Two medical personnel from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, carry a mock wounded military member during a scenario at the 2019 Medic Rodeo at Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico. Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn.

The 27th Special Operations Medical Group hosted 19 Air Force medical technician teams from bases around the world for the 12th annual Medic Rodeo in September at Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) and Melrose Air Force Range (MAFR), New Mexico.

The Medic Rodeo is a competition where teams of four perform multiple medical scenarios in home station and deployed environments. The scenarios simulate realistic medical emergencies and are designed to test the skills and knowledge of each team.

“The Medic Rodeo is the pinnacle of Air Force medical readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Miller, Air Force Surgeon General director of medical operations and research. “The competition between bases drives our airmen to be the best they can be and show true resiliency in the face of adversity.”

A team of medical technicians perform in an on-scene birth scenario during the 2019 Medic Rodeo at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Vernon R. Walter III.

During the Rodeo, teams are split between MAFR and Cannon AFB. The range is used to simulate deployed locations while Cannon AFB is utilized to give the teams the sensation of facing medical emergencies at their home base.

While Cannon AFB and MAFR provide a wide array of environments for the medical teams, not everything can be done in these locations. To compensate, a virtual-reality system has been introduced to provide even more diversity to the challenges the medics faced. The system is utilized as a training capability to create instructional tools for diverse medical scenarios.

Unlike other years, teams were made up of more than just emergency medical technicians for this rodeo. Dentists, pediatricians, mental-health specialists and more faced the challenges of this year’s rodeo to test their capabilities as overall medical airmen instead of focusing on their specialized career fields.

“Medical teams from around the world get a chance to practice, learn together and from each other,” Miller said. “They can then carry what they’ve learned back to their bases to ensure our airmen receive the best medical care possible.”

Medical personnel from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, apply a bandage to a simulated patient during the 2019 Medic Rodeo at Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico. Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn

To determine the winner of the rodeo, teams are individually rated on their ability to adapt to the variety of scenarios they are put in: from casualty care under fire to handling an on-scene live birth. This year, the winning team was from Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“The effects of this rodeo are going to be felt throughout the Air Force,” Miller said. “The training and experience the medics gain – the knowledge they share – it’s all going to integrate back into our operational force and change it for the better.”

Source: US Air Force