One of the most interesting jobs in the U.S. Coast Guard is the rating of Damage Control man. They are responsible for responding when the alarm goes off, and can be confronted with a variety of stricken mechanical, physical, electrical or other systems that are damaged and need repair. The job of Damage Control Man is very challenging and a big part of the overall Coast Guard personnel response.
Serving as an enlisted Coast Guardsman is a job not for the faint of heart. The Coast Guard provides emergency response to boaters, and fishermen, as well as anyone else who makes their way onto or over the water in and around the United States. The primary mission of the Coast Guard is search and rescue, but they have a lot of other missions that they also perform on a regular basis. Simply put the Coast Guard provides prompt and efficient disaster and emergency response to calls for assistance and aid, and various types of marine and maritime distress calls. In a typical day they save about fifteen lives, search and rescue on eighty-two different operations, and assist about one hundred fourteen boaters in distress.
Coast Guardsmen participate in Search and Rescue teams, where its more than mental and physical ability, you have to be willing to regularly put yourself in possible harms way to assist and give aid to others in dangerous situations. The members of the Search and Rescue teams in the Coast Guard also inspect vessels for safety and merchant licensing issues.
The job of Damage Control Man is a complicated one. DC’s are responsible for maintaining the watertight shipboard integrity, repairing and maintaining emergency equipment, using and maintaining firefighting equipment, and other flooding and fire equipment. A DC is an expert on repair, period. They use tools, welders, and other devices to fabricate and perform repairs including at times biological, chemical, nuclear warfare detection and at times even decontamination.
Damage Control Men are stationed both on shore and aboard ship throughout the Coast Guard. Assignments for Damage Control Men include river tenders, buoy tenders, cutters, small boat stations, and all short stations. On board ship a Damage Control Man is assigned to the Engineering department and stands watch in the engineering section.
As with the Mechanics Mate and Electrician Mate jobs, the Damage Control Man rating has a Class A school located at Yorktown, Virginia. Students who attend DC Class A school will have training and laboratory work in each of the following areas: Firefighting, welding, carpentry, oxy fuel gas metal cutting, watertight integrity training, and biological, chemical and nuclear warfare defense.