Something that I noticed this last time playing through the SS Azuria rescue mission ...
There's all these crewmen lying around in the rooms and hallways, taken out by the radiation ... and there's no Optional Mission Objective/Reward for helping them. Heck, you don't even have to talk to them if you don't want to.
There's something decidedly ... odd ... about the way this side of the mission "works" (or not, depending on your perspective). Before you turn off the Venting Plasma, your science officer says that they can only stabilize these poor crewmen for later transport. After turning off the Venting Plasma in the "neighborhood" you can talk to them again and they STAND UP, say they're fine, and beam out to your sick bay (and EMH, presumably).
What's weird about all of this, from a Mission Scripting perspective is ... these people DO NOT MATTER. They don't matter one bit. You can save them or ignore them, and it doesn't make a single binary bit worth of difference in the outcome of the mission or to the plot/storyline of the mission.
This seems like a wasted opportunity to me ... especially since this is often the First Mission given out to new players leaving Starbase One. At the very least, this should be an ideal opportunity to "demonstrate" to (new) players what Optional Mission Objectives are, how they work, and what (if any) rewards can result from "going the extra mile" when you don't "have to" in order to complete the primary mission.
This always bothered me, too. I like to make lots of characters and try different setups, so I have played through this alot. I can't help but revive them all; I would feel guilty if I left them there to blow up. Since it's an initial mission, it certainly wouldn't hurt being rewarded with a minor phaser or something for saving them.
While I agree with the idea of saving these people being an additional optional objective, I think it's safe to assume that when you transport the captain (Brott) from the ship at the end you also beam aboard all those poor souls that litter the corridors too.
There presence seems to simply be to add depth to the mission.
There are similar NPC's that can be beemed up to your ship throughout the rest of the game, none of which seem to serve a purpose.