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Cannon hosts 11th iteration of EMT Rodeo

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Charles Dickens
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

The 27th Special Operations Medical Group hosted 21 Air Force emergency medical technician teams from bases around the world for the 11th annual EMT Rodeo Aug. 7-10, 2018, at Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range.

The EMT Rodeo is a competition consisting of four-person teams competing against each other. They operate under various realistic medical emergency scenarios designed to test the teams’ skills and knowledge of assorted medical treatments in both home station and deployed environments.

“We spend about eight months digging real deep into every single scenario, cross-checking them with things that have happened downrange,” said Tech. Sgt. Marc Villano, 2018 EMT Rodeo co-chair. “We’re trying to let the teams run these scenarios however they can. If they mess up, then the scenario is going to go that way. If they’re going to go down a rabbit hole, we let them go down that hole.”

Cannon AFB uses MAFR for half of the competition to simulate a deployed environment, allowing for unique training opportunities the EMT teams may not have easy access to.

“The places we’re going in the real world kind of look and sound like [MAFR],” Villano said. “That’s one thing about training--you want to train as close to how you fight as possible.”

Though battlefield medical skills are important, the EMT Rodeo also assists in honing home station emergency skills.

“There is so much, as a medic, that we can do,” said Staff Sgt. Mica Williams, 2018 EMT Rodeo co-chair. “Some of these skills we’re not using on a daily basis, so when they come here to train, we’re using all of those skills just so they can keep current.”

The EMT Rodeo committee is chaired by Cannon AFB medical professionals, however even the team can’t predict what will be most beneficial to everyone.

“We listen to the teams while they’re here,” Williams said. “They throw out hints saying ‘why don’t you guys do this scenario’ or ‘why don’t you guys have this type of scenario.’ We try to incorporate some of those things to make the next year’s rodeo even better.”

For many teams, 2018 was the first time they’ve experienced Cannon AFB’s EMT Rodeo.

“This is my first time at the EMT Rodeo here at Cannon,” said Staff Sgt. Brendan Sullivan, Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass., medical technician. “We were told all about it, and as soon as we got the opportunity, we jumped on it.”

Of the 21 participating teams, the winning team of this year’s EMT Rodeo was Kadena Air Base, Japan.

“The EMT Rodeo is definitely beneficial to the practice of being an EMT in a clinic, on an ambulance or when you’re deployed,” Sullivan said. “I definitely recommend, if you get the opportunity to attend the EMT Rodeo, that you do it. The training here is phenomenal.”