Alaska State Emergency Medical Services Skills Olympics in Anchorage on Nov. 4-5.
The competition is part of the annual State of Alaska EMS Symposium, where emergency medical services professionals from around the state participate in trainings, exhibits, competitions and discussions on current topics in the industry. Competition categories included oxygen administration, bleeding control and long bone immobilization (splinting broken bones). Teams also competed in overall categories for emergency medical technician 1, EMT 2/3, and state paramedic.
Justin Yurong, CTC’s paramedic program coordinator, said that the students on the competition team were chosen based on a written exam, as well as an evaluation of their performance in the Paramedic Academy. Three students were initially chosen, but one fell ill the day before and could not attend.
The team prepared by holding practice sessions prior to the symposium and competition. Two years ago, the last time the symposium was held, the UAF team took second overall in the state.
Myles Jellison won first place in the Overall State Paramedic category. He is a paramedic clinical coordinator and a graduate of the 2012 Paramedic Academy.
“I had never competed in any EMS competition before, and the experience was great,” Jellison said. “Constant improvement and learning is a vital part of being a paramedic. Establishing high goals and pushing your skills improves students and instructors.”
Andrea Knowles, who won first place in the Overall State EMT 1 category, began attending the academy this fall.
“When I started at the Paramedic Academy in September, I knew I was the least-experienced student in the classroom,” said Knowles. “I worked hard, studying the materials, practicing skills in labs and asking questions to fill the gaps in my knowledge. It wasn’t until attending the EMS Symposium and competing in the Skills Olympics, however, that I realized how far I’ve come because of the academy.”
This big win for the paramedic program comes on the heels of another achievement for the program from this past summer. Students graduating from the Paramedic Academy achieved a 100 percent average first-time pass rate for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exams. The national average for the NREMT exam in 2015 was 73 percent. The program’s overall average pass rate is 98 percent.
Below are the placements by CTC alumni, staff and faculty in each competition category:
Overall State Paramedic Competition:
- First: Myles Jellison, paramedic program clinical coordinator (alumnus)
- Second: Kinzea Jones, paramedic program assistant (alumna)
- Third: Justin Yurong, paramedic program coordinator
Overall State EMT 2/3 Competition:
- First: Mike Pence, paramedic student
- Second: Bobbi Green, advanced EMT alumni
Overall State EMT 1 Competition:
- First: Andrea Knowles, paramedic student
Long Bone Immobilization Skill Station Winner: Justin Yurong
Oxygen Administration Station Winner: Myles Jellison
Bleeding Control Station Winner: Mike Pence