• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 12s

Army medics put life-saving skills to the test

By Bonney Bowman Photojournalist: Nick Swann - 7:42 PM August 12, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Army medics put their skills on the line Tuesday in one of the military’s toughest tests.

It was a type of obstacle course specifically for doctors with all the challenges and stresses of battlefield triage.

Pfc. Dustin Munoz was one of the soldiers taking the test to earn his Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB).

Being a medic, he says, is something he’s always wanted.

“I always liked helping people, helping the heroes of our nation in combat, making sure they get home safe to their families and loved ones,” Munoz said.

Munoz started the test with some basic soldiering skills, like Army crawls and weapons handling.

Watching his every move was test evaluator Staff Sgt. Tino Vanegas.

As an evaluator, Vanegas says it’s his job to “pay attention, listen to what they’re saying, watch where their hands are going, make sure they’re touching and saying everything as they’re doing it.”

The soldiers were required to complete 18 tasks perfectly and in order. Missing a few could result in failing the test.

“We do want them to pass, but they will earn their badge,” Vanegas said. “We’re not giving away the badges out here.”

During the course, Munoz reached his first patient, a soldier with a gunshot wound. He performed a full body exam before administering any treatment.

As Munoz worked carefully, Vanegas watched for any missteps.

Munoz’s next task upped the pressure. The sounds of mortars exploding and wounded soldiers calling for help could be heard all around him.

A stressed Munoz was forced to focus.

“There’s no smoke, there’s no gunfire, there’s just that patient and remembering all the other patients,” Munoz said.

He completed the triage and readied the patients for evacuation. When all the soldiers were loaded, Munoz had successfully completed that particular leg of the test. There, Munoz waited with the other test takers, wondering the outcome of the round.

Vanegas has good news. Munoz passed; he will move on.

“I thought I was going to fail there for a second, but I got it,” Munoz said. “There was a lot of little things. I’m happy I got a go for it.”

The test’s finale included a 12-mile march, which Munoz completed. The badge and a major achievement waited for him at the finish line.

Only about 15 percent of test takers will earn their EFMB. The badge is coveted because it’s so hard to earn. Some soldiers have to attempt the course multiple times before they pass.

The badge isn’t just for Army medics. Doctors from other military branches can also put their training to the test and try to earn one as well.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Anchorage Fire Department holds deep-fried turkey safety demo

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 13:30

    Thanksgiving is around the corner. For many residents, deep-fried turkey is on the planned menu. Anchorage Fire Department battalion chief Mark Hall says deep fryer fires are responsible for about $15 million in damage to homes. Hall and other firefighters from the department held a demonstration Saturday of what could happen if deep frying a […]

  • News

    Downtown street party, multiple shootings overnight keep Anchorage police busy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 12:00

    Anchorage police responded to multiple incidents early Sunday morning, including an unruly street party and two isolated shootings. Downtown street party The first occurred at around 2:30 a.m., according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. Police responded to a call that shots had been fired in the downtown area. Officers discovered a crowd […]

  • News

    UAF computer science students seek software proposals

    by Associated Press on Nov 23, 10:45

    Computer science students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are looking for software design proposals as part of their learning process. UAF officials say the projects allow public service and private organizations, as well as governments, to get free software while students get experience. Officials say more than 65 successful projects have been developed by […]

  • News

    Diversity a theme at Walker transition conference in Anchorage

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 22, 18:42

    It would be easy to have a closed-door discussion about the critical issues that face Alaska, but Gov.-elect Bill Walker says the conversation should belong to all Alaskans. “We get the best input the more people we have involved in the process,” said Walker. There is some risk associated with doing that. The bigger risk […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 22

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 22, 18:20

    Clouds have invaded our space for the weekend with little moisture here in the Anchorage area. Daytime highs remain in the mid 30s with light winds as we head into Saturday night. Sunday brings more of the same conditions with increasing clouds across the Bowl. We’ll remain under this dry spell going into Thanksgiving. Sunshine […]

  • Sports

    UAA volleyball signs 2 Dimond players

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 22, 18:02

    A pair of Dimond Lynx are heading to the level of volleyball, but the trip is a short one.

  • News

    Government Hill gives back, continues holiday tradition for one resident

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 17:02

    Putting up Christmas lights and decorations is a holiday tradition for Government Hill resident Jeff Fowler. “It started when we lived on the south end of town,” said Fowler. “One at a time, started buying them and when we moved here, new and more stuff just started showing up.“ Over the years, the grand display […]

  • News

    Obama highlights Sitka School District’s efforts in technology

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 13:00

    This week, the Sitka School District got a shout-out from President Barack Obama. Superintendent of Sitka Schools Mary Wegner was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, joining more than 100 superintendents from across the country gathered together at the White House for the ConnectED to the Future conference. The day-long event recognized some of the nation’s […]