Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Hospital Corpsman Renders Aid During Marathon

Story Number: NNS121113-17Release Date: 11/13/2012 8:59:00 PM
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From Navy Medicine Education and Training Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to Navy Medicine's recognized global leader in operational and aviation survival training rendered aid to a runner during mile 14 of the 8th Annual Pensacola Marathon Nov. 11.

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) Career Counselor Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Robert Crampton, an avid runner competing in his eighth marathon, spent nearly 20 minutes assisting another runner at the 14-mile mark, an effort he said was instinctual for any medical professional.

"We're trained as [hospital] corpsmen to respond," he said. "Being ready for anything that might happen is something ingrained in every corpsman, something that starts in 'A' school. The runner was okay, but the situation could have been much worse."

As Crampton neared the 14-mile mark, slightly more than halfway through the race, he saw another runner doubled over on the ground. He immediately took charge, calming the 50-year-old woman while assessing what could be wrong.

"There was another guy there who turned out to be a young Marine trying to help," he said. "I identified myself as a corpsman, and he immediately backed off and asked me if I needed any help."

Crampton identified the runner as dehydrated and experiencing intense muscle fatigue, something he attributed to the woman over-exerting herself during the race, a novice mistake. He instructed and assisted the woman in raising her arms over her head to open her airway in an effort to help increase the flow of blood and oxygen through her body, while instructing the woman to attempt deep breathing exercises. He remained with the woman until emergency response crews arrived, spending nearly 20 minutes rendering assistance during an event where seconds dictate an outcome.

An experienced marathoner, Crampton said novice runners can sometimes over-exert themselves during an actual distance race, becoming over anxious to complete what many times they have set as a personal goal. Being in the right place at the right time Crampton said was lucky, but being prepared as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman is something he maintains as commonplace during his 14-year career.

"I know I could've run a better race, but I also know that making sure the individuals around me are safe is what I should do," he said. "We're in the Navy first and foremost, and if I am in a position to use the skills I've learned while in the Navy to help, I'm not too concerned about a final time."

Crampton, recently named the NMOTC Headquarters Sailor of the Year, has competed in eight marathons, boasting a personal best time of 3:29 at the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2009 in Orlando, Fla.

A qualifier for the legendary Boston Marathon, the Pensacola Marathon began at Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola, finishing next to the only replica of the Washington, D.C.-based National Vietnam War Memorial. The Pensacola Veterans Park also boasts a 26.2 mile race winding through historic neighborhoods, Pensacola's downtown district and the bluffs overlooking Escambia Bay.

NMOTC is a component of Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC), the sole point of accountability for Navy Medicine education and training.

NMETC and NMOTC are all part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit

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