From left, Plano firefighter Bryan Benefiel; Frisco firefighter Andrew Valentini; team captain Jonne Wilson; and Plano firefighter Mike Boatman. The group attended the International Tactical Combat Casualty Care Competition in Logrono, Spain earlier this month.[/caption]

Two Plano firefighters traveled to Logrono, Spain earlier this month as part of a four-member team to compete in the first International Tactical Combat Casualty Care Competition.

The team—which also included a Frisco firefighter­—took second place in the competition against teams from nine other countries, including Sweden, Germany and Ukraine. Of the teams, Team Texas was the only one to comprise of fire department-based EMS personnel, according to Plano Fire-Rescue.

Plano firefighters Michael Boatman and Bryan Benefiel were able to participate in the competition thanks to a grant from North American Rescue, a medical company that designs products for military, federal agencies, civilian law enforcement and first responders. Hosted by Spain’s Civil Guard, the competition consisted of military tactical exercises consisting of scenarios based on real-life rescue scenarios.

In addition to winning second place in the competition, the local firefighters also served as admirable ambassadors by effectively working and exchanging knowledge with fellow first responders on an international level, said Jeffrey Cain, tactical medical director for Plano Fire-Rescue.

“It’s one thing for local fire and police departments to work together to provide this type of exchange,” Cain said in a news release. “It’s a whole different level doing that on the international scene and being held in such high regard as they were.”

Cain said he would love to send more Plano firefighters back for next year's competition if they have funding available.

"I think they're still trying to absorb it all; it was a phenomenal opportunity," Cain said. "The scenarios themselves were stressful in that they played them out against a clock in an international arena. We try to stress [this kind of realism] in our training and make our training as difficult as we can."