CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico – Realistic and rigorous training builds muscle memory and composure during high-stress situations. The Airmen serving as emergency medical technicians saw the need for their career field and devised the EMT Rodeo.
“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 experience to fall back on if they found themselves in these situations, and also gain continuing education units toward their national registry certification and EMT licensure.”
This year’s EMT Rodeo is the 10th iteration of the event and 21 teams have come to Cannon AFB to garner hands-on training with the guidance from subject matter experts and forge bonds with fellow medics from across the Air Force.
“This lets us all share our knowledge so that we don’t have to experience 1,000 different things, we can just learn from each other to be prepared for those scenarios that we might have not come across in our normal careers,” said Senior Airman Jordan Dean, 633rd Medical Group emergency medical technician, stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Va.
The tools utilized to create these realistic environments are moulage, realistic injuries and wounds, man-hours and subject matter experts. Each situation requires participants to perform real-time assessments of the patients ranging from heart attack victims to performing care under fire including realistic gunfire and aggressors forcing them to react to a changing situation.
“The scenarios on base provide an opportunity to practice those skills you will use here in the local community,” Yates said. “It allows them to approach that patient and ask the right questions, utilizing their basic vital signs skills, patient assessment and taking the proper course of action. The medical scenarios at Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico, are situations created from after action reports from deployed personnel.”
The important feature of the scenarios is their ability to help medics think outside the box.
“Each scenario is built to be able to go different ways depending on the decisions the participants make,” Yates said. “Healthcare is a very interesting and dynamic practice, it’s called practice for a reason, and every patient is different.”
The lasting effect of the EMT Rodeo is the cultivation of a culture of sharing experience amongst various generations of Airmen and ultimately ensuring readiness to perform the mission and develop stronger leaders.
“I was in their situation literally 10 years ago and now I get to pass on this torch to these participants,” Yates said.