Speed contest notes: 280 wpm testimony

The following is the text of the testimony portion of the NCRA Speed Contest held in Nashville, Tenn.

Q. Good afternoon, sir. Would you please state your name for the record.

A. My name is Kevin Sullivan.

Q. What is your profession, sir?

A. I am a firefighter.

Q. Are you also certified as an EMT?

A. Yes, I’m certified.

Q. How long have you been working as a firefighter and EMT?

A. It’s been approximately 10 years.

Q. For whom are you now working?

A. For County Services.

Q. Have you always worked for / the County?

A. Yes, I have, since graduating college.

Q. What fields of study did you take in college?

A. I studied to be a firefighter.

Q. Do you have a degree in that field?

A. Yes, I do, a bachelor’s degree.

Q. Have you had any further training since leaving college?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. Can you describe that training?

A. There have been various courses in firefighting and related subjects.

Q. Did you have to complete a / certain course of training to be licensed as an EMT?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. How long was that course and who provided it?

A. The course was six months long, and it was provided by the university.

Q. How many hours of study was that certification?

A. Ten hours per week for six months.

Q. Did you receive a certificate of completion?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you receive that?

A. It was in 200/3.

Q. Was that your first year as a firefighter, sir?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. As a firefighter and EMT, are your primary duties responding to emergency calls?

A. That is always our main job, yes.

Q. About how many emergency calls do you respond to in an average week?

A. About 10 or 12 calls.

Q. Now, do most of these calls involve fires or medical aid?

A. Most of them involve medical aid. //

Q. What percentage would you say?

A. I would estimate some 60 to 75 percent.

Q. So, if I heard you correctly, you respond to about 500 to 600 calls per year; right?

A. Yes, ma’am.

Q. And about 300 to 450 of those require you to provide medical services; is that correct?

A. Yes, I think that’s about right.

Q. Now, did you respond to an emergency call on the / evening of March 27, 2012?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Do you remember the time you received the call?

A. It was 7:12 in the evening.

Q. Was that your regular shift?

A. No.

Q. Were you filling the position of another firefighter who was ill?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Had you worked a double shift that day?

A. No, I had not.

Q. So were you scheduled to work the following shift as well?

A. No. / I would have gone home upon completion of the shift and returned the following morning.

Q. Okay. Now, what was your understanding of the emergency you were responding to at 7:12 on that evening?

A. There had been shots fired and a man lying on the sidewalk.

Q. How long after you received the dispatch was it before you arrived upon the scene?

A. It was six minutes.

Q. Were you advised who made / the emergency call?

A. It was my understanding it was a neighbor.

Q. Upon your arrival at the scene, what happened next?

A. We found one man lying on the sidewalk and another a few feet away.

Q. Which of these individuals had gunshot wounds?

A. They had both been shot.

Q. Did you treat both of these individuals?

A. No. I concentrated on the person with the most serious wounds.

Q. You are referring to William Jefferson; // (1) is that correct?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. How many times had Mr. Jefferson been shot?

A. Twice in the chest and once in the abdomen.

Q. Was he responsive when you began to work on him?

A. Yes, he was, ma’am.

Q. According to your EMT report, his pulse was light and irregular; is that correct?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. Did you make any attempt to stabilize him?

A. Yes.

Q. Again according to the record, / that was when you started a saline drip and applied pressure to stop further blood loss; is that correct?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Was Mr. Jefferson conscious at that time?

A. Yes, he was.

Q. Did he attempt any communication with you?

A. Yes.

Q. What, if anything, was he able to communicate?

A. He stated that he had been shot by a man who attacked him.

Q. Did he tell you anything else?

A. No, ma’am.

Q. Did you / ask him any other questions?

A. We asked him his age.

Q. What was his response?

A. He said he was 27 years old.

Q. Did you ask about his general health?

A. Yes.

Q. Was he able to give you any other information?

A. He didn’t seem to understand the question.

Q. Did he respond in some way?

A. I recall he only shook his head.

Q. Did you ask him any other questions?

A. No.

Q. How long was / it before you were able to stabilize Mr. Jefferson and begin transport?

A. It was about 10 minutes.

Q. Did you believe his condition to be stable at the time you put him in the ambulance?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Upon what basis did you make that decision?

A. His blood pressure was stable at 90 over 60 and he was breathing normally.

Q. Was his heart rate still irregular at that time?

A. It was // (2) somewhat, yes.

Q. Did you try to stabilize his heart rate?

A. No, we did not.

Q. Why not?

A. He was conscious and responding to fluids.

Q. So, if I understand correctly, when he was placed in the van for transport, you judged his condition to be stable; is that correct?

A. I thought it had stabilized and he was responding.

Q. After you placed him in the van, did his condition change?

A. Not substantially during / the time it took to transport him to the hospital.

Q. That was County North Hospital; is that right?

A. Yes, ma’am.

Q. How long did the trip take?

A. Around seven minutes.

Q. When you got to County North Hospital; did you speak to anyone?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember the names of the doctors or other staff members you spoke with?

A. At the time, I wasn’t given their names, but I obtained them later / for my report.

Q. Do you remember speaking to a Dr. Maxwell?

A. Yes. He was the ER physician on call.

Q. Do you remember how you described your patient’s status to this doctor?

A. I gave his vitals and said that he had sustained multiple gunshots to the chest and abdomen.

Q. Did the doctor ask you if the patient was stable?

A. I don’t recall him asking that question, no.

Q. Were you in / contact with anyone from County North Hospital during the time the patient was being transported?

A. Yes, we were.

Q. Do you know who you were in contact with?

A. That information is not always provided.

Q. Is that a yes or no answer?

A. It’s a no.

Q. Were you instructed by the person you were in contact with to give any drugs to Mr. Jefferson while he was in transport?

A. We were instructed to // (3) start him on dopamine.

Q. What is that for?

A. To raise blood pressure and heart rate.

Q. So would it be correct to say that the hospital wanted those drugs administered to help stabilize him further?

A. I am not a doctor, so I cannot answer that question.

Q. But you believed the patient’s condition was stable when you made the decision to transport him; is that right?

A. It was as stable as we / could reasonably expect on the scene, yes.

Q. Did you in fact give dopamine to Mr. Jefferson during transport?

A. Yes, we did.

Q. What effect, if any, did it have on his status?

A. There was no apparent effect for the length of time we had him in the ambulance.

Q. Was that an indication of a downturn in his status?

A. No.

Q. On what basis do you make that statement?

A. It usually takes longer // (4)  than a few minutes to see a response.

Q. About how long after you began transport did you start the drug the hospital instructed you to give him?

A. It was about three minutes after we left the scene for the hospital.

Q. So you were able to check his status for about four minutes after you began the drug; right?

A. Yes.

Q. So, to review, during that time you saw no real change / to your patient’s vital signs or status; right?

A. Right.

Q. On arrival at the hospital, did you report all the treatment you provided to Dr. Maxwell when you turned the patient over to him?

A. As far as I can remember, we did.

Q. Did Dr. Maxwell ask you any questions about your patient’s condition or the treatment you provided?

A. Yes.

Q. What was your response?

A. We gave him his age, height, and weight. // (5)

Notes for the contestants who placed first, second, and third are available in pdf format.