A new addition to the Can-Am Police-Fire Games will be featured when the games are held in York County in July.

For the first time ever, the Olympic-type games for emergency providers will include an EMS competition.

"The paramedics and EMTs have always been welcomed, but never really had their own event," said Matt Giacopelli, event coordinator and a paramedic with York Regional Emergency Medical Services.

That is until now.

EMTs will be put to the test as they take on a seven-stage obstacle course at the York County Fire School in Manchester Township, he said

The games: The 2014 Games, to be held July 13-20, will feature more than 50 events, including traditional athletic competitions, such as swimming, softball, golf and ice hockey, as well as profession-specific events such as SWAT, police service dog and toughest firefighter alive.

Officer Ray Krzywulak from York Area Regional, center, joins fellow police officers and fire fighters from York and Lancaster to practice in preparation
Officer Ray Krzywulak from York Area Regional, center, joins fellow police officers and fire fighters from York and Lancaster to practice in preparation for the up-coming CanAm Games ice hockey events, . (John A. Pavoncello)

More than 20 venues will be set up across York, Lancaster and Dauphin counties.

The games will feature first responders mainly from the U.S. and Canada, but also draw interest from other parts of world.

Upwards of 2,000 people are expected to come to the area for the games, officials have said.

But Giacopelli said the inclusion of the EMS event could mean more athletes could take part in the games.

"The more it's open to EMS, there are more people available to take part in the other sports," he said.

Interest: Giacopelli said he's already received interest from EMTs in New York City, Toronto and Chicago.

The EMTs will take part in a pre-hospital situation in which they must "rescue" a computer-programed human simulator that can talk, has a pulse and can receive medical treatment, such as intravenous lines, Giacopelli said.

"We're going to try to make it as real as an ambulance run that we can make it," he said.

Help wanted: Additional teams are still being accepted, as are judges, Giacopelli said.

Volunteers are also still needed to help with other aspects of the games, said Ann Waltman, who's heading up volunteer efforts.

That includes social events in addition to the various sports competitions, she said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.