Sailors aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) practice their emergency response skills during daily in-port emergency team (IET) drills.
IET drills require Sailors to respond to simulated emergency scenarios such as fires, chemical spills, flooding and many other possible shipboard casualties quickly and effectively.
“It’s important to know how to respond to an in-port emergency,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Vincent Mendes, a medical responder for the eight IETs aboard Lincoln. “The ship is still a dangerous work environment where fires and injury can occur just as easily as if it were out to sea.”
“We have to stay sharp and well trained because anything can happen and we have to be ready for that,” said Hull Technician 3rd Class Miguel Gonzales, a fire fighter on one of the IETs. “From first aid response to damage control drills we are taught to handle these situations, we train so we can be prepared for anything.”
From on scene fire-fighting methods to casualty investigation, first response and first-aid emergency response, Sailors are trained no differently while in the shipyard than when out to sea.
“There are still casualties that can occur while we are dry-docked so we try to maintain our readiness and keep the training fresh in the minds of our trainees,” said Mendes.
As the saying suggests, “practice makes perfect.” Lincoln Sailors continue to practice and maintain damage control readiness, always seeking to be perfect when an emergency happens and lives are at stake.
“I understand that we can get rusty on this subject,” said Mendes. “However it’s still our job and it’s important for us to stay grounded on this aspect not only for ourselves but for those around us.”
Press Release, June 11, 2014; Image: Wikimedia