Capt. Kyle Higgins, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), left, recognizes Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Marisol Zamundio during an all-hands call for her actions performed outside the line of duty. Ike is in the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan.


A girl lies unresponsive and face-down in a parking garage. A group begins to gather around her, and though the call for emergency services is made, no one steps up to help the girl. Soon, a Sailor steps out of her car, turns the girl over and begins to perform first aid; she finds the girl has an injury to her head, but is breathing. Because of her training and quick response, the Sailor is able to provide the girl with necessary care until first responders arrive.

This is the scenario Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Marisol Zamudio, a stretcher bearer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), found herself in while off-duty, Sept. 2.

“I’m not somebody who is just going to pass by someone on the ground like that,” said Zamudio. “If it were me, I would want someone to respond. Once the bystanders told me they didn’t know any first aid, I knew it was up to me to assist in any way I can.”

Though Zamudio was among strangers at the time, word of her actions spread fast. She began to receive recognition from her peers and chain of command and soon found herself standing on a tractor during an all-hands call shaking the commanding officer’s hand.

“She didn’t have to respond,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Amos Hodnett, the medical representative in charge of the battle dressing station Zamudio is assigned to. “She took the initiative and got involved. Her actions say that she not only received the proper training, but she’s picked up on it and is able to respond both off ship and onboard Ike.”

Though it was Zamudio’s desire to help others that pushed her to respond, she wanted to give credit to Ike’s medical department for training she received as a stretcher bearer.

“They train us way beyond the required level of knowledge for a stretcher bearer,” said Zamudio. “Medical makes our training as real as possible with all of the moulage and curveballs they throw our way. I take my training very seriously because helping others is something I really want to do.”

Sailors aboard Ike received a plethora of training focused on fighting for the ship and their shipmates, including general quarters and mass casualty drills. Taking these simulations seriously can mean the difference between life and death.

“She’s been one of our stretcher bearers for a while,” said Hodnett. “She’s good at what she does and soon she’s going to be a part of our medical training team. Taking your training seriously is important; responding the right way could save a life, but responding the wrong way could cause further damage.”

Zamudio said that though she was glad to help, she didn’t expect all the recognition she was given. She said she loves helping others and hopes to one day become a first responder herself.

“I didn’t think this was a big deal,” said Zamudio. “I’m a stretcher bearer. If you see someone who needs help, even if you don’t know how to help them, stand by them. Don’t walk away. I’m just happy I got to help."

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.

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