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Linda Smith and Lola Roseth take second in Trauma Wars at SD-EMT conference competition

Linda Smith (left) and Lola Roseth competed in the EMT Trauma Wars. They raced through a trauma assessment, then initiated care and management of the patient, as judge’s shot critical questions at them.

The Trauma Wars second place award goes to Linda Smith and Lola Roseth.

The Philip and Midland area women recently competed as a team in the fifth annual Trauma Wars competition at the South Dakota Emergency Medical Technician Association's annual conference.

SD-EMTs met in Rapid City October 25th through 28th with at least eight hours of classes held each day. Sponsored by Sanford USD Medical Center-Trauma Services, the competition involved an emergency scenario and a moulaged patient. Basic EMTs, intermediates and paramedics competed. Trauma Wars winners were announced at the banquet on Saturday evening.

"There were around 650 or more EMTs at the convention," said Smith, "with many from the Philip, Midland, Kadoka and Wall area, but this is the first year anyone from this area competed."

Contestants had to complete a rapid, yet thorough, trauma assessment, then initiate care and management of the patient. While the two-person team frantically worked, judges rapidly asked exacting questions. Patient assessment criteria had to follow standards set by Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support and the American College of Surgeons.

The two-person teams either attended under their own service or in conjunction with another. Roseth said, "I don't know how many teams were there, but more than ever before and they were from all over South Dakota. I am affiliated with the Midland Ambulance Service and Linda is with Kadoka Ambulance Service." Smith, an intermediate, attends many training sessions and trains others in CPR. Roseth is a basic and an EMT state tester.

This was a stressful and difficult competition, the pair said. The first place winners were Kurt and Anthony Klunder from Rapid City. K. Klunder is a full-time professional paramedic.

"We always thought about it and decided that this was the year!," said Roseth. Each competing team had to have a name. Smith and Roseth named theirs "Thelma and Louise." For second place, the two received $75 and were awarded T-shirts and several other prizes.

"There were a lot of people from the mid-west part of South Dakota at the conference, but many not brave or 'stupid' enough to get into the Trauma Wars," said Roseth. "It is quite intimidating and extremely difficult. This was definitely a lot harder than being tested-out on your practical skills at state EMT testing. When we walked out of there, the judges said, "Try again next year." I thought, 'No blinking way!' They don't even let on how you did until the banquet." Smith agreed, "It was nerve wracking and challenging to say the least."

But, Smith and Roseth enjoyed the challenge and competition. Smith said, "Every year we try a new and different challenge. We were on the EMT crew at Mt. Rushmore over the Fourth of July this year, where we were kept busy. A life goal is to temporarily work as an EMT in a different country, like maybe the Czech Republic."

Roseth said, "Yes, we're probably going to enter the Trauma Wars again next year, and go for the gold. We'll see how brave I am then."