Health Services Helps Prep for Cert, Keeps CVN 70 Crew Safe, Healthy

Story Number: NNS081017-03Release Date: 10/17/2008 7:06:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristan Robertson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Health Services team is assisting engineering department this October in readying the collection, holding and transfer (CHT) system for its Oct. 20 certification on board.

Because the CHT tanks hold waste products like waste oil, sewage and aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) discharge and toxic gases, the threats associated with an unsatisfactory system are avoided at all costs by Carl Vinson personnel. Health services plays an integral role in keeping Sailors safe and the systems up to standards by thoroughly screening each Sailor for health problems and by conducting in-depth screenings of the system's components.

"All system workers are assessed for any health problems before they are assigned any CHT-related work, because we don't want any pre-existing conditions to interfere with the work that must be performed," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (AW/SW) Sonia Edwards. "If an illness or other health problem prevents them from doing their work, it doesn't only affect them, but the whole ship by potentially putting us behind our production goals. We need healthy Sailors to meet our goals."

To fully prepare for the upcoming certification, a preliminary inspection has been scheduled for Oct. 9. Health services and engineering are teaming up to ensure that the system not only meets health standards for the crew, but exceeds them.

"We're conducting checks on everything from leaks in the system and other components to personal protective equipment (PPE), health warning plaques and ensuring that all training and records are up-to-date and completely accurate," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (AW/SW) Jose Belen. "Crew members working with these systems won't have to worry, because we're doing our part in eliminating risks and making sure they remain safe at work."

Now that the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier's Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) is entering its final phases, major shipboard systems like CHT are returning to service in preparation for the "Gold Eagle's" imminent return to sea. Carl Vinson Sailors shipwide have been working around-the-clock to ensure the ship will be delivered to the fleet in optimal condition for at-sea operations in defense of our nation and its interests.

"The whole system has been re-vamped, we're keeping everybody safe, and we're getting ready to head back out to the water soon," said Edwards. "Medical readiness has to be at its optimal peak to help fulfill the mission, and that's where it's going to be."

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