By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Shayla D. Hamilton,
USS George Washington Public Affairs
CORAL SEA (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) work in high-risk environments with many dangers that lurk up and down the ship's passageways.
To equip Sailors on board and combat these dangers, hospital corpsmen (HM) use their experience, knowledge and skill to train the crew to become first-responders.
"As a first-responder, you have a greater chance of saving a life if you know what you're doing," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Iris Alcantara, first-aid medical training team (MTT) facilitator.
Sailors are trained to properly respond to emergency situations and apply first-aid measures taken to save a life, limit infection and prevent further injury. First-aid training provided by the MTT gives Sailors hands-on experience and teaches the fundamentals to assess for and prevent further injury to personnel.
"Check for breathing, check for bleeding, check for shock," said Quartermaster Seaman Timothy Hernandez, first-aid training apprentice. "Those are the fundamentals that go into assessing the situation before treating. You have to know what's going on in order to properly treat someone."
After completing the first responder training and gaining proficiency, Hernandez now assists with teaching. He said that he feels valuable to the GW team by becoming a first-responder and, in turn, having the opportunity to give the same training to other Sailors.
"The most rewarding part about conducting this training is seeing Sailors with no medical background be able to perform [first aid] efficiently," said Alcantara. "The goal is to train everyone to be capable of treating the most common wounds."
During the training, MTT facilitators also covered the three degrees of burns and how to treat them, types of bleeding and ended with the proper way to carry a patient.
According to Alcantara, in the constant effort to properly train Sailors on board with the most up-to-date first-aid responder procedures, George Washington has played an integral role in keeping its training facilitators' first-aid skills sharp.
"It makes me proud to see first-responders do what we [HMs] can do after all of this training," said Alcantara. "It is comforting to know that there are Sailors who aren't HMs but can respond and help a casualty in an emergency situation."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, are on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. George Washington will conduct a hull-swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) later this year after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.