By: MIDN 4/C Tyler Worthley
There are unwritten responsibilities that come with wearing a uniform around campus. You are expected to carry yourself with elevated standards of professionalism and integrity. Your actions reflect upon the entire armed services as much as they do on yourself. In times of crisis and emergency, you are perceived to be a more effective aid than an average bystander. Crisis, however, does not restrict itself to days when you are in uniform. This is the situation MIDN 4/C Lang recently found herself in.
MIT’s infinite corridor is its busiest hallway- crowded with students and tourists alike. While walking back from class, MIDN Lang noticed an older man unconscious and laying on the floor. She explained that “A man was asking for help, and no one else was actively doing anything. I felt obligated to do something having previous knowledge as a lifeguard.” She checked for breathing and pulse, moved him to recovery position, and alerted emergency services. “It was wrong that not a single person was able to do anything. Everyone should at least be CPR trained.”
Midshipmen practicing their CPR skills.
The battalion agreed. MIDN 1/C Russo organized formal CPR training with Harvard’s Crimson EMS open to any midshipman. Evolutions covered during this training included CPR and AED use on infants, children, and adults, and general first aid procedures such as the use of EpiPens, tourniquets, splints, and the Heimlich maneuver. MIDN Russo says, “Having the training and tools necessary to save someone’s life is not solely designated for medical personnel. If properly used, first responder intervention has been shown to increase the victim’s chances of survival by 50%.”
Battalion MIDN Commanding Officer MIDN 1/C Davitt offered up more words on the importance of situational readiness. “It is important that we undertake training in practical skills that could come in handy in everyday life, along with the ROTC mainstays of developing leadership skills and education on fleet topics. Because we are in the military, we are automatically looked upon by society to serve as leaders, whether on duty or not, so possessing basic life-saving skills like CPR and First Aid allow us to take control of a situation properly and live up to that expectation.”
MIDN 4/C Akhtar creates a splint for MIDN 1/C Davitt’s Arm
These skills are even more useful in the fleet. Operating in dangerous work environments, it is important to be ready if an accident happens. Anything from choking to cardiac arrest to blunt trauma needs immediate and proper attention, and much of the training was dedicated to quick response drills that acknowledge these scenarios. One of the drills was entire run-through on how to approach someone in distress. Trainees practiced checking vital signs of mannequins, calling 911, approaching bystanders for assistance, and performing CPR and administering an AED to the patient.
Being a member of the armed forces isn’t just a job. You don’t get to quit representing your country when you go home for the day. Preparedness and accountability are critical traits for future officers, and solidify your leadership presence on and off the job. In total, ten midshipmen received CPR and First Aid certification. Here’s to the lives they might end up saving!