Ramstein hosts first USAFE EMT Rodeo


Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Medics compete in the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo low crawl between scenarios at Ramstein Air Base, July 23. During challenges, members were required to wear the same gear they would wear in a deployed location.

The 86th Aerial Evacuation Squadron recently hosted the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Emergency Medical Technician Rodeo at Ramstein Air Base, July 23-24.
Seven teams of four Airmen from across Europe competed against each other in an array of situations that medics and combat medics face, like medication overdoses, drownings, gunshot victims, vehicle extractions, and a mass casualty with 30 victims.
“It’s vital for our medics to have the opportunity to train like we fight,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason Oldenburg, USAFE-AFAFRICA Com­mand Surgeon chief. “Putting them in stressful situations enhances their critical thinking skills and builds resiliency.”
The teams consisted of members from Incirlik AB, Turkey; Aviano AB, Italy; Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England; RAF Croughton, Eng­land; RAF Alconbury, England; Spang­dahlem AB, Germany; and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.
The challenges these Airmen faced required their endurance, attention to detail, and teamwork.

“When we introduce a competitive spirit and realistic scenarios, training becomes a lot of fun and very impactful,” said Oldenburg. “At the end of the day it’s all about being ready to save lives when the flag goes up, and this competition builds medical skills, teamwork, confidence, and resiliency that will be vital attributes of an Air Force Combat Medic in the future.”
Each challenge was made as real as possible by using scenario actors, prosthetics, makeup, and imitation blood.
“Each team was faced with five very different challenges they may see in combat or otherwise,” said Oldenburg. “They’re scored on how well they meet the objectives of each scenario. At the end, the scores are tallied and a winner is determined.”


Members of the 48th Medical Group from Royal Air Base Lakenheath, England, receive the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo trophy at Ramstein Air Base, July 25. Teams were judged on how accurate and quickly they provided medical attention.

On top of that, those competing were required to carry all their necessary medical equipment and wear helmets and body armor in more than 90 degree weather.
After two days of fake blood, real sweat, but thankfully no tears, the title of USAFE EMT Rodeo winner went to members of the 48th Medical Group from RAF Lakenheath.
Winners are scheduled to go to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., to represent USAFE in the annual U.S. Air Force EMT Rodeo.
“This was a fantastic event and went as well as we could have hoped for our first one in USAFE,” said Oldenburg. “In the future we hope to get more funding so that we subject our participants to even more immersive scenarios. We’re also looking at involving some of our joint partners in future events.

 

A medic lifts a training victim into a Humvee at Ramstein Air Base, July 23. Participants of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo had to use not only their skills but their physical and mental strength for these challenges.
Medics perform CPR on a dummy during the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo at Ramstein Air Base, July 23. For this scenario, members had to pull a CPR dummy out of the water and resuscitate it, all while controlling a frantic parent.
Medics retrieve a training victim during a vehicle extraction scenario at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo at Ramstein Air Base, July 24. To make this scenario more realistic, members of the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal flight used controlled blasts to simulate being in a combat zone.
Medics respond to a simulated combat scenario of a victim with bullet wounds during the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo at Ramstein Air Base, July 23. Training victims responded like real casualties by screaming, flailing, being disoriented, and non-compliant.
Medics respond to a simulated mass casualty scenario during the U.S. Air Forces in Europe EMT Rodeo at Ramstein Air Base, July 24. With only four team members and 30 victims, participants had to use their knowledge to evaluate which victims needed their immediate attention and which had non-life threatening injuries.