RIO RANCHO, N.M. - For the New Mexico National Guard's medical evacuation unit and the many medics who support the entire Guard, there is nothing more important than ensuring wounded Soldiers receive the best medical care. Providing that excellent care was the focus of a recent combined training event, in which NMNG medics and aviators practiced loading patients onto a military helicopter."Students love it," said Sgt. Blake Postlethwait, lead instructor for the NMNG Medic Sustainment Program. "They are taking very well to [the training], seeing things they haven't seen before."The February training was part of a 10-day recertification course for 12 NMNG medics. The course satisfied 72 hours of continuing education requirements for the Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B) license, which all military medics are required to maintain.The medics learned the best techniques for safely loading injured patients onto a military helicopter. Training also covered tactical combat casualty care, treatment of common battlefield injuries, triage and operating an aid station."[This training] absolutely helps me with my [civilian] job as an EMT," said Sgt. Jeremiah Fish, a medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 1-200 Infantry. "It gives me a clear idea of what higher levels of care are thinking about [so patients can] get appropriate treatment faster."Staff Sgt. Daniel Chavez, a medic and helicopter crew chief, taught students how to prepare and load patients on a helicopter for transportation and shared lessons from his time overseas in a combat environment. The helicopter landed and took off to simulate a medical evacuation."I like that we're actually getting ... to load patients," said Spc. Brianna Graves, a medic assigned to HHC, 1-200 Infantry.The Medic Sustainment Program hopes to conduct the course at least annually for NMNG medics."I learned to use a ventilator for the first time," said Spc. Frederick Carter, who called the instructors very knowledgeable.Related Links:National Guard National Guard NewsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard