INFLUENCING ENGINEERING CASUALTY CONTROL
The scope of engineering casualty control is much broader than the immediate actions that are taken at the time of a casualty. Engineering casualty control reaches peak efficiency through a combination of sound design, careful inspection, thorough plant maintenance (including preventive maintenance), and effective personnel organization, manage-ment, and training. CASUALTY PREVENTION IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE FORM OF CASUALTY CONTROL.
The primary instructions and guidelines you should use to handle any engineering casualty to your ship are as follows:
1. Engineering Operational Casualty Control (EOCC) procedures
2. Ship’s casualty control manual (for ships without EOCC)
3. Ship’s damage control manual
4. Ship’s damage control bills (part of the ship’s Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill)
5. Ship’s Organization and Regulations Manual (SORM)
Sound design influences the effectiveness of casualty control in two ways: (1) it eliminates weaknesses which may lead to material failure, and (2) it installs alternate or standby means for supplying vital services in the event of a casualty to the primary means. Both of these factors are considered in the design of naval ships. Individual plants on board ship are equipped with duplicate vital auxiliaries, loop systems, and cross-connections. Complete propulsion plants are also designed to operate as isolated units (split-plant design).
Casualty control communication is vitally important to the operation and organization of the ship. Without adequate and proper means of communication, the whole organization of casualty control will fail in its primary objective. As a provision for. sufficient means of communication to be available, several different systems are installed aboard ship. The normal means of communications are the battle telephone (sound-powered) circuits, interstation 2-way systems (intercoms), ship’s service telephones, ship’s loudspeaker (l-MC), and voice tubes. Messengers are used in some situations when other methods of communication are not available or when written reports are required.
Transmission of correct information regarding a casualty and the speed with which the report is made are the principal values of any method of communication.
Control of all communication circuits must be established by the control station. The circuits must never be allowed to get out of control from “cross talk” caused by more than one station. Casualty control communications must be incorporated into casualty control training. The control station or engineering control must be promptly notified of a casualty so that other casualties (which could be more serious than the original casualty) can be prevented.
Casualty control training must be a continuous step-by-step procedure with constant refresher drills. Realistic simulation of casualties requires adequate preparation. The amount of advance preparation required is not always readily apparent. You must carefully visualize the full consequences of any error that could be made in handling simulated casualties that were originally intended to be of a relatively minor nature. There must be a complete analysis and all participants must be carefully instructed before simulation of major casualties and battle damage. A new crew must have an opportunity to become familiar with the ship’s piping systems and equipment before simulation of any casualty that may have other than purely local effects.
In the preliminary phases of training, a “dry run” is useful for imparting knowledge of casualty control procedures without endangering the ship’s equipment by a too realistic simulation of a casualty. Under this procedure, a casualty is announced, and all individuals are required to report as though action were taken. (An indication must be made that the action is simulated.) Definite corrective actions can be taken, and with careful supervision the timing of individual actions can appear to be very realistic.
Regardless of the state of training, dry runs should always be held before actual simulation of any involved casualty. Similar rehearsals should be held before simulation of relatively simple casualties whenever new personnel are involved and particularly after an interruption (such as a naval shipyard overhaul period) of regularly conducted casualty training has occurred.