KEYPORT, NJ - The future of the emergency medical services in New Jersey was on display Saturday when young members of local EMS squads gathered for the first annual Keyport First Aid Cadet Competition.
The daylong affair pitted cadet members of participating squads in a series of skills tests to gauge their abilities in high-pressure emergency scenarios including splinting, bandaging, cardiac arrest and vehicle extrication.
Teams of cadets representing Keyport First Aid, Keansburg First Aid, Bradley Gardens First Aid & Rescue, the Milltown Rescue Squad, and Tinton Falls North participated in the event, which was conceived and managed by Keyport First Aid.
"The day went better then I could of hoped for and the weather was great," said Keyport First Aid Chief Ken Krohe.
Cadets are young members who are immersed in their local EMS squads while still students with the goal of becoming productive adult members when they turn 18.
Besides participating in the competition, attendees got to visit MONOC's mobile medical simulation lab, tour a Medical Ambulance Bus and watch MONOC's Air 1 medial air transport helicopter land next to Keyport High School. The Keyport IHOP provided refreshments and lunch.
At the end of the day, awards were presented for performance in basic and advanced skills. Among the basic competition, Milltown earned 1st place, Keyport 2nd place and Keansburg 3rd place. And in the advanced competition, Keyport took home the 1st place trophy, Bradley Gardens 2nd Place, and Tinton Falls North earned 3rd place.
There is already talk about staging the competition next year, too.
"I hope it can be done again to encourage these teenagers to serve their communities," Krohe said.