<![CDATA[[caption id="attachment_2771" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The USNS COMFORT'S first patient gets treatment."][/caption] Although not technically ‘there’ yet the Comfort is now within helicopter range of Haiti and has started taking in some patients from the earthquake, according to various press sources. Good timing too as there has just been another after-shock. The Baltimore Sun is on board and reports that the entire ship went through an Abandon Ship drill just moments before the first helicopters brought in a 20 year old male with spine problems and a 6 year old boy. The COMFORT’s Medivac Helos will be in operation today starting at 7:00 am EST. The crew is still busy getting things ready, preparing for water rationing (to give more to patients) and to ‘hot rack’ the bunks to give more room for the wounded and a full crew.
With the addition of 350 medical and service personnel, who were expected to be in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, overnight and to begin arriving on the ship today, the Comfort will exceed its capacity of 1,200 crew members. Officers were making arrangements for crew members to share berths, a practice known as “hot-racking,” in which one person sleeps while another is on duty.]]>