A team from Saskatchewan’s STARS Air Ambulance is in Texas taking part in an international skills competition.
Flight paramedic Shannon Koch and flight nurse Thomas Froh are the first team from Saskatchewan to qualify to compete in an international critical care skills competition at the Air Medical Transport Conference in Fort Worth.
Koch says the two emerged as the top team in Canadian competitions, and now begin international side of competiting.
She says the team will not know what’s coming during the competition.
“Similar to how we work in the helicopter, we really have no idea as to what those scenarios will be,” Koch said. “We’ve been told anywhere from a neo-natal, to geriatric. And that’s kind of similar to how we work in the helicopter. We really don’t know what kind of patient scenario we’re going to encounter, or how sick they are going to be.”
Froh says he and his partner will be given very basic information before they are thrown into a mock emergency scene, but he says they are prepared for virtually anything.
“STARS has been able to bring a couple of extra things to the whole system,” Froh said. “In that, we can land on the side of a highway and take someone to a tertiary-level hospital, like the Regina General much faster, right from the scene.”
He says the competitions help hone their medical skills for when they are in the back of a STARS helicopter in Saskatchewan responding to a real-life emergency.
“Our simulation program at STARS is second-to-none,” Koch said. “Training in that environment allows us to work and train under a certain level of stress.”