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Defender life savers

Students from the USAF Pararescue School load patients for aeromedical evacuation during a mass casualty exercise at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Jan. 6. The exercise, part of a sequence of full mission profiles Pararescuemen and Combat Rescue Officer students must face before graduation, included more than 100 Airmen and Soldiers. Members of the 3-501st Air Assault Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, provided the air component with UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

Students from the 351st Battlefield Airmen Training Squadron load patients for aeromedical evacuation during a mass casualty exercise at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Jan. 6. The exercise, part of a sequence of full mission profiles pararescuemen and combat rescue officer students must face before graduation, including more than 100 Airmen and Soldiers. Members of the 3-501st Air Assault Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, provided the air component with UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mia Yang, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron Beale Air Force Base Calif., medical technician, uses a bag valve mask on a practice manikin at the Pima Community College Public Safety Emergency and Services Institute, Tucson, Ariz., July 29, 2015. Yang was a student paramedic going through a paramedic training course offered strictly to Airmen at PSESI. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st class Cheyenne Morigeau/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mia Yang, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron Beale Air Force Base Calif., medical technician, uses a bag valve mask on a practice manikin at the Pima Community College Public Safety Emergency and Services Institute, Tucson, Ariz., July 29, 2015. Yang was a student paramedic going through a paramedic training course offered strictly to Airmen at PSESI. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st class Cheyenne Morigeau/Released)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Many Defenders have multiple skillsets and certifications, but one certification might be considerably more uncommon than others. There are few who can boast they are nationally-certified Emergency Medical Technicians.
 

Recently, two Security Forces Group members attended an Air Force Pararescue EMT course with the Battlefield and Airman Training Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.    

The course was originally scheduled to be seven weeks, but members completed the last week via online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The course was very challenging both mentally and academically,” said Staff Sgt. Cody Crittenden, 90 Missile Security Forces Squadron Base Defense Operations Controller. “We completed eight block tests throughout the course in order to earn the EMT certification.”

The lifesaving course added many skills that these Airmen can use in their daily duties as first responders.

“We responded with certified EMTs and were taught how to stabilize emergency situations,” said Crittendon. “I responded to actual emergency situations such as drug overdoses, seizures, strokes and respiratory failures.”

The course covered a wide array of topics that can be applied to various types of emergency situations.

“We conducted ten hours of response time with certified technicians from Albuquerque Fire Department,” said Technical Sgt. Sage Fender, 90 Missile Security Operations Squadron, flight chief team 901. “I was taught things such as how to respond to cardiac arrest, taking of vitals, and wound care.”

Skills learned during the course can be applied both to the battlefield and everyday life when a crisis arises.

“I feel more prepared for my everyday duties,” Fender said. “If a team member had any issues, I can now provide basic EMT life saving steps such as wound care or CPR that could save a team members life.”      

Major Timothy Marriner, 90th Security Forces Squadron commander, acknowledges that these atypical certifications make these Airmen more capable of supporting the squadron and its airmen.

“The 90th Missile Security Operations Squadron is made that much better with the certification that Sergeant Fender earned,” said Marriner. “I know that if the need arises, these Defenders are on duty and ready to respond to emergency situations here or in the field that might require immediate action for the health and well being of the airmen of the Security Forces Group.”