NNS: Marianas-Based Civilian Mariners Renew Basic Life Support Certifications


PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — Medical personnel from U.S. Naval Hospital Guam recertified 14 Military Sealift Command (MSC) personnel in life-saving techniques aboard USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo (T-AK-3008), Dec. 3.

Bobo is part of MSC’s Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 3 based principally in Guam and Saipan. The ship delivers military cargo ashore even if a port is damaged, destroyed or doesn’t exist at all.

Chief Hospitalman (FMF/SW) Stephen Royall and Chief Hospitalman (FMF/SW/AW) Sharon Calmese facilitated a refresher seminar on Basic Life Support (BLS) and Heart Saver Artificial External Defibrillator (AED) procedures for the civilian mariners.

“BLS is the most basic, most important thing anyone can do to help someone in an emergency,” Royall said. “You may be the difference between some living and dying because you were there, so we teach the masses how to perform these techniques.” 

The course is required every two years to update anyone already certified in BLS and AED procedures. In a life-threatening situation, regardless of the first person on the scene, whether medical personnel, fire services, police officers or civilian bystanders, BLS is the first emergency medical action taken to help save the victim’s life, Royall said.

“I took this refresher course to remind myself how to save lives,” said Store Assistant Randy Soriano, an MSC civilian mariner attending the class. “It’s important to know what to do.”

On U.S. Navy and MSC vessels, in addition to medical personnel, typically personnel in any supervisory role or job involving electrical and mechanical equipment must be BLS certified.   

“My job was to make sure the participants performed the compressions, head-tilting and breathing properly,” Calmese said. “With a class this size, it is important to help monitor everyone’s techniques.”

Royall added that BLS is the best tool anyone can have and the training provided to the personnel will be invaluable if the participants need to use these skills in a real-life situation.

“The training went very well,” Royall said. “The questions were engaging and I think the drills performed here really show what kind of energy and skill it requires to administer BLS. With a refresher course, it helps them focus on what can save a life.”