News Alert: KTVA is On-Air - Watch Now - Read More
  • 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

    Sitka family turns home brews into booming business

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 22, 18:05

    It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday in Sitka and Baranof Island Brewing Company‘s tasting room is packed. Residents are lined up out the door to get a taste of the brewery’s new Pumpkin Ale. The brewing company’s owners say business has come along way in just three years. “It’s been an overwhelming response,” said owner Rick […]

  • News

    Pebble Partnership sues EPA again

    by Sierra Starks, Hope Miller on Oct 22, 17:19

    The Pebble Partnership is again suing the Environmental Protection Agency, this time saying that the agency has been secretly meeting with environmentalists in an attempt to undermine the Pebble Mine Project. In a complaint filed Oct. 14, Pebble is requesting that the EPA produce documents that were “improperly withheld” after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) […]

  • News

    2 dead in shooting attack at Canada’s Parliament

    by CNN / AP on Oct 22, 12:08

    A Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the country’s capital was shot to death Wednesday, and heavy gunfire then erupted inside Parliament. One gunman was killed, and police said they were hunting for as many as two others. The bloodshed immediately raised the specter of a coordinated terrorist attack, with Canada already […]

  • Lifestyle

    Video game with Alaska Native storyline unveiled in Anchorage

    by Hope Miller on Oct 22, 12:03

    The first of its kind, a video game rooted in Alaska Native culture is set for release next month. Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) is a one- to two-player puzzle-platform game. Set in the harsh and beautiful northern Arctic, it follows a girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as they try to figure out what’s causing […]

  • News

    Anchorage police: 11-year-old runaways found safe

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 22, 11:12

    UPDATE: The two 11-year-old girls who ran away from an Anchorage middle school Tuesday morning have been found safe, says APD spokeswoman Anita Shell. Original story: Authorities are searching for two 11-year-old girls who ran away from an Anchorage middle school Tuesday morning, according to the Anchorage Police Department. Early Wednesday morning, APD was notified that Katelynn […]

  • Politics

    US Rep. Don Young apologizes after suicide comment

    by Associated Press on Oct 22, 10:22

    U.S. Rep. Don Young has apologized after telling students at a high school where a child recently committed suicide that people kill themselves when there’s a lack of support from family and friends. Wasilla High School Principal Amy Spargo says students and adults at the assembly took offense because it was as if they were […]

  • News

    Fairbanks schools won’t suspend recruitment

    by Associated Press on Oct 22, 8:24

    Administrators in the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna school districts have suspended military recruiting at schools after allegations of sexual advances by recruiters but officials in Fairbanks say they have no plans to limit visits. Fairbanks school board President Heidi Haas tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1DAFNUl) she’s not concerned about problems with recruiters at district schools. […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Oct. 22

    by Janessa Webb on Oct 22, 8:03

    Sunny skies will invade our space for the next two days. The tradeoff will be cooler conditions with daytime highs barely making it to 40 degrees. We have a system that is tracking in from the Southwest and it will make its way onshore tonight into Thursday. Areas of the Southcentral will start to see […]