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Creighton Fires Up for Second Annual EMS Competition

Creighton Fires Up for Second Annual EMS Competition

Eighteen teams of emergency medical responders will meet at Creighton University on Saturday, Nov. 22, for a large-scale, simulated-patient competition, hosted by the Creighton Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program.

Among the competitors will be a team from the New York City Fire Department, the world’s largest combined fire and EMS provider; and a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urban search and rescue team from the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department. The Lincoln team, one of only 28 such elite groups in the country; it has been deployed to major disasters such as Oklahoma City, World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina.

The free event will be held 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at a larger venue than last year. The new location – the ballroom of the Mike and Josie Harper Center for Student Life and Learning at Creighton University – will accommodate more teams, more elaborate props, and a larger audience.

“The emergency scenario will be a large-scale, life-like event complete with stage props, rescuers, victims, and uninjured onlookers who may help or hinder the rescue efforts,” said Rodney Turpel, Creighton EMS instructor and event manager. Members of the public who would like to volunteer to participate as victims/onlookers should contact Turpel at 402.943.9356 or

While the specifics of the event will not be revealed until the competition, each team knows it will have 15 minutes to respond and treat 10 people with simulated injuries. A panel of judges will score team members on their patient assessments and treatment decisions as well as the speed and effectiveness of their decisions.

Turpel said similar events are held annually around the country, but Creighton University holds the only competition of this magnitude in Nebraska. He noted that this year’s competition will be bigger and better than before.

“The competition offers emergency responders the opportunity to experience lifelike training that they would not be able to get in other traditional ways. It also provides the participants opportunities to network and learn from each other,” Turpel said. “The teams take the competition very seriously. A team may spend 50 to 100 hours training for competitions such as this one.”

Other teams participating in the 2008 competition come from Florida, Iowa and Oklahoma as well as the Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue and LaVista fire departments.

Creighton University, which has been educating paramedics for more than 30 years, offers a full range of educational options, including a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services. The University’s EMS education program is the only one in the region accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions of the American Medical Association.

For more information on the competition and Creighton’s EMS education program, visit

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.