• 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

    People Mover holding public meetings to discuss new bus system

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 23, 18:06

    Changes to People Mover’s bus route system won’t go into effect until October, but public meetings are happening this week to get riders on board with the transit overhaul. The system will go from having 15 routes to 13 shorter, more direct routes with buses arriving more frequently, route numbers and colors will change, and […]

  • American student arrested in China has been freed, senator says

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Jul 23, 17:27

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the Asian nation a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday. Guthrie McLean, a University of Montana senior, was released […]

  • $53M to go to U.S. national park maintenance, infrastructure

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 17:02

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced more than $50 million for maintenance and infrastructure work at national parks. Zinke made the announcement Saturday at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. With him was Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. The funding would go to 42 parks in 29 states. The Interior Department says in a release […]

  • Politics

    Initiative to regulate bathrooms likely to appear on ballot

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 16:45

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A new rule on sex, gender, and bathrooms looks likely to go before Anchorage voters next spring. Alaska Public Media reports a release by the Alaska Family Action Council states supporters submitted nearly 8,500 signatures Thursday to the municipal Clerk’s Office, backing a measure that seeks to regulate bathrooms, locker rooms […]

  • Politics

    Trump tweets frustration with Republicans

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 16:36

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is expressing his frustration with Republicans, saying they “do very little to protect their President.” In a tweet Sunday, Trump says this happens even with “some that were carried over the line on my back.” The president isn’t making clear exactly why he’s upset. But his tweet comes as […]

  • Dramatic video shows Starbucks customer fighting off armed robber

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 16:26

    FRESNO, Calif. — Police in Fresno, California, have released dramatic surveillance footage showing a customer stepping in to prevent an armed robbery at a Starbucks. Authorities said the video shows a hero taking down a man who will soon face many felony charges, CBS affiliate KGPE-TV in Fresno reports. Cregg Jerri, 58, was enjoying his […]

  • Parents arrested for giving newborn daughter meth, heroin, morphine, police say

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 16:03

    SPANISH FORK, Utah — Police said a mother and father were arrested after they gave their newborn daughter drugs on the day she was born, CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City reports. Colby Glen Wilde, 29, and 26-year-old Lacey Dawn Christenson face drug distribution and child endangerment charges, authorities said. “They administered the drug […]

  • Lifestyle

    John Heard, ‘Home Alone’ actor, dies at 71

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 12:01

    John Heard, the actor best known for his roles in “Home Alone” and “The Sopranos,” has died, the Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed to CBS News. He was 71. Early reports from TMZ said Heard was found dead in his hotel room in Palo Alto, California. Earlier this week, representatives for Heard told TMZ the […]