The 68th Annual International Rescue & Emergency Care Association Conference & Challenges was held the week of June 20, 2016 in Walnut Creek, CA.
While the Basic Life Support challenge and the educational sessions were held at the conference headquarters, the Walnut Creek Marriott, the Technical Rescue Challenge event was held at the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery in Rodeo, CA, and the First Response Rescue Challenge event was held at the Contra Costa County Fire Training Facility in nearby Concord, CA.
New this year to IRECA were teams from Phillips 66 Ferndale (WA) Refinery and a team of Latin American fire chiefs from the Fires Foundation competing in the various challenge events and as a result, the conference theme was declared “Bridging the Americas” as a banner to unite both the teams who have attended the conference in past years with the new attendees to this year’s event.
Other teams that competed in this year’s conference include teams from Exxon Mobil’s Baton Rouge, LA & Baytown, TX refineries, Phillips 66’s Bayway (Linden, NJ) & Sweeny, TX refineries, Chevron Phillips Chemicals’ Cedar Bayou (Baytown, TX) & Sweeny, TX refineries, Valero’s Benicia, CA & Meraux, LA refineries, and students from the Osseo Senior High School (Osseo, MN) Opportunities in Emergency Care (OEC) program.
In the Technical Rescue challenge, eight teams took part in the two-day event. The team from Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge refinery, “LA Rescue” captained by Rhett Lormand, took first place, Valero Benicia took second place and Phillips 66 Bayway took third place.
The two individual award winners for this challenge were Valero Benicia’s Marlo Reyes winning Best Captain and Dave Matthews from the Phillips 66 Bayway team winning Best Medic.
In the First Responder Rescue challenge, 12 teams took part in the day-long event. Taking first place was the Valero Meraux team, captained by Brian Gardner, followed by Exxon Mobil Baytown #1 taking second and the Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge “LA Rescue # 1” team taking third.
In the Basic Life Support challenge, 12 adult teams & seven youth teams took part in the Wednesday afternoon event. In the adult division, the Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge “LA EMED” team, captained by Mark Lee, took first place - while the Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge “LA Rescue #1” team took second place and the Exxon Mobil Baytown “Code Blue” team took third place.
In the youth division, Osseo OEC’s “Heartthrobs” team, captained by Max Olson, took first place, while Osseo OEC “Code Blue” team took second place and Osseo OEC’s “The Avengers” team taking third place. As part of this challenge, each participant was required to sit for a written examination consisting of 50 multiple choice, emergency medicine-related questions.
In the adult division, the co-winners of “Best Test Score” went to Marion Piper of the Exxon Mobil Baton Rouge “LA Rescue #1” team and Julio Torres of the Exxon Mobil Baytown “Code Blue” team. In the youth division, the “Best Test Score” award went to Maren Strootman, of Osseo OEC’s “Heartthrobs” team.
The Rocco Morando “Spirit of Competition” Award was given to Mike Welch of Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery for his enthusiasm in introducing the teams from Ferndale to IRECA and “spirit” of being a great competitor and helping to conduct the BLS Challenge event.
Finally, the association’s “Max Spray Award” was awarded to Sean Ahlers from Osseo OEC for his commitment to the growth and development of the Association, as well his invaluable help in the planning, registration, and execution of the annual conference.
On Saturday, June 25, the IRECA Banquet and Awards ceremony was held at the Marriott and this year had 225 members and guests in attendance. Awards were given for all challenges, as well as a few association awards.
The 69th Annual International Rescue & Emergency Care Association Conference & Challenges will be held the week of June 19, 2017 in Champaign, IL. All are welcome to attend.