Cannon hosts 2015 EMT Rodeo
By Staff Sgt. Matthew Plew, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 23, 2015
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- Twenty-one teams of emergency medical technicians from 22 installations across the Air Force convened at Cannon Air Force Base Sept. 17-18 for the 2015 EMT Rodeo.
During the rodeo's eighth consecutive year, testers required all contenders to execute their lifesaving mission with greater pressure, stricter guidelines and more austere conditions than ever before. Featuring 19 categories of competition, each team was evaluated on their demonstration of accurate techniques and effective implementation.
One of the most unique competitions was the Commando Challenge; a vigorous, interactive, scenario-based obstacle course, in which competitors were tested on multiple skills.
"The Commando Challenge was phenomenal," said Senior Airman Kayle Carr, assigned to the 96th Medical Group at Eglin AFB, Florida. "Not only is it great for camaraderie, but it was an opportunity for us to increase our skills as well."
In order to accommodate more than double the amount of competitors this year, developers split the rodeo into two alternating days with simultaneously occurring events taking place at Melrose Air Force Range and the Cannon clinic.
For past rodeos, each installation was required to provide funding in order to send their representative team to compete. This year offered an opportunity for bases previously unable to compete due to funding restrictions.
"This year marks the very first time, since the creation of the rodeo, that we received full funding from the Air Force Medical Operations Agency," said Staff Sgt. Michael Rohan, a 27th Special Operations Medical Group independent duty medical technician.
After two intense days running through the scenarios, the team from Joint Base San Antonio- Fort Sam Houston, Texas, finished in first place; the team Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, came in second; and third place honors went to the team from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The team from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada won the Commando Challenge with a perfect score and blazing time of 8 minutes, 57 seconds.
"I have had a blast throughout this competition," said Staff Sgt. Brock Ashbaugh, assigned to the 1st Special Operations Medical Group at Hurlburt Field, Florida. "This is the absolute best training that I have received since becoming a medic in the Air Force. I believe it was in great part (due) to Team Cannon for putting this together, and because of the unique range capabilities offered by Melrose, which made the training that much more realistic."