0500: Call Away. Best be up and getting ready to check in at the Casualty Reception Area.
0545: Medical staff, Seabees, and NGO volunteers depart COMFORT via a slow,moving water taxi. Many use this hour-long transit to catch some extra zzzz’s.
0645: Arrive at the boat landing zone. Disembark the water taxi. Medical staff and volunteers board buses to the St. John’s Multicultural Center. Seabees depart for their construction site at the local hospital.
0655-0700: Medical staff and volunteers arrive at the Multicultural Center and are greeted by a crowd of local citizens numbering over a 1,000 – some of whom have been in line since 2100 the night before.
0730: Doors open for business at the Multicultural Center. Patients are examined. People have their choice of dental, optometry, general health, physical therapy, pediatrics, and women’s health. Optometry and dental are two of the more popular kids on the block.
Lunch: MRE’s at your convenience.
1300: patients scheduled to have surgery the following day arrive onboard COMFORT. They check-in just as you or I would at a local hospital.
While folks are busy at the multi-cultural center, the COMFORT’s 5-operating rooms are kept busy mainly with procedures like hernias, hysterectomies, cataracts, and cleft palate surgeries to name a few procedures and the Seabees are busy renovating the women’s barracks. There is easily !000+ patient encounters this day. The CP 09 record is 1,678 patient encounters which occurred on Mother’s Day.
@1700: staff and volunteers head back to the boat landing zone to be ferried back to the COMFORT for evening chow (which was pretty good as far as /i was concerned).
Evenings: Meetings to review the day’s events and plan for the next day.
2155: Evening prayer
2200: Lights Out
2200: last boat departs the boat landing zone for the COMFORT. Makes for a long day for the BLZ team which ensures that everyone who had gone ashore that day makes it back onboard COMFORT. They have not left anyone behind as of yet.
While the days might be long, the gratitude of the patients makes it all worthwhile and easy to get up early the next day to do it all over again.
BZ Team COMFORT.