Spring Lake Park OEC team takes 1st at state

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Spring Lake Park High School students once again took home the top prize from the Minnesota State Youth Emergency Medical Services competition held Feb. 25 at Spring Lake Park High School.

Autumn Talley and Jason Kells, part of the state-winning Jenny and the Jets team from Spring Lake Park, assess a victim poolside.Photo by Olivia Alveshere
Autumn Talley and Jason Kells, part of the state-winning Jenny and the Jets team from Spring Lake Park, assess a victim poolside. Photo by Olivia Alveshere

Jason Kells, Bella Moorman, Andrew Olson and Autumn Talley made up team Jenny and the Jets, scoring higher than 32 other teams to come out on top.

Teams from Forest Lake High School took second and third in the competition.

A dozen teams from Spring Lake Park’s Opportunities in Emergency Care program competed at state against teams from Forest Lake and Osseo high schools, as well SouthWest Metro Intermediate District 288 and Northfield Public Safety Explorer Post 3300.

The competition requires students to take a written exam and respond to three emergency scenarios.

This year students were asked to aid a maintenance team that was injured replacing light bulbs in the ceiling above the pool, help individuals after a truck carrying radioactive material tipped over and assist an injured firefighter and child in respiratory distress while maintaining their own safety in a fire.

As a lifeguard, Kells was excited to slip into the pool and retrieve a victim from the water, assessing the individual’s injuries with Talley while Moorman and Olson rendered aid to a second victim.

The team spent a lot of time at one another’s homes preparing. They played chess while talking through scenarios to practice multitasking.

“We practice a ton,” Talley said. “We do a lot of scenarios in class.”

Nakeva Alexander, competing for Spring Lake Park on The Lifesavers team, believed the Panthers were ready in large part because of their “amazing teacher” Bill Neiss, coordinator of the Spring Lake Park OEC program.

He makes class “capture you and makes you want to learn,” Alexander said.

Neiss has been involved in the competition since it began more than 30 years ago.

“We just want to see what you guys are made of, but more than that, we want you to see what you are made of,” he told competitors.

More than 150 volunteers ensure state runs smoothly each year.