Pacific Ocean –
Every week, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem’s medical department conducts life saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for the crew.
The training is offered in two capacities, a certification course for new recently reported Sailors and a recertification program for those Sailors who completed the class more than two years ago. The training gives sailors the skills necessary to provide immediate life saving aid to injured shipmates.
“Certifying sailors in CPR is extremely important and a priority on Stethem,” said Hospital Corpsman First Class Jerry Roshell, Milwaukee, Wisc. “You never know when you’ll need to save someone’s life.”
Life on Navy ships is inherently hazardous and the American Heart Association estimates CPR saves more than 90,000 lives each year. The Navy Occupational Safety and Health Program mandates ships have at least 50 percent of their crew certified in CPR.
The training on Stethem was initially focused on those Sailors who typically work with electric and electronic equipment, but has recently been made available to the entire crew.
“We can support classes up to 12 people and we conduct training every week,” said Roshell.
Many Sailors know the basics of the skill, but the repetition of training opportunities offers Sailors the opportunity to become more familiar with the techniques.
“We want to use this training to familiarize the crew with CPR and teach them to perform the task confidently,” said Lt. j.g. Isabel Gomez. “By holding weekly training, we are increasing the likelihood that our sailors will be able to perform life-saving actions instinctively and save their shipmates’ lives.”
Stethem sailors have welcomed the increase in CPR training and believe that it is making their ship a safer place.
“The training was great,” said Operations Specialist Seaman King Vang. “The steps were taught in a simple and efficient manner so in the moment, when you are panicking and worried about saving a shipmates’ life, you would still be able to perform them.”
Stethem is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.