Bob Himes, left, of Felton and George Ripely of York City cross the starting line for the cycling criterium race on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 outside Noonan
Bob Himes, left, of Felton and George Ripely of York City cross the starting line for the cycling criterium race on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 outside Noonan Park. The race is part of the Can-Am Police-Fire Games happening from July 13th through the 20th. Hannah Byrne photo

Lt. Scott Wheatley and his team of three other paramedics spent Wednesday morning running through a scenario of saving a victim from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

They freed the man — in this case, a lifelike dummy provided by WellSpan health — from a car inside a building. They administered CPR and other life-saving measures when the dummy simulated having a heart attck.

And though it was just a simulation, the adrenaline was much the same as any other time, Wheatley said.

"It's just like when we go on a real call," he said.

The games: The exercise was part of the EMS Skills competition in the Can-Am Games. This is the first year the competition was held as part of the games, said Matt Giacopelli, the event coordinator and a paramedic with York Regional Emergency Medical Services.

York City firefighter Mike Anderson, 59, hauls coiled fire hoses while competing in the Toughest Firefighter Alive event at the Can-Am Police/Fire Games at
York City firefighter Mike Anderson, 59, hauls coiled fire hoses while competing in the Toughest Firefighter Alive event at the Can-Am Police/Fire Games at the York County Fire School Tuesday, July 16, 2014. Bill Kalina Photo - bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

Giacopelli said the event, similar to other Can-Am competitions, is taken seriously by the competitors but serves to build a greater community among emergency personnel.

"There's a very big camaraderie in the emergency services field," he said.

And this year, Giacopelli and other organizers used the event as a way to further honor three York County EMS professionals who died within the past year.

First place: Wheatley and his team, representing Queen Anne's County, Md., placed first in the contest, which was judged by speed, quality of care and other factors, Giacopelli said.

A team from New York City's fire department received silver medals, and a team from Sussex County, Del., received bronze medals.


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The medals were awarded to each of the teams by family members of EMS personnel who died during the past year or so. Michael Eshbach, 24, Bruce Bowen, 50, and Edward Sneeringer, 42, each served with Medic 120 for York Memorial Hospital.

The three teams were the only ones to participate in the inaugural year, Giacopelli said.

But besides enjoying the good-natured competition Wednesday, Wheatley said one of his team's goals was to get the word out about the event to see it grow in future years.

Other competitions: York County was represented Tuesday in the Toughest Firefighter Alive competition when Michael Anderson won first place in the men's grand master category.

The Can-Am games in various categories will continue until Sunday.

One of the last events is the Toughest Competitor Alive, which includes scoring points for how well participants complete a 5-mile run, shot put, 100-meter sprint, 100-meter swim, 20-foot rope climb, bench press, pull-ups and an obstacle course.

That competition begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for various groups and is located at Central York High School, 601 Mundis Mill Road in York.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.