A team from Saskatchewan’s STARS Air Ambulance has placed second in an international skills competition in Forth Worth, Texas.
Flight paramedic Shannon Koch and flight nurse Thomas Froh were one of two teams from Canada at the Air Medical Transport Conference.
Out of 11 teams, the Saskatchewan duo earned second place.
Shannon Koch says the competition was nerve-wracking and she is grateful for training she and her partner were given from STARS.
“We have a really strong education program at STARS,” Koch said. “So we get top-notch education, equipment, training. We work really closely with our partners and physicians. I think we are just a product of that.”
Koch says they team worked their way through Canadian competitions and ended up battling for top spot at the Air Medical Transport competition in Texas.
“It was pretty intense,” Koch said. “It was a lot of fun. But in the same sense, it was pretty nerve-wracking and stressful. There is a lot of pride our organization puts into this – sending people to this competition. So we had a lot of internal pressure to do well.”
Froh says they first earned a spot by competing against Canadian teams. And in Texas, they had to do it again – on a much different level.
“There are 11 teams in the preliminaries and we needed to get into the finals,” Froh said. “That was our intitial goal. But definitely, some of the nerves shed off after we made the finals. That was the big leap at the beginning, and then we could have a little more fun after that.”
The simulation the duo had to complete was rescuing a pregnant mother who had to be evacuated from flooded hospital during a hurricane.