NORFOLK (July 28, 2014) – “General quarters, general quarters! All hands man your battle stations.”
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) has ten repair lockers spread throughout the ship, each responsible for damage control efforts in specific zones of the ship. The core of each locker consists of two hose teams comprised of an on-scene leader, two team leaders, a nozzleman, plugman and hosemen.
“From the time the alarm sounds, the hose team gets to the repair locker as fast as possible to get in the firefighting ensemble (FFE). Once we are all suited up, as the team lead I will make sure everybody is in line, manned and ready,” said Yeomen 2nd Class Ronnie Jones, repair locker one bravo hose team leader.
All Sailors must be ready to provide immediate response to a fire, but they don’t have the same level of protection or resources a hose team.
“Sailors can only do so much in just flash gear. It won’t be safe for them to be there during a fire, but we have the full suit on and we will be able to take the measures that are needed to not only fight a fire but to win over a fire,” said Jones.
Fires can spread quickly and do severe damage to a ship if not dealt with in a timely manner.
“A fire is the worst type of casualty you can have because a fire spreads quicker than flooding or toxic gas,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Daniel Hernandez, repair locker one bravo deck leader. “It is very important that the hose team goes out and actually combats that casualty, because if not you will have a small fire that will completely 180 and before you know it there will be a fire from the 8th deck to the 03 level.”
Prior to being assigned to a hose team Sailors must attend a basic shipboard firefighting course. The course teaches Sailors how to dress out in FFE, combat class alpha, bravo and charlie fires and how to send messages throughout the ship during a casualty.
TR can never know exactly what casualty it may have to fight, but I have faith in my shipmates to work together as a team and combat a casualty successfully, said Hernandez.
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alex Millar, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
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