Team Dover participates in EMT Rodeo
By Airman 1st Class Zoe M. Wockenfuss, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 21, 2018
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- A team of Dover medical technicians participated in the 11th annual Emergency Medical Technician Rodeo August 7-10 at Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico.
Senior Airmen Dylan Strickland, Joseph Serat, Jeremy Melendez, and Airman 1st Class Jaclyn Hin, all medical technicians assigned to the 436th Medical Group, represented Team Dover at the rodeo. In total, 21 four-person teams from Air Force bases around the world competed in the rodeo, designed to test the skills and knowledge of the competitors under stressful conditions.
At Dover AFB, medical technicians fill various roles in multiple squadrons and flights. Their roles include pediatrics, family practice, flight medicine and ambulance response. When deployed, these Airmen can all perform lifesaving medical assistance in combat zones as well.
Since this was the first year Dover participated in the rodeo, the members prepared beforehand with vigorous physical training, a tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) course, water extraction training and refreshing their EMT skills.
“[The rodeo] was amazing, terrifying and stressful all at the same time,” said Strickland. “At one point we didn’t have a litter ... so we had to pick up while treating him and run from gunfire.”
Explosions detonated around the compound and the sound of blanks being fired created a stressful and accurate training experience.
“Our medics have the ability to do so much more with their skills than what our patients see on a daily basis and this was the intent of our team going out to compete,” said Master Sgt. Chad Boley, 436th Medical Operations Squadron Superintendent.
The first day of the training consisted of 12 TCCC scenarios and the second day tested the teams’ basic EMT skills in a dozen different scenarios in both home station and deployed environments.
“The biggest takeaway would be figuring out how to eliminate tunnel vision under times of stress,” said Strickland. “You need to take a step back, get out of that stressful moment and do what you know and what you’ve been trained to do. Figuring out how to cope with stressful moments and using the knowledge we already have in those adrenaline-filled situations.”
Boley said Team Dover hopes to return to the rodeo again. It was highly useful training and the individuals who went this year brought back ideas and scenarios for Dover to implement.
“I couldn't be any prouder of Dover's EMT Rodeo team,” said Boley. “This event has reinvigorated my medics to want to learn and utilize their skills in a larger scope. They were able to experience some extreme medical scenarios that pushed them physically and mentally, but in the end they grew as individuals and as a team.”