Ramstein Airman certifying EMTs at Manas, Kyrgyzstan

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Connie Bias
376th AEW Public Affairs

Senior Airman Timothy Tichawa, Emergency Medi-cal Technician program manager here, has 14 Manas troops on their way to becoming certified EMTs. Hand-picked by the fire chief here, the EMT students are preparing for end-of-course tests, which begin next week. Once finished with the 28-day, 116-hour class and comprehensive test, students will be certified through the National Registry of EMTs and will receive four college-credit hours.

“This is not a required course for our career field; it’s extracurricular, but it im-proves our readiness for medical emergencies,” said Airman Tichawa. “We’re required to be first-responders as firefighters, but adding EMT on top of that gives us more understanding and certifies our skills.”

Airman Tichawa took the EMT instructor course in February, and is certified not only to teach the course, but also to give the practical and written examinations.

Starting out as a volunteer rescue-man in 1996 in Illinois, he came right into Air Force firefighting at his 2001 enlistment. Before moving into his current fire department position at Ramstein, he worked for a volunteer fire station on his off-duty hours and was certified as an EMT. Now he’s an EMT course coordinator at Ramstein. In fact, the course he’s currently teaching at Manas “belongs” to Ramstein; the program’s medical director is in Germany.

“(The class is) an extension of Ramstein,” explained Airman Tichawa, adding that Manas assets are merged into the course. “The medical group at Manas has given us supplies and personnel.”

The medical group also assists by allowing students to get patient “hands-on” experience in the clinic, a requirement for course completion.

Medical personnel have also filled in as class assistant instructors, and qualified EMTs at the fire department have helped with teaching duties.
The opportunity for many of the EMT students to get the full course on a base is rare, according to Airman Tichawa. Most military fire departments don’t offer an EMT course, and firefighters must find a civilian outlet for the training.

“These guys got really lucky,” he said. “Since I knew I was deploying, I set up the program so we could use it while deployed.”

The students get their final certification after passing a skills test.
The students also take a national, 150-question written test covering six medical areas ranging from airway and breathing, to obstetrics and pediatrics.

The test has a 66-percent first-time pass rate, according the Airman Tichawa. Air Force standards allow students to retake the test after one fail, and retest after a 24-hour refresher course after two fails. Three test failures result in course restart.

Airman Tichawa thinks his students are doing well in their test preparations.
“They’re almost there,” he said. “We’re focusing on honing their skills and the last few lectures, and then they have one week to study.”

From the Air Force Personnel Center
Demographics offer snapshot of Air Force

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The Air Force Personnel Center here recently published its quarterly demographics report offering a snapshot of the service’s active-duty and civilian force.
More information can be found at the center’s analysis branch Web site: www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/demographics/.

Active-Duty Demographics
354,229 individuals are on active duty – 74,038 officers and 280,191 enlisted personnel. The Air Force has 13,714 pilots, 4,619 navigators, 1,335 air battle managers and 37,336 non-rated line officers in the grades of lieutenant colonel and below.

The average age of the officer force is 35; for the enlisted force it’s 29. Of the force, 39.4 percent are below the age of 26 – 46 percent of enlisted are below 26 versus 14.1 percent of officers.

19.6 percent of the force are women – 18.3 percent of the officers are women and 19.9 percent of the enlisted corps are women. 61.1 percent of the female officers are line officers; 39.9 percent are non-line. 85.4 percent of the male officers are line officers; 14.6 percent are non-line. The population of women is 69,350. Women first began entering pilot training in 1976, fighter pilot training in July 1993 and navigator training in 1977. Currently there are 577 (4.2 percent) female pilots and 212 (4.6 percent) female navigators.

Race of Airmen
The following percentages cover self-reported Air Force military members’ racial information. 5 percent reported their race to be American Indian or Alaska Native; 2.1 percent reported their race to be Asian; 15.1 percent reported their race to be Black or African American; 6 percent reported their race to be Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; 74.8 percent reported their race to be White; 1.2 percent reported their race to be more than one of the categories; 5.7 percent declined to report their race.

Ethnicity of Airmen
“Hispanic or Latino” is now considered an ethnic, not a racial, category that is registered separately and in addition to the above racial categories. 8 percent of Airmen call themselves “Hispanic/Latino,” 89.3 percent “not Hispanic/Latino.” 2.6 percent declined to respond.

Marital Status
60.6 percent of the current force is married – 70.7 percent of the officers are married and 57.9 percent of the enlisted. There are 20,461 couples in the Air Force with both spouses in the military – 1,436 of these are married to members of other military services.

(Statistics rounded to the nearest tenth. See more Air Force demographics in the July 29 KA.)