By T.J. Richardson, PCI #139T/EMSCI #010
San Antonio Police Department
The clouds parted and the sun broke through almost as if on cue for the start of the annual IPMBA Competition, held on the grounds of the West Virginia state capitol during the recent conference. The after-work crowd of state employees watched curiously as riders negotiated the tight and highly technical course laid out along the huge fountain area of the courtyard. One of the very creative obstacles prepared by the Charleston Police Department was a slalom through three-dimensional targets resembling a variety of threatening adversaries. I even had some state workers convinced that the police competitors had to shoot each target as they flew passed them on the run!
I was overwhelmed by the number of entries – twice as many competitors as last year. Maybe that had something to do with the timing of the competition. IPMBA has traditionally held the competition on Saturday, but this year we decided to try something new. We had hoped that moving the competition to Friday night would give many participants who would ordinarily be heading home a chance to participate. It worked. Both competitors and spectators commented that they enjoyed being able to kick back at the post-competition cookout and swap stories. I was the most skeptical one in the bunch when I first heard the plan to hold the event on Friday night, but guess what? It will be on Friday night next year in San Antonio, too!
Despite the large number of participants, the course ran smoothly and with no notable injuries; a testament to the officers who worked hard to produce a challenging yet safe course. There were a couple cases of road rash and bruises for those who failed to give the course its due respect, but nothing serious.
Now for the results. Team Bethlehem – Bill Kissner, Todd Repsher, Jon Pesesko and Jason Schiffer – took top honors among the four-person police teams with a combined time of 5:02.62. The average police team time was 7:12.60. It came as no surprise that Nick Gatlin and Mike Campbell led Williamson Medical Center EMS to another first place finish in the EMS team competition, posting a total time of 2:58.19. The average EMS team time was 3:42.96.
Darren Goff of the Ogden Police Department tore up the course with a scorching run time of 0:58.04, nearly a minute faster than the average individual police run time of 1:48.09.
Shelli Merrick of Forest Preserve District Dupage County was the top female finisher with a time of 1:53.70. Williamson Medical Center retained its grasp on first place in the EMS individual competition as Nick Gatlin finished the course in 1:29.04. The average individual EMS run time was 1:51.00. Among women, Joyce Walden of East Baton Rouge EMS took first place with a time of 2:18.97.
Congratulations to all those who participated in this year’s competition and thanks to all of you who came out to watch and then helped with the victory celebration. I invite you all to put your skills to the test next year in beautiful San Antonio, Texas!
2003 Competition Results
1st Place EMS Team: Team Williamson Medical Center
Nick Gatlin, Williamson Medical Center, TN
Mike Campbell, Williamson Medical Center, TN
2nd Place EMS Team: Team Guilford/Suffield
Mike Hudspeth, Guilford County EMS (NC)
Art Groux, Suffield EMS (CT)
1st Place Police Team: Team City of Bethlehem
Bill Kissner, Bethlehem Police Dept. (PA)
Todd Repsher, Bethlehem Police Dept. (PA)
Jon Pesesko, Bethlehem Police Dept. (PA)
Jason Schiffer, Bethlehem Police Dept. (PA)
2nd Place Police Team: Team San Marcos/San Antonio
Mike Kelley, San Antonio Police Dept. (TX)
Bill Roberts, San Antonio Police Dept. (TX)
Lee Leonard, San Marcos Police Dept. (TX)
Ed Bradshaw, San Marcos Police Dept. (TX)
EMS Male under 35
1st Place: Mike Hudspeth, Guilford County EMS (NC)
2nd Place: Bobby Lee, East Baton Rouge EMS (LA)
EMS Male 35+
1st Place: Nick Gatlin, Williamson Medical Center (TN)
2nd Place: Mike Campbell, Williamson Medical Center (TN)
1st Place: Joyce Walden, East Baton Rouge EMS (LA)
2nd Place: Rose Steagall, Williamson Medical Center (TN)
Police Male Under 30
1st Place: Darren Goff, Ogden Police Dept. (UT)
2nd Place: Chris Bryant, Metro Nashville Police Dept. (TN)
Police Male 30-39
1st Place: Jason Schiffer, Bethlehem Police Dept. (PA)
2nd Place: Jon Pesesko, Bethlehem Police Dept. (PA)
Police Male 40+
1st Place: Jim “J.R.” Roy, Topeka Police Dept. (KS)
2nd Place: Mike Kelley, San Antonio Police Dept. (TX)
Police Female under 35
1st Place: Shelli Merrick, Forest Preserve District Dupage County (IL)
2nd Place: Sara Yost, Dublin Police Dept. (OH)
Police Female 35+
1st Place: Louise LaFleur, Ottawa Police Service, Ontario
(c) 2003 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Summer 2003 issue of IPMBA News.