Spring Lake Park emergency care students place high at state

By Elyse Kaner
Staff Writer

Two Spring Lake Park teams have won first-and second-place in the 26th annual Minnesota Youth Emergency Care competition.

Rescuer Sage Zasoba administers bandages to victim Sofya Starikova’s head wound. Photo by Elyse Kaner

The competition, which drew more than 30 teams from four programs throughout the state, gives students an opportunity to test their emergency medical-response skills in timed scenarios.

Students are also judged on a written test.

“It puts them in a situation where it’s realistic,” said Bill Neiss, director of Opportunities in Emergency Care (OEC) program at Spring Lake Park High School, where the state event was hosted Feb. 25.

The OEC program teaches CPR, first responder and emergency medical technician basic skills.

In addition to Spring Lake Park’s OEC, the state competition was presented by Herzing University.

SLP takes first-place

Seven teams of students from the high school’s OEC program participated in this year’s state competition.

Students who took first-place on SLP’s team The Traumatic Experience are: Nick Maxwell (captain), Chaltu Hassan, Mary Henrickson and Corey Swenson.

Second-place winners were a team of former and current Spring Lake Park OEC students: Karie Davis (captain), Charlie Bloomer, Lucas Hess and Max Opdahl. The team is sponsored by the Blaine Police Department Explorers.

Third-place went to a team from North East Metro 916/Century College.

‘Feel adrenalin’

For the competition, teams of four members are scored on their injury assessment abilities and their responses to patient care and management of injuries.

Additionally, teams are evaluated on their professionalism, teamwork and appearance.

This year’s 20-minute scenarios, for example, involved treating victims for gas explosion injuries. Another scenario called for a rescue in a darkened room.

Scenarios are judged by such professional health care workers as EMTs paramedics, nurses and firefighters.

“It puts them under pressure and it gives them a good snapshot of where they’re at,” Neiss said about the competition.

“It’s a chance for them to feel adrenalin in a simulated setting.”

In addition to Spring Lake Park’s seven teams, the competition drew teams from Osseo High School, Century College/NE Metro 916 program and Minnesota Transitions Charter School.

Last year, Spring Lake Park’s OEC teams ranked in the top three of overall performance at the state competition.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]