Sailor suffers medical emergency aboard USS Oak Hill, taken to Portsmouth for treatment

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 10, 2017) — Naval Air Crewman 3rd Class Eliseo Martinez, from Phoenix, Arizona, assigned to the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, walks toward an MH-60S Sea Hawk aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship — the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years — will spend several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Elliott)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A sailor was taken to a medical center after suffering an emergency on Tuesday.

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) conducted a medical evacuation to help a Sailor from dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) who required urgent medical attention.

The Sailor is in stable condition and is being treated at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, a Navy Commander said.

Around 11:30 a.m., Ford received a request from Oak Hill for a medical consultation.

Following a review of the patient’s status and consultation with leadership from multiple commands, the decision was made to evacuate the Sailor from Oak Hill to NMCP.

Ford was conducting builder’s sea trials and was the closest available responder.

An embarked MH-60S helicopter from the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 transported the Sailor.

After the Sailor was taken to the medical center Capt. Richard McCormack, Ford’s commanding officer, addressed the crew and expressed his pride in Ford Sailors and the embarked squadron for their flexibility, mission readiness, and eagerness to help a shipmate in need.

“We got the word, coordinated the necessary permissions, and were off-deck shortly thereafter,” said Cmdr. Jody Smotherman, Ford’s combat direction center officer, who helped coordinate communications, approvals, and logistical movements.

Ford is not the first first-in-class ship to provide medical assistance during sea trials.

In December 2015, the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) was in the middle of sea trials when they received a distress call from a fisherman experiencing chest pains off the coast of Maine.

The Zumwalt crew worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to provide prompt medical care.