CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employees were recognized for providing rapid emergency response support to a medical situation. The Code Blue Team was recently awarded the NSWC Safety Champion Award for their efforts and to responding to a fellow employee’s medical emergency. The team currently consists of eighteen volunteers who train year-round to respond to these instances within their building at NSWC Crane.
Bruce Edwards, a Facility Manager at NSWC Crane, introduced the concept of the Code Blue Team at his building in 2017. The purpose of the Code Blue Team is to provide immediate victim stabilization and care in or on the grounds of the building in advance of paramedics’ arrival to medical emergencies.
“The Code Blue Team is divided into two groups,” says Edwards. “One group responds to the victim to stabilize them, and the second group creates a path to guide paramedics so they can access to the scene as quickly as possible. You don’t want vague plans when it comes to a medical emergency.”
He says that since initiating the idea for the team and calling for volunteers, the idea has gained steam.
“Each one of our team members volunteered; they have compassion and carry an attitude of love for our family members here in this building,” says Edwards. “This team is meant to bridge the four to six minute gap it takes from the moment paramedics are called to when they arrive onsite where the emergency is taking place. It can only take four minutes for a person to be unresponsive until brain damage starts. Our Code Blue Team can help cover that time until the paramedics arrive.”
The Code Blue Team provides a unique service to employees in their building.
“Our Code Blue Team is the only one in all of Naval Sea Systems Command,” says Edwards. “What we do is important. The team does proactive exercises to prepare for a brief moment. But these moments matter when it comes to someone’s life. In the case of the recent medical emergency in our building, we knew what to do because we had practiced.”
Barry Tedrow, District Chief, Navy Fire and Emergency Services, Naval Support Activity Crane, says the Fire Department worked closely with the Code Blue Team on several training and practice drills. He says the structure of the Code Blue Team is replicable to other buildings, commands, and organizations.
“We were able to work together to put the concept into actual practice during an emergent response to his building,” says Tedrow. “His team proved very valuable in assisting us to the incident and providing entrance into the restricted area. All in all, I feel his concept is of benefit to the installation and more widespread implementation should be explored.”
Edwards says he is passionate about ensuring the safety of his coworkers.
“People are focused on their jobs, so they aren’t thinking about ‘what if’ a medical emergency happens,” says Edwards. “We hope to go our entire career without having to have the Code Blue Team paged, but if we are needed, we’re here. I believe it did make a difference in the medical emergency that took place this fall. Keeping the employees safe in this building…it’s my contribution to supporting the warfighter.”
About NSWC Crane
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.