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Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Supports Safety Training for Fishing Industry

May 17, 2023

Denise Schepici, President of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, observed training provided by the New Bedford-based Fishing Partnership Support Service (FPSS), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health, safety, and economic security of commercial fishermen, their families, and their communities.

With the fishing industry being such an integral part of the Martha’s Vineyard community, the Hospital was proud to sponsor of the free two-day event for Island fishermen and fisherwomen to learn the skills to fish more safely.


One of the things fishermen learned about during the training was how to plug a leak in their boat.


The workshops were held May 11 and May 12 at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Menemsha in Chilmark.

Denise was joined by Steven Tringale, President of the Mass General Brigham Health Plan and Chair of the Board of Directors for FPSS, as members of the local fishing industry were taught the use of life-saving skills.


How to set off emergency flares was another training exercise. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital sponsored the two-day event on the island.


“These men and women work in an industry that is so important to the Island economy and we’re grateful for the work they do,” Denise said. “The job is a potentially dangerous one and that’s why we are so supportive of training like this that helps to ensure these individuals return safely to their families.”

Among the things taught on day one was the use of immersion suits (they’re really tough to get in and out of), how to call in a MAYDAY, plugging holes in a damaged boat, and administering Naloxone (known by the brand name Narcan) so that fishermen can respond to overdoses at sea. During the second day, the day’s events focused on a deeper dive into the training, including cold-water survival, helicopter rescues, and emergency procedures.


Martha’s Vineyard Hospital President Denise Schepici, Mass General Brigham Health Plan President Steven Tringale, who also serves as chair of the board for Fishing Partnership Support Service (FPSS), were joined at the event by Windy Jansen, Vice President of Advancement & External Relations for FPSS.


Along with the training, FPSS provides individuals in the fishing industry access to affordable health insurance, assistance finding a primary care physician, and access to preventive health screenings.

“The strength of our partnerships is what enables us to carry out our mission and improve the lives of fishermen, their families, and their communities,” Windy Jansen, Vice President of Advancement & External Relations at FPSS, said. “To have the support of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is tremendously helpful as we engage with the island fishing community.”

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