My life has been forever changed
As I write this it has been 147 days since my son Dominic passed away and there is not a day that goes by that I don't miss him or cry. The tears are not for him but for the separation there is between us.
The day I found Dominic unresponsive in his bedroom will be forever imprinted on my mind and heart. How thankful we are for the trained medical staff who cared for him every step of the way, as he was taken to our local hospital by ambulance, and then air flighted to a regional children's hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
Preparing for an Emergency
Recently I attended mariner training as required by the United States Coast Guard and the most difficult part was the classroom discussion on what to do if you find someone having a seizure.
Training is key to being prepared for any maritime emergency too, whether in port or at sea. Every mariner needs to be prepared for the worst that can happen aboard any vessel, whether a medical emergency, fire, or having to abandon ship.
Every five years, all mariners (both deck and engineering) must renew their certification in basic safety procedures and 2022 is my renewal year. San Jacinto Maritime College in Houston is just a 4-hour drive and the training includes fire prevention and firefighting, sea survival, personal safety, and basic first aid/CPR/AED.
Panic in the Smoke
Following the first day of in-class theory instruction, day two started out cool for which we were all grateful. It can get warm in the fireman's gear and more so extinguishing a fire! Search and Rescue is always a highlight, but not for the two new students who became confused inside the smoke-filled shipping container being used as a mock ship. With coaching after few moments of panic on their part, we successfully extracted the 'dummy' crewmember and ourselves!