EAST GREENWICH, Conn. - Four teams competed in the annual NHCNE Hospital Corpsman Challenge at Camp Fogarty in East Greenwich, R.I., June 28. The competition was comprised of a five- or six-person teams from each of the clinic sites: NHCNE Newport, R.I.; Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC) Groton, Conn.; NBHC Portsmouth, N.H.; and NBHC Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Members of each team sprinted up and down a 3.1 mile-course using their skills in several areas of mass casualty and tactical trauma response, including hemorrhage control, litter carry, weapons handling, administering intravenous fluid (IV) and medical evacuation. The challenge brings life-saving battlefield techniques to shore duty utilizing Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training that is a pre-requisite course all Corpsmen take every three years ensuring mission readiness.
The course is a timed event and incentives are given for speed and accuracy. A team’s efforts are scored at each station, including oral quizzes about medical knowledge. Communication, physical fitness, unit cohesion and teamwork contribute to the finish time and the points accrued.
Team Code Green from NBHC Groton was the overall winner of the 2019 Corpsman Challenge this year, taking home the coveted trophy. Officer in Charge Cmdr. Christy Weimer and Senior Enlisted Officer Chief Hospital Corpsman (HMC) Chad Keast were the team’s motivators running the entire course with their Sailors. When asked how she thought her team had done before the results were announced, CDR Weimer said, “Code Green’s performance was exceptional. They worked well together, provided effective care quickly and were collected under pressure. Any forward deployed unit would be lucky to have them.”
The challenge had over 30 volunteers manning the six stations on the course. Event organizer, HMC Tommy Sok said, “It was hectic but everyone came together to pull it off. I’m glad the teams could experience this and use the skill sets they train for.” Also coordinating the challenge from Newport were Hospitalman First Class (HM1) Rhiannon Moscarelli, HM1 Nicholas Furey and HM1 Christopher Barber.
Master Chief Randy Swanson, NHCNE Command Master Chief, explained that the challenge is an annual event completed in conjunction with the Hospital Corpsmen Birthday anniversary each June. He further stated, “This is an amazing opportunity to incorporate medical training in a camaraderie-building event between all four clinics to continue enhancement of our command readiness mission.”