Pacific Northwest Service Members Learn Emergency Response

Thursday, May 17, 2007
Sailors, Marines and Soldiers visited Naval Base (NB) Kitsap Bangor for a three-week emergency medical technician (EMT) course which concludes May 18. Service members packed the 40 seats available to learn about first response in a medical emergency.

“A new policy has been implemented to require EMT training for Sailors aboard submarines,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (SS/FMF/NAC) Shane Reece, event coordinator. “This way, if something happens, there can be enough people aboard to handle it." Sailors from submarines in the area and corpsmen from Naval Hospital Bremerton joined Soldiers from the Madigan Army Medical Center to fill the seats. The submarines are each required to have four EMT-trained Sailors to accompany an independent duty corpsman (IDC) at their individual duty stations.

“While the submarines are underway, there is only one IDC aboard,” said Reece. “This class not only teaches Sailors how to respond in case of an emergency, but also teaches them how to assist the IDC in such cases. This way the IDC does not have to handle the whole boat on his own.” The course consisted of classroom training, then lab time to practice what service members learned. A mass casualty drill marked the halfway point of the labs. “A mass casualty is any situation where the EMTs find themselves with more patients then they can treat,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Kevin Flatley, USS San Francisco (SSN 726). “If we have a team of two and there are three patients, it automatically becomes a mass casualty. During the course, we simulated a bus rollover accident with nine victims. The patients ranged from critical to nothing wrong with them.”

Sailors from the indoctrination class at Navy Submarine Support Center volunteered as victims and scattered around the field behind the NB Kitsap Bangor Firehouse. At the end of the course, participants will take a final exam to earn their Navy certification. It’s a hands-on exam which takes the Sailor from first response to having the victim stable enough to be sent to a hospital. “After they qualify through us to be EMTs, they can apply for state certification,” said Reece. “It’s a written exam and if they pass it, they can go on to be EMTs in the civilian world.”

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