Greensboro is known as Tournament Town, but there is a different kind of tournament taking place in Greensboro this weekend.

The 31st annual North Carolina Paramedic Competition will be held Sunday, April 30 at the Koury Convention Center.

Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the reigning champion, having won the competition in 2022, and five teams will be attempting to take that crown away.

Guilford County EMS has made it to the final round, having won the regional championship, and will be joined by FirstHealth Chatham, Iredell EMS, Pender EMS and Fire and Rowan County Emergency Services.

The six competing teams are sequestered and then brought into a ballroom with an emergency scenario that is a closely guarded secret.  The bleachers are full of fellow EMS workers, but unfortunately the public is not invited to watch the competition.

The scenario each team will have to handle was designed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services staff, in collaboration with the medical director for the competition, Dr. Brian Kitch. The goal is to create a scenario mimicking a true-to-life situation that an EMS team could encounter in a routine response. However, these scenarios often have an unexpected twist that adds some excitement to the competition. The challenge is to complete a rapid but complete assessment of the situation and provide appropriate treatment to the patients.

The competition not only provides a training opportunity for the competitors but also for the hundreds of paramedics, emergency medical technicians and medical directors who are watching each team’s analysis and reaction to the well planned scenario.

Teams are judged on professionalism, communication, patient rapport, conduct, attitude, appearance and even attire.

A panel of judges comprised of emergency medical services professionals from South Carolina determines the winning EMS team.