My new hero is Ruby. Actually I really have several new heroes this week. All current and former service Men and Woman both Vet's and Active Officers. Ruby Surgent, is really my new hero though. This past week, I got the opportunity to meet and tour the Coast Guard's Steadfast Ship in the Harbor in Astoria.
Surgent, was super generous and took me on a tour of the ship last Wednesday. It was so fascinating how much knowledge she had about this ship. She is an Engineer and an Officer in the Coast Guard and she was definitely a champion for hearing health. This was obvious by the "wall" on the Ship near the Control Room.
As stated before, not only is she trying to Protect the Coast line and our precious maritime resources, she is also trying to Protect her ears. She is super concerned about hearing loss. Although I was aware of this statistic that, "Permanent hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities among sailors" and that the VA spends millions a year in disability claims related to hearing loss, Surgent really affirmed that she's concerned for herself and her fellow service folks about the devastation of hearing loss. She told me that she is strict about getting her hearing tested annually and had a baseline hearing test immediately when she started her career as an Engineer for the Coast Guard many years ago.
Ruby, fortunately, is well aware of the noise pollution on her ship and is especially concerned about the amplitude of the engine room. Their ships' proactive hearing conservation efforts are evident by the impressive wall of hearing protection. With this said, almost no one has custom-fitted Personal ear protection plugs (PEPP), but they definitely have adequate hearing protection.
As indicated in a former NIH (National Institute of Health) Study from several years back, the engine room hovers around 104 decibels. So imagine working in there for an 8 or 10-hour shift. That certainly exceeds the safe levels of noise intake, unprotected so hope they're gearing up.
So obviously the takeaway in this Pepp Talk, is I was super honored to tour the Coast Guards, Steadfast, I was super impressed with Ruby and her Engineering brain and knowledge about all things mechanic and motoric. She is a very smart and strong individual and I'm so glad she and her mates seem to be taking precautions against hearing loss because as usual, my soapbox is - ships, machinery, engines, and industry are loud! You don't want hearing loss - so PROTECT YOUR HEARING folks! Your 65-year-old self will THANK YOU! Radha Joy, Pepp NOW!