EMS competition in St. Johns County sharpens skills amid growing concern

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — EMS teams from counties all across Florida competed in high stress exercises to simulate real life situations Friday at First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine.


Practicing those real life situations could be the difference between life and death, something Carlos Tavarez, the owner of The Rescue Company 1 knows firsthand. Tavarez was one of the first responders on scene to the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando back in 2016.

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“You make your mistakes here. And that way, when you’re in the real life situation, you’re not making those mistakes,” Tavarez explained. “You’re basically practicing for the worst day, you know, you will have on the job.”

It’s all part of the annual Connie Rhea ALS Competition held by The Rescue Company 1.

Tavarez told Action News Jax while the competition helps hone in on life saving skills, focusing on response quality, there’s still a lot of work to be done in simply recruiting more EMS workers, with first responder shortages being seen across the country.

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“Our industry is like at the worst possible state for bringing in people,” said Tavarez. “It’s important that [Action News Jax] are here putting this out, because people at home can see and get that bug to want to go out and learn how to help.”

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