Almost everyone in Greensboro has been to at least one event of some kind or another in the Guilford Ballroom of the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, but, at those events that you attended, the room looked nothing like it did this weekend, when the ballroom was transformed into an urban street setting where a crashed car had hit the side of a building after fleeing from the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Of course, thankfully, it was all pretend; the scenario had been constructed to allow paramedic teams from all over the state to compete against one another.

At the competition – which was also meant to be educational – the top six paramedic teams from across North Carolina were there while hundreds watched on from temporary bleachers that had been set up in the ballroom.

The teams were chosen through a competition at the annual North Carolina EMS Expo – an educational conference meant for paramedics, EMT’s and county emergency services directors to use to hone their skills with presentations from experts from across the state and the country.

In the Greensboro competition, the teams of two people were held in sequestration before coming into the ballroom to face the exact same mock emergency. In this year’s scenario, a car with several occupants had hit a building..

 As if that’s not enough, one person in the car was experiencing an overdose and another victim was a pedestrian who was tragically struck by the car.

During the competition, each duo of paramedics had 12 minutes to assess, treat and stabilize the pretend victims. The teams were judged on “the professionalism of their response,” including the categories of “communications, patient rapport, attitude, organization and conduct.”

The Harnett County EMS team of Morgan Langdon and Jonathan Murphy earned the top spot at what was the 32nd Annual Paramedic Competition.  That was the first time that county won the state title.

The Harnett County team out-performed five other regional champion teams from Brunswick, Catawba, Cumberland, Johnston and Surry counties.

The winners were announced at a banquet on Tuesday, April 30.

“These paramedic teams practice all year to prepare for this event,” said Tom Mitchell, chief of the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services. “They never know what they’re going to face in this competition just like their day-to-day calls. Their extensive training results in improved quality of care for all North Carolina residents and visitors who may suffer from illness or injury in an emergency situation.”

The competition was watched by hundreds of paramedics and first responders from the bleachers that were set up inside the Guilford Ballroom.

The annual event serves as a training opportunity for the competing teams – as well as for the paramedics and emergency medical technicians who closely observe each group’s analysis and response to the scenario.