GREENSBORO--The state's best paramedics showed off their skills Sunday at the annual North Carolina Paramedic Competition.
"It's a great opportunity to compare skills but also we can use it for recruitment and retention. The workforce for the EMS field over the next seven years is going to expand by 33 percent," Chief of the North Carolina office of Emergency Medical Services Regina Godette-Crawford said.
Organizers set up a staged emergency at the Koury Convention Center.
"It's fairly complex scenarios that require quite a bit of medical expertise as well as specialized skill sets so these skill sets let other people learn about different scenarios and different knowledge bases," Medical Director of North Carolina Emergency Medical Services Tripp Winslow said.
This year, it's an explosion at an illegal moon shine operation.
"We're looking at professionalism. We're looking at communication. We obviously are timing them so speed is a component. There's certain things that need to be accomplished in the early minutes of any patient care scenario," lead judge Karin Collom said.
Leland Fire and Rescue is the returning champion.
"These are definitely an over the top situation. Sort of what you'd never expect to have and always with a shortage of resources," Leland paramedic and firefighter Chris Watford said.
It is a common theme for these guys when they're out in the field.
"You never know what you're going to walk into just like with this. Through the training that we have and the experience we're just going to go out there and do our jobs like we do every day on the streets," Watford's partner Michael Herbert said.
Despite a fake scenario, competitors will still nervous as they waited to show off what they are most passionate about.
"It's a very good profession. It's an honor to serve the communities that we serve...It's challenging but it's very fulfilling," Cumberland County Lead Paramedic Kellie Rhoton said.
"When I help somebody and see the outcome after I've performed my duties and the outcome of them being released from the hospital and back to a normal life. It's very rewarding to me," Rhoton's partner Douglas Garason said.
The competition included teams from Davidson, Rowan, Surry, Pender, Cumberland and Brunswick counties. This year's winner will be announced at a banquet on Tuesday.