TR's Medical Response Team On the Scene

Story Number: NNS041217-12Release Date: 12/17/2004 1:53:00 PM
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By Journalist 2nd Class Camy L. Thompson, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt's (TR) (CVN 71) Medical Response Team (MRT) remains on high alert seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The MRT is the first to the scene in a medical emergency aboard the ship. Sometimes these Sailors can be the difference in saving a shipmate's life.

At the sound of the call, "medical emergency, medical emergency...," a five-man team darts for one of four emergency response packs and quickly makes their way to the injured Sailor, while the second team mans the treatment room in case the patient needs to be transferred for more care.

"The on-scene team first provides on-the-spot care and makes the decision to treat the patient at the scene or transfer them to medical," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Donald Highly. "Once we arrive on the scene, the first thing we do is assess the scene and make sure there is nothing that is going to hurt us, so we can help the patient."

MRT wastes no time, making it their goal to reach the patient in approximately five minutes.

"We are there to save lives and prevent further injury, so it's important to be quick and proficient," said Highly.

Each member of TR's two MRTs carries a different pack when responding to an emergency. These packs contain dressings, gauze, airway supplies, oxygen, an innovation tube, a defibrillator and cardiac medication. The MRT ensures the bags are inventoried every day and after each use.

"We see a lot of sprained ankles, twisted knees and bad backs, but we are prepared for anything," Highly said. "We've got the best MRT on the waterfront, and it has been proven time and time again."

Part of the MRT's job is to look for what caused an accident or injury, and pass that information on to prevent further injury.

"If we can find what caused the incident, we pass the information up the chain of command so we can try and stop it from happening to other people," said Highly.

In the event the second team is called away to a second emergency, all other available staff fills the treatment room.

"Every member of the crew needs to be aware of what is happening in case of an emergency," said Highly. "We rely on bystanders to tell us exactly what happened. Once we know, we need as much space as possible to be able to treat the patient. Crowding around an injured shipmate only makes it harder for us to do our job."

With TR's yard period coming to an end and the ship transitioning to a fully operational carrier, the MRT continues to be on high alert and ready to save a shipmate's life.

For related news, visit the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Navy NewsStand page at

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