Coast Guard Cutter Assists Alaskan Village

November 21, 2006 ATKA, Alaska – The Coast Guard Cutter Storis arrived in the Aleutian Island village of Atka Friday carrying a chaplain, an Air Force dental officer and plans to assist the village with vital community needs.

This weekend, the crew of Storis began assisting the community with many tasks including repair of Atka’s damaged tsunami warning system, repairing aids to navigation and digging a trench to lay new copper pipe and restore the water supply to a local home. Coast Guard crew members also gave tours of the Storis to local school children, and conducted many other community services in town. One of the most notable successes was the repair of Atka’s only fire truck, which had become disabled with carburetor trouble and a broken water pump.

On Sunday, Capt. Carl Cwiklinski, a military chaplain, performed services at an Atka church. Lt. Col. Les Williams, a dental officer from Elmendorf Air Force Base, provided dental services at a local Atka medical clinic.

In addition to helping the community of Atka, during a brief visit to Pelican, Petty Officer Elaine Jergons, the Storis’ health services technician, assisted the community health aide with vaccine procedures and provided training on the operation of her telemedicine cart, a machine which allows health care providers to take pictures of patients and send them to doctors for diagnosis and guidance.

The town of Pelican has less than 100 residents, and the aide provides medical assistance for the entire town. Jergons enjoyed the opportunity to use her skills and expertise to help others. “It was a great experience to assist the community health aide and to possibly improve the health care of this remote community,” said Jergons.

The Storis is scheduled to be decommissioned in Kodiak, Alaska, after over 75 years of service. This will be the last Bering Sea Patrol and humanitarian mission in the Aleutian Islands for the Storis.

US Coast Guard Press Release

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