EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
A team of medical technicians from the 96th Medical Group won the Emergency Medical Technician Rodeo for the second consecutive year.
This year, more than 20 teams participated in the 10th iteration of the realistic and exhaustive hands-on event at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico Aug. 9. The annual exercise is designed to give medics a forum to share knowledge, train and to practice calm in realistic simulations developed from after action reports from deployed personnel.
The competition was based on how the teams responded to a motor vehicle accident, a drowning and a water extraction scenario. The time-based Commando Challenge and the medical trauma scenarios made up 70 percent of the grading categories.
“I’m proud of this team for putting in extra hours to ensure they were ready for the Rodeo. Their teamwork, training and individual pressure to hone their skills enabled the victory,” said Chief Master Sgt. Terry Best-Rennahan, 96th MDG. “The experience they earned was awesome. Then, to come home with the top awards for the second time was outstanding.”
The EMT Rodeo was devised after EMTs identified the need to provide Airmen a realistic training experience.
“We saw a need for a venue that could build camaraderie and a chance to hone the job and leadership skills of our younger medics,” said Senior Master Sgt. Steven Yates, Air Force Special Operations Command Aerospace medical functional manager. “The thought was to provide an experience Airmen could fall back on if they found themselves in these situations.”
Hospital leadership had not planned to send a team to the competition this year, but a call from Air Force Materiel Command led to a last minute assembly of a 96th MDG team.
With limited time to train, motivation was a key factor in selecting the team. To maximize the opportunity, the team focused on tactical field care and studied after hours leading up to the competition.
The team also spent five hours in the simulation lab running through medical trauma scenarios with high-fidelity mannequins, to prepare.
“Each team member had the opportunity to ‘lead’ a call,” said Tech. Sgt. Kayla Miller, 96th MDG, who served as team lead and paramedic. “It was important for each member to know what the lead would expect from them.”
During the Rodeo, the teams responded to calls similar to those they experience at their home stations. Critical combat medical skills were the focus of day two of the grueling event. The scenarios featured opposing forces, a firefight, simulated chemical gas and more to create a realistic deployment environment.
“It was bigger and better. The Cannon Team was extremely innovative,” said Miller, of her second EMT Rodeo. “The training received at this Rodeo has no equal.”
“It was amazing to watch four strangers come together to form fluid system that led to our victory and overall first place,” she said. “It was a true honor to lead my peers.”