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Military Sealift Command Shares First-aid Knowledge while 'Stayin Alive'

By Grady Fontana | | Dec. 15, 2016

PATTAYA, Thailand -- “... Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.” The sound of a popular 70s song by the group Bee Gees was an unusual but fitting theme to a recent training course that was provided by members of Military Sealift Command Far East (MSCFE) to a Navy-friendly hotel staff here, Dec. 13.

“We provided first aid, first responder, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automatic external defibrillator training to the staff of the hotel,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer CJ Eison, fleet medical liaison, MSCFE. “We went over all the steps for CPR, scene safety, heat injuries, choking hazards, and the Heimlich Maneuver.”

The hotel, which provides the load of housing support for military personnel here, was the venue for the training and was attended by about 15 members of the staff spread from various departments.

The training was partly facilitated by Monnpapat “Monn” Tudtanapun, who is an executive assistant manager at the hotel but is also a volunteer secretary for the past four years to the president of the Navy League here.

Monn is known within the circles of MSC ships that visit Thailand for either voyage repairs or port visits, as she, along with Peter Thorand, President of the Navy League Siam Council, help mariners and U.S. Navy Sailors organize community relations events and interpret interactions between ship crews and Thai nationals.

As a gesture of goodwill, the MSCFE provided a two-hour refresher course that covered first aid-related topics.

Although hotel staff receive their own annual CPR training, the supplemental course proved to be beneficial for all students who service a mostly international clientele and patron base.

“The training opened our eyes because we have different backgrounds; we may misunderstand (the injured) or maybe we have a different mindset; but with this training, it is clear because we have been practicing,” said Terapan Chuaprasert, also an executive assistant manager at the hotel. “We learned by visual because we watched the video, we listened to the instructions, we practiced what we learned, and we took notes. I’m sure it will be long lasting for everyone because helping or saving one life is valuable.”

According to Chuaprasert, the course was also a lesson on cross-cultural communication.

“Most of the subject matter is the same from what we have already learned, but some of the wording is different,” said Chuaprasert. “Because we have to communicate with foreigners often, some of our wording and sentence construction may be different and lead to misunderstanding.”

On the beat to “Stayin Alive” students performed chest compressions on the mannequin aids, while chanting along to the chorus in order to achieve the tempo that is required for proper CPR technique.

“That’s one of the training techniques we use to try and get people used to the rhythm needed—how fast you need to do the chest compressions,” said Eison. “If they stick to that it’ll give them that 100-120 per minute target of chest compression needed to properly perform CPR.”

Overall, the group of students appeared to have a lot of fun with the exercise and the training was welcomed.

“They were very attentive and they appreciated that we were here providing this course of instruction for them,” said Eison. “It made the course go a lot smoother just seeing their reaction and how involved they were in the practical application exercise.”

MSCFE personnel are in Thailand conducting various COMREL events along with volunteers from the dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE-11). The Washington Chambers is currently in Thailand conducting scheduled voyage repairs.