Newly Promoted Chief Petty Officer Saves a Life

Story Number: NNS180928-02Release Date: 9/28/2018 10:14:00 AM
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By Lt. Joshua Pierce and Kimberly M. Lansdale, Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center and Center for Surface Combat Systems Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center’s (FLEASWTRACEN) newly promoted chief petty officer saved a man’s life aboard the USS Midway Museum Sept. 22. 

Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Paz Rhyner utilized her ten years of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) experience and Navy training to save the life of a man she did not know.

“Hundreds of people, including FLEASWTRACEN’s new chief petty officers, were aboard the USS Midway Museum attending a memorial ceremony,” Rhyner explained. “About five minutes prior to the ceremony, I heard screaming and saw numerous people surrounding an elderly gentleman who was unconscious. There was a lot of confusion and the nursing aid who was administering first aid had stopped. I knew at that instant, I needed to take control of the situation or this man was going to perish.”

Rhyner, not only a training instructor for the command, but also a CPR instructor, coached the nursing aid and then properly administered the automated external defibrillator (AED), blocking out the noise and chaos. 

“The AED did administer a shock and I checked for breathing again, which was not occurring and then, since there was no relative, I found a CPR mask and conducted mouth to mouth while the nursing aid continued compressions,” she explained.  “After a short period of time, the man gained consciousness and the paramedics cared for him when they arrived on scene.”

Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Mark Bailey, also a FLEASWTRACEN instructor, witnessed Rhyner’s actions.

“Chief Rhyner took charge,” he said.  “She ensured the AED was properly administered and compressions were done correctly.  Her leadership and life-saving skills resulted in saving the man’s life.”

When Rhyner’s commanding officer, Capt. Brandon Bryan, received the news, he was immensely proud of his chief petty officer.

“Her selfless actions truly demonstrated the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment,” he said.  “Chief Rhyner is a true role model for her shipmates and we are so proud to have her on the Fleet ASW Training Center team.”  

Rhyner does not view herself as a hero.  She was not going to step back while a person’s life was at risk. 

“My time as an instructor and teaching CPR took over,” she said.  “I knew what to do in that situation and the outside stress did not impact me.  All that mattered was saving a man’s life.”

CSCS' mission is to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority. CSCS headquarters' staff oversees 14 learning sites, including FLEASWTRACEN.  With a military and civilian staff of 300, FLEASWTRACEN delivers 90 technical courses of instruction through 475 course convenes educating more than 4,100 U.S. Navy and partner nation Sailors in the many facets of maintaining and operating their ships in the areas of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, combat systems training and littoral combat ship training.


For information on Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, visit

For more news from Center for Surface Combat Systems, visit

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