Students in Spring Lake Park High School’s Opportunities in Emergency Care program came away from the Minnesota State Youth Emergency Medical Services competition with top honors Feb. 22.
OEC hosted the competition at the high school Saturday, welcoming 23 teams: 15 from Osseo High School’s program, seven from OEC and one from Forest Lake High School’s brand new program.
OEC teams took first, second and third places.
Kelly Chies, Andy Dang, Tommy Pho and Hallie Vanney made up team Super HKAT and took first in the competition.
Team Verve – Connor Belting, Jenna Brolin, D.J. Fluey and Corenia Smith – won second place.
Judges awarded Kendra Friedland, Kenzie Glanz, Arianna Merritt and Mittol Nelipinath, the IV Leaguers, third place for their efforts.
Students were scored on a written exam and on their performance in three emergency scenarios.
This year, students had to retrieve a patient from the pool and perform CPR; attend to someone who was electrocuted and fell from the scaffolding in the Fine Arts Center; and care for a firefighter and an infant he or she rescued.
Scenarios are an “authentic assessment,” according to Program Coordinator Bill Neiss. Students are faced with challenges that don’t necessarily make their way into the classroom. For instance, the scenario in the Fine Arts Center required students to work in the dark in a confined space, between two rows of theater seats.
“To go from a skill test to a scenario is a giant leap,” Neiss said. But it shows students that they know more than they think they do, while reminding them that there is still work to be done, he added.
Neiss allows no more than two second-year OEC students on any one team in competition to balance the playing field. There is educational value to this restriction. “It gives [the second-year students] a chance to teach, and that makes them better providers, too,” he said.
Teams’ ability to move through each scenario is scored by judges; each scenario accounts for 30 percent of their final score.
Each student takes a 50-question written exam as well. Team members’ scores are averaged and account for 10 percent of the competition score.
HKAT nearly aced the written exam, Neiss said.
Typically, if a team’s comprehensive score is above 80 percent, it will finish in the top three teams. That measure held true this year, but Super HKAT and Verve scored well above 80 percent – earning 87 percent and 86 percent, respectively.
“They really, really worked hard,” Neiss said.
One hundred and sixty volunteers – most serving as judges or victims – offered their time Saturday.
Next year, Forest Lake High School intends to host the competition for the first time.
Olivia Koester is at firstname.lastname@example.org