Hobart’s medical capability on target

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney

Topic(s): HMAS Hobart (D39), Sea Training Group

Petty Officer Medical David Young onboard HMAS Hobart during the Mariner Skills Evaluation.  (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Petty Officer Medical David Young onboard HMAS Hobart during the Mariner Skills Evaluation.
As well as having some of the most advanced weapons systems available, Navy’s newest ship HMAS Hobart boasts a range of assets that help make it a formidable warfighting unit.
These assets include the destroyer’s medical facilities which, according to Petty Officer Medical David Young, are second-to-none.
“The medical facilities in this ship are fantastic and far superior to what I’ve seen on my previous ships,” he said.
“Essentially, we’re equipped with a six-berth, Role 1 hospital that can provide emergency life support and resuscitation facilities to deal with traumatic injuries for the initial 72 hours of an incident.”
Petty Officer Young said the hours immediately after an incident were critical and determined whether the patient would need to be evacuated to a higher level medical facility.

Hobart, a first-of-class guided missile destroyer, recently underwent her Mariner Skills Evaluation which involved the ship’s company being put through a week-long assessment period by the Navy’s Sea Training Group.
Petty Officer Young said a significant portion of exercises involved the ship’s medical department.
“Naturally, there are some challenges for us, such as coming to terms with the sheer size of the ship and the fact that it covers a lot more deck space than a frigate,” he said.
“We had all sorts of scenarios presented to us, including electric shocks, toxic hazards, flood and fire casualties, as well as a number of other situations you may encounter in a ship at sea.”
It was not only the medical department being tested during casualty-related exercises as some other ship’s personnel have secondary duties as first responders in emergencies.
“The Ship’s Medical Emergency Teams have also been tested with a number of scenarios aimed at honing their skills as the ship’s advanced first-aiders,” he said.

Hobart has 13 sailors who have undertaken an intensive two-week advanced first aid course as part of their first responder training.
“The Ship’s Medical Emergency Teams are an invaluable asset to the ship as they provide initial patient management and assessment until a medic arrives on the scene,” Petty Officer Young said.

Hobart successfully completed her Mariner Skills Evaluation on 21 October and will prepare for their next whole ship assessment, a Unit Readiness Evaluation.