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Face of Defense: USS Stethem’s Sailors Learn CPR

Medical personnel aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem conduct life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation training each week for the ship’s crew.

The training is offered in two capacities, a certification course for new, recently reported sailors and a recertification program for those sailors who completed the class more than two years ago. The training gives sailors the skills necessary to provide immediate life-saving aid to injured shipmates.

“Certifying sailors in CPR is extremely important, and a priority on Stethem,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Roshell, a hospital corpsman who hails from Milwaukee. “You never know when you’ll need to save someone’s life.”

Life on Navy ships is inherently hazardous and the American Heart Association estimates that CPR saves more than 90,000 lives each year. The Navy Occupational Safety and Health Program mandates that ships have at least 50 percent of their crew certified in CPR.

Training available for entire crew

The CPR training provided on the Stethem was initially focused on those sailors who typically work with electric and electronic equipment, but has recently been made available to the entire crew.

“We can support classes up to 12 people and we conduct training every week,” Roshell said.

Many sailors know the basics of CPR, but the repetition of training opportunities offers sailors the opportunity to become more familiar with the techniques. “We want to use this training to familiarize the crew with CPR and teach them to perform the task confidently,” said Lt. j.g. Isabel Gomez. “By holding weekly training, we are increasing the likelihood that our sailors will be able to perform life-saving actions instinctively and save their shipmates’ lives.”

Sailors like CPR training: Stethem sailors have welcomed the increase in CPR training and believe that it is making their ship a safer place.

“The training was great,” said Seaman King Vang. “The steps were taught in a simple and efficient manner so in the moment, when you are panicking and worried about saving a shipmates’ life, you would still be able to perform them.” The USS Stethem is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Roshell, left, a hospital corpsman from Milwaukee, instructs Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Dunn, from Bangor, Maine, on proper CPR technique aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem. Stethem is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Rebecca Speer

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