Three Maumelle firefighters who also are trained as emergency medical technicians finished first in a statewide competition of the Arkansas Emergency Medical Technician Association’s Firefighter/EMT Society’s competition held on Aug. 2.
Chief John Payne said Patrick McIntire, Todd Breeding and Destin Weaver were selected for the competition, representing one firefighter-EMT from each of the department’s three shifts.
The three were paired with three paramedics from the Springdale Fire Department to judge how well they worked with a new team and the six competed to see how well they performed duties they face everyday.
Payne said they responded to a simulated accident with four patients implementing an Incident Command System, which helps them work together with other first responders they might be forced to work with that they didn’t know or had ever trained together.
In addition to finishing first in the opinion of the judges, the team also was selected by their peers for an honor award called Primus Inter Pares, which is Latin for “First Among Equals.”
Head judge Ken Bouvier, Emergency Medical Service commander for the New Orleans Fire Department, singled out the team of six during the debriefing, citing their “outstanding performance.”
“The Maumelle firefighters and the Springdale firefighters showed that two groups that had never worked together before could function as a single group to accomplish a common goal,” Bouvier said.
Bouvier’s noted that fire departments are taught to properly apply the Incident Command System. He said the way the team worked together was a true compliment to the firefighters and those they work with everyday.
Payne said the trophy will remain in Maumelle at Fire Station One for six months, and then it will be transferred to the Springdale Fire Department for six months.
While at the conference, the three also attended continuing education classes, which Payne said are required for the firefighters to keep their EMT license current.
Maumelle firefighters also are required to train at least two hours every workday. Payne said firefighters also attend classes at the Arkansas Fire Academy and at the National Fire Academy, where the training required for re-certification includes rope rescue, handling hazardous material incidents and receiving other specialty training.