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NEWS | Oct. 2, 2012

METC bi-service team wins Air Force EMT competition

By Lisa Braun Medical Education and Training Campus Public Affairs

Air Force and Navy instructors with the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) were overall winners in the 2012 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Rodeo held Sept. 22 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

Five EMT instructors for METC's Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program (BMTCP) competed against eight other teams from U.S. military installations all over the United States and Germany. This is the sixth consecutive year for the competition.

Staff Sgt. Robert Rangel, Tech. Sgt. Dahlia Gonzalez, Staff Sgt. Brett Wolfe, Hospital Corpsman First Class Luis Rodriguez, and Hospital Corpsman Second Class Jeffery Leemauk were the overall first place winners in the competition.

"Taking first place in a competition where the best medics and corpsman were sent to compete from all over the United States and abroad means a lot to the caliber of personnel we are surrounded by on a daily basis here at METC," said Leemauk. "I am proud to be able to say today that we were not only champions of the 6th Annual EMT Rodeo, but proof that positive steps are being made to an overall integrated medical community."

Added Rodriguez, "The BMTCP team consisted of volunteers that just happen to be some of the finest corpsmen and medical technicians the command has to offer."

The teams tested their skill and knowledge with such events as the water rescue competition, a new event to the Rodeo this year in which the competitors had to extract a patient from the water using a long spine board, carry the patient by litter to land, and then resuscitate the patient. Another new event was the commando challenge, one of the most difficult in the competition, which tested the teams' ability to carry a litter through an obstacle course and low-crawl through mud.

"During the competition, I felt like I had to put into practice everything that I mentor my airmen and sailors to do on a daily basis. I also felt compelled to give it my best because I was representing everyone here at METC," said Gonzalez.

"This year our team had over 40 years of knowledge and forward deployed medical experience (combined)," said Rangel, the team's coach.

"We went, we saw, we adapted, we won. After all that's what we do here at BMTCP. We create the finest medics, corpsman and techs."