Emmett Spraktes served for 10 years in the US Navy Reserve with Special Boat Teams (SBT). He held the rate of Gunners Mate Guns 2nd Class , completed the US Navy elite Special Warfare Combatant-Craft (SWCC) course and was assigned to SBU 11, Mare Island Ca. In 2002 he deployed with SBT 22 to Central/South America participating in Foreign Internal Defense/Maritime Interdiction Operations/Protective Services Detail Missions.He has now published a book about his experiences, and donating the profits to veterans assistance programs.
He enlisted in the California Army National Guard in 2004. In 2007 deployed as a ground medic with the 1-143 Field Artillery to Balad, Iraq.
Staff Sergeant (SSG) Spraktes returned home and 5 months later, was deployed to Jalalabad, Afghanistan as a Flight Medic with C Company, 1-168th GSAB. During his 10 month tour in Afghanistan he treated 184 patients, flew 250 combat flight hours, and participated in 12 individual hoists.
SSG Spraktes is the recipient numerous awards including the Air Medal with “V” for valor, Army Commendation Medal with “V”, Combat Medic Badge and Silver Star for gallantry in action. He also received an Army Aviation Association of America Award for “Medic of the Year – 2009” and “Rescue of the Year – 2009. ”
Spraktes honorably retired in 2011, after 25 years of law enforcement, which included the California Department of Corrections, California State Police, Vacaville Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). His past assignments included 10 years as a SWAT operator/Medic, Governors Protection Detail/Dignitary Protection, Flight Officer/ Paramedic, Drug Recognition Expert, Bicycle Patrol, Public Oriented Policing and Problem Solving, Emergency Medical Services Instructor at the CHP Academy, and numerous other assignments.
Spraktes is currently a Nationally Registered Paramedic (NREMT-P) and California State licensed paramedic and is an associate academy instructor for the California Highway Patrol Emergency Medical Services unit. He also is a firearms instructor for a California based company “Team 3 Tactical”. Spraktes is a private consultant for California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) evaluating certified courses and instruction.
Spraktes does presentations for charity and community organizations; he has also presented to such groups as the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Graduates and California POST on topics regarding the challenges reintegration of Law Enforcement personnel back from Military deployment.
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How California National Guard DUSTOFF Changed the Face of Medevac amid Chaos, Carnage and Politics of War
Authored by SSG Emmett William Spraktes
Authored with Victoria M Newman
They fly into battles armed only with a rifle and a red cross…
… whispering silent prayers for courage as they work. Driven by a deep-seated compassion for human life, Medevac crews risked their lives for their brothers in battle. Daring rescues, firefights, and courageous measures in the air and on the ground pushed their abilities beyond limits to ensure soldiers saw their loved ones again. This is the untold story of DUSTOFF – a company of National Guard lifesavers dedicated to a mission that moved beyond the bounds of deployment, and outside the borders of Afghanistan.
By recruiting civilian paramedics from the west coast, the 168th GSAB Medevac Company set out to prove their training model could save more lives of wounded soldiers than flight medics trained to the Army standard. Through eyewitness accounts of bloody battles, hoists into dangerous terrain under fire, and investing themselves to sheer exhaustion, they had one goal: bring our soldiers home alive.
The Army’s documented results were staggering. The mortality rate of American, Coalition and civilian patients was cut in half while they were in theater. After they departed Afghanistan, it rose 50% to where it was before.
Returning home from deployment, their battle continued. Armed with damning evidence and a memory-fueled passion that led to face to face conflicts, they were marginalized and maligned. Undaunted, these men put their careers at risk. They fought for fundamental changes to ensure our soldiers receive the best care possible, forcing the Army’s hand to finally do the right thing.