A team of four from Scott Air Force Base joined up with other Air Force Emergency Medical Technicians gathered to compete in the 9th annual Air Force Medical Service EMT Rodeo at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Aug. 24-27.
What began as a small base-wide competition among local Cannon AFB medics in 2007 steadily grew and in 2009, units from across the Air Force were invited to compete. This year the competition involved 24 EMT teams from across the Air Force, at both stateside and overseas installations, challenging one another for the title of the “best of the best.”
Each team consisted of four Airmen who were scored collectively on their timeliness, technique and accurate decision making during multiple high-stress emergency scenarios both in-garrison and in a simulated deployed environment.
Representing Scott AFB were Staff Sgts. Orlando Navarro and James Stevens, and Senior Airmen Chris Funn and Daniel Cobb. And, according to Lt. Col. Derek Larbie, 27th Special Operations Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander and EMT Rodeo project officer, the event was designed to focus on those critical skills personified in our aerospace medical technicians.”
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Staff Sgt. Carol Hubbard, EMT Rodeo project NCOIC, added, that “aspiring technicians prepare year-round for this Air Force-level competition. It’s gives our Airmen an opportunity to demonstrate their skills, while at the same time up-keeping their proficiency should they have to use their skills for a real-world situation at their home station.”
Aspiring technicians prepare year-round for this Air Force-level competition. It gives our Airmen an opportunity to demonstrate their skills, while at the same time up-keeping their proficiency should they have to utilize their skills for a real-world situation at their home station.
Staff Sgt. Carol Hubbard, EMT Rodeo project NCOIC
Some of the competition took place at Melrose Air Force Range, an air-to-ground training site located 25 miles west of Cannon AFB and spans approximately 70,000 acres. In 2016, the EMT Rodeo planning committee increased the range’s role with a total of six scenarios, in a simulated deployed environment consisting of opposing forces, simulated smell of smoke grenades, ground-burst simulators, gunfire and more.
Lt. Gen. Mark A. Ediger, Air Force Surgeon General said, “The Rodeo demonstrated the importance of our Air Force medics and tested their capacity to deliver emergency medical treatment in a high-stress environment, with the overall expectation of enhancing emergency medical preparedness in theater and in-garrison.”
For the first time in EMT Rodeo history, teams were airlifted to the range in a CV-22 Osprey from Cannon AFB, adding more realism and an opportunity for the EMTs to experience Air Force combat capabilities. At Cannon AFB, there were 17 scenarios medics navigated to demonstrate their skills.
Every medic who participated in the competition garnered about half of their annual requirements toward their national registry certification and EMT licensure.
After a grueling competition, the team from Eglin AFB, Florida, finished in first place, receiving a perfect score on the Commando Challenge—a scenario testing the physical and mental limits of the team in a simulated deployed location. Second place went to the team from Offutt AFB, Neb., and third place when to the team from Shaw AFB, S.C.