Military and civilian emergency medical technicians conduct medical care for a simulated humvee accident over a barrier of rocks and debris in a simulated combat zone as part of the EMT (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Stacy Fowler)

The “EMT Rodeo” takes place in undisclosed location in Southwest Asia

Published:  22 February, 2012

A joint training project threw together US Army, Navy, and Air Force medics with firefighters and first responders from all over the country.

Being deployed overseas can sometimes be challenging for an emergency medical technician, especially since there could be situations that one wouldn't normally see on city streets in the US.

This is why the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group developed the EMT Rodeo, which creates various challenges EMTs might face in a deployed location, in an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Feb. 18.

"These challenges were put together by our most experienced medics from all the units involved," said Master Sgt. Michel Forbes, 386th Expeditionary Medical Squadron flight chief. "The EMT Rodeo sharpens National Registry Emergency Technician's skills, as well as combat medic skills, in a joint training environment with Army, Navy and Air Force medics, firefighters, and first responders from all over the country."

The rodeo provided a well-rounded, realistic group of eight scenarios which could take place anywhere in the world at any time, said Forbes, a Niceville, Fla., native deployed from the 96th Medical Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Every team was a mix of military and civilians, because the different services and the civilian and military sectors have slight differences in how they do business, said Master Sgt. Troy Christman, Fire and Emergency Medical Services liaison at the 387th Expeditionary Support Squadron.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Watczak, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron Fire Department, directs his team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Lieth/Released)

"We had enough similarity to work together well, but there were enough differences to make things interesting," said Christman, a New Tripoli, Penn., native deployed from the 193th Special Operations Wing, Harrisburg, Penn. "For example, my team had Navy, Army and Air Force medics and two firefighters. We each had an area of expertise we could step forward and lead on, and then we could step back and follow when someone else had the expertise in a particular area."

Overall, the Rodeo built camaraderie among first responders and gave all an opportunity to both sharpen their pre-hospital life-saving skills while learning from each other's strengths and weaknesses.

"The Rodeo challenged this group of first responders in the field, while working together and providing 40 of our young Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and civilian counterparts with invaluable medical care experience in HAZMAT (hazardous materials), water rescue, vehicle extrication, and trauma and combat rescue techniques," Forbes said. "This experience should pay dividends for years to come as they draw on this training in future missions around the world."

U.S. Airmen and a U.S. Soldier participate in medical jeopardy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Lieth/Released)

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