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PAX People Page 2 Architzel retires Page 10 Patent awards Page 14 VOLUME 69, NUMBER 38 NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 Vernere takes reins of Pax Naval Health Clinic By Connie Hempel NAS Patuxent River Public Affairs The bellowing of brass horns echoed off the walls as a group of Sailors and civilians, staff, family and friends gathered to witness the Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River assumption of command Sept. 12 at the River's Edge Catering and Conference Center. With the words, "Alright, let's make you a Skipper," Rear Adm. Alton Stocks, commander, Navy Medicine National Capital Area and commander, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., officiated the ceremony giving Capt. Michael Vernere command of the Clinic. The Clinic had been temporarily under the command of its Executive Officer Capt. Frederick McDonald since late June when the then CO was reassigned to Navy Medicine National Capital Area in Bethesda, Md. "It's an honor and privilege to be selected to serve as the commanding officer and I'm truly humbled to be joining such a great team,"Vernere said during the ceremony. "It's clear by all reports and data I've reviewed that we are a good command, and I believe we are well on our way from being a good command to being a great command." Stocks said throughout the years he's known him,Vernere has always answered the call and is confident the Clinic here is in good hands. U.S. Navy photo by Adam Skoczylas Mary Vernere places the command pin on her husband, Capt. Michael Vernere, during the Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River Assumption of Command ceremony Sept. 12 at the River's Edge Catering and Conference Center. "He's an impeccable naval officer, and the patients and staff at the Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River will be recipients of his stellar leadership in the executive medicine community," Stocks said. Stocks also thanked McDonald for doing a "spectacular job" during his time as the acting CO and Capt. Sandra Hearn for taking the helm as the acting executive officer while maintaining her duties as the Clinic's head nurse. Vernere said he intends to make the Clinic here a leader in innovation for military healthcare in achieving outstanding warrior and family readiness. "We will consistently and relentlessly provide safe, high-quality patient- and familycentered medical care while maintaining 100 percent command and personal readiness 100 percent of the time," he said. "We will achieve these goals by ensuring every member of the command is functioning at the highest level of their professional capability and that all of our efforts are strategically aligned with the imperatives and priorities set by Navy medicine's leadership." Vernere enlisted in the Navy in December 1975. After his four-year enlistment, he attended Rutgers University College of Nursing and graduated with high honors in May 1984. He was commissioned in the Navy Nurse Corps in November that same year, and after completing Officer Indoctrination School, he reported to Naval Hospital Oakland, Calif., as a staff nurse on medical-surgical and coronary care units. After that assignment, Vernere held many other medical assignments at various installations and aboard ships. His last assignment was serving as the Naval Hospital Jacksonville Executive Officer at Jacksonville, Fla. Congratulations to the new chiefs Pax firefighter/EMTs: Well-trained first responders Photo and story by Donna Cipolloni Tester staff writer U.S. Navy photo by Gary Younger From left, Sumika Takabayashi pins new chief petty officer anchors on her husband, Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate David W. Wilbur, with the help of Wilbur's mom, Deborah, during the Chief Petty Officer Pinning ceremony Sept. 14 at the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 hangar. Twentyfour Pax Sailors were pinned during the ceremony. To see more photos, visit us on Facebook at: It happened a couple years ago, but it can happen again tomorrow. It was Sept. 18, 2009; an ordinary day for the firefighter/emergency medical technicians of Naval District Washington/NAS Patuxent River Fire & Emergency Services Stations I and II. Some were answering emails, others were checking apparatus inventory, and a few were taking a break between work assignments. Then the house bells sounded, signaling an emergency. All hands immediately leaped into action, donning their personal protective equipment and rolling out their vehicles. "Dispatch will tell us what type of emergency it is," said Lt. Joe Bean, firefighter/EMT with Station II. On that day, they received word that a T38 twin-jet trainer aircraft had skidded off the end of a runway. A fire engine and ambulance were dispatched from Station II with the primary mission of locating the pilots and assessing their medical needs. With a T-38 involved, a chief officer, fire engine, crash trucks and crews from Station I were also dispatched with the primary purpose of securing the aircraft. Pax River firefighters/EMTs train for whatever challenges the next call could bring. Crash trucks are special aircraft rescue firefighting vehicles designed for use on airstrips. "A crash truck will carry 3,000 gallons of water and 420 gallons of foam and deal exclusively with Class B fires, and incidents involving aircraft" Bean explained. Class B is a classification of fire that involves flammable gases or liquids, such as jet fuel. See EMT, Page 5

Sept. 20, 2012, Tester newspaper

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