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NEWS | Aug. 24, 2016

AF medics, San Antonio firefighters corral training for EMT Rodeo

59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

Medics from the Randolph Clinic teamed up with an elite emergency response unit from the San Antonio Fire Department to hone their emergency response skills in preparation the Air Force’s 2016 Emergency Medical Technician Rodeo Aug. 24-27 in New Mexico.

While these are the first emergency medical technicians from the 359th Medical Group to participate in EMT Rodeo, another team from the 59th Medical Wing, the 959th MDG, placed first at the event last year.

The EMTs from nearby Fort Sam Houston out performed 21 other teams from 22 installations across the Air Force to claim the 2015 EMT Rodeo title.

“We’re the first team from Randolph selected to go,” said Airman 1st Class Alex Nester, 359th MDG aerospace medicine technician. “It’s an awesome experience and beneficial to get out of the clinic (environment) and learn vital skills.”

The technical rescue team from Fire Station 11, located downtown in the heart of San Antonio, has hundreds of hours of specialized training in areas from search and rescue, swift/high water rescue, structural collapse rescue and more. Some members, who are Federal Emergency Management Agency instructors, travel around the nation teaching classes. Multiple times a year, the team deploys for weeks across Texas and neighboring states responding to natural disasters.

Over the course of two weeks, the fire department and Airmen trained side-by-side on a variety of skills from simulated patient vehicle extractions and victim carries, to removing occupants from a multi-story building.

“Everything we learn from each other will benefit both of us. With everything that is happening in our modern world, any relationship we can build with another entity, especially between the fire department and the military, benefits the citizens we serve,” said SAFD Capt. Luke Schott, Fire Station 11 tactical rescue team.

“This venture gave us the opportunity for joint training. We learned what the military members know, and imparted some of the stuff our guys know. Hopefully it will benefit them at the upcoming competition,” Schott said.

Twenty-four EMT teams are slated to compete at the 2016 EMT Rodeo, which starts Aug. 24 at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.