US Navy Medical Facilities Arrive in New York, California

New York and California

The United States Navy’s Comfort, a Military Sealift Command hosital ship has arrived to New York City on Sunday, March 29th around 1330 hours EDT (or 1030 PST – West Coast time) and guided in by tug boats to port.  This is in  response to the COVID19 virus response.

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USNS Comfort arrives in New York on March 29, 2020

“…our nation, specifically the people of New York, have requested our assistance and we are ready to respond.” – USNS Capt. Patrick Amerbach, CO, Medical Treatment Facility aboard the Comfort.

The facility will be used for non-COVID19 infected patients, which will provide a full array of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults, while allowing shore-based civilian hospitals to focus on their medical care to the treatment of virus infected patients.

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Comfort arrives in New York, shows its mammoth size. Credit: USNS

Comfort departed from the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia and has a crew of over 1,100 Navy medical personnel and support staff with over 70 civil service mariners on board.  The Comfort is a converted San Clemente-class supertanker, that was delivered to the Navy’s Miltary Sealift Command on December 1, 1987 and is one of two Mercy-class hospital ships.

A second USNS ship, Mercy arrived in Los Angeles, California on March 27, 2020.

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in Los Angeles, March 27, 2020. Mercy deployed in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense's missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Mora Jr. (Released) 200327-N-UV609-1087

USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles, California on March 27, 2020. Credit: USNS

The Comfort  and Mercy are operated, navigated and maintained by a crew of civil service mariners working for the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

Washington State was due to have the Mercy arrive to Seattle, but POTUS redirected it to Los Angeles, California instead.   Washington State is receiving assistance from local Military resources.

A field hospital is being set-up at Seattle’s Century Link to take care of those with non-COVID19 medical needs which will free up local health facilities.  Another facilty is being erected in Shoreline as more cases break out across the State.

The Governor of Washington State issued a Stay at Home. Stay Safe. Mandate for all non-essential employees on March 23, 2020.

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Gov Inslee at the Seattle Convention Center speaks to local media. Credit: Gov Jay Inslee

We cannot thank the men and women on these two ships for taking time from their own families to help care for the sick while local Cities are dealing with the COVID virus spreading like wildfire.

This is a godsent gift to Cities and their residents who will benefit from overflow of regular people with regular medical needs that are unrelated to the virus outbreak.  I think, we can say wholeheartedly that we speak for the residents of where these ships are arriving to, that we all will be eternally grateful.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated  Sunday, 3/29/2020 @ 1350 PST

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in its True Form

You all know what St. Patrick’s Day is and the celebrations that occur on this day, but do you know the person that it truly it was created for and why?  How did it all begin and why is it so prevalent here in the U.S.?

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

The St. Patty’s Parade moved to the U.S. on March 17, 1762 (18th Century) prior to the American Revolution when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched in NYC.  It is largely celebrated as a day to remember one of Ireland’s patron saints, St. Patrick marking his life and deeds.  It is in addition to celebrating Irish-American culture in the U.S. by concentrating on Irish-themed parties, alcoholic drinks and food.  Since 1991, stated by either the U.S. Congress or the President,  March has been proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month due to the date of St. Patrick’s Day.

Seattle has been recognized since 2009, as the largest and oldest venue hosting St. Patty’s Parades in the Northwest.  NYC is the oldest (1762) and the largest in the World with Pearl River, NY being the 2nd largest in NY with over 100,000 spectators and people celebrating.  The 2nd largest in the U.S. is in Holyoke, MA.  The World’s Shortest Street St. Patty’s Parade is in Maryville, MO that follows down 1/2 block.

Traditions are by far and many.  Some cities, such as Chicago dye their river green while in Indianapolis dyes their canals green.  In Savannah, downtown City fountains are turned the same color.    

Symbols of this day are generally almost anything green; a green, orange, white flag of the Republic of Ireland and brands of beer associated with Irish culture.  Religious symbols (I would guess back then?) are snakes and serpents.  Irish symbols are the harp (okay, much better) , which was used in Ireland for centuries as well as a mythological creature known as a Leprechaun and a pot of gold he hides.

It is said that there are 36.9 million U.S. residents with Irish roots, which is eight times the population of Ireland itself!

All in all, St. Patrick was a Saint and all remember him each year by remembering his good deeds thru drink, food and song.

Seattle will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, 2012, with Parade beginning at 12:30 p.m. starting at 4th and Jefferson.

(Sources:  Wikipedia, U.S. Census Bureau and the Irish Heritage Club).

(c) 2012 The NW Fire Blog