Summer is here, 'Be Cool and Act Safe'
By Staff Sgt. Arletha Lewis, 45th SW Safety Office
/ Published June 14, 2007
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The "101 Critical Days of Summer" Safety Campaign runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.
The theme for Patrick AFB's safety campaign is "Be Cool, Act Safe." Since the early 1980s, this campaign has run annually to counter the traditional in-crease in Air Force mishaps and fatalities that occur during the summer months.
Historically during this time period, the Air Force experiences more mishaps that result in serious in-juries and fatalities. The majority of these mishaps result from traffic and re-creational related activities.
Last year the Air Force experienced 18 fatalities to servicemembers during the 101 Critical Days of Summer. Motor vehicle fatalities accounted for most of the AF community losses. Operator errors included speeding, not using seatbelts, and riding without a helmet.
While you are busy putting the finishing touches on your summer vacation for fun in the sun, plan safety into your summer activities. The following will help you make it safely through this critical time:
1. Seatbelts for Everybody under the Sun. Seatbelts are mandatory. Consequences for failure to wear them could result in a simple ticket, severe injury, and worst of all, loss of life in an auto vehicle accident.
2. Slow down and observe your speed. Speeding is the leading cause of traffic accidents.
3. Florida's motto: Arrive Alive, Don't Drink and Drive: You could hurt yourself, a loved one, or most importantly, my child or me! Drinking and driving could cost you serious injuries, your career, your life, and someone else's life that you don't even know. Have a plan before you go out drinking. Use a designated driver; call a taxi, Airmen Against Drink Driving (AADD), or AAA Tow-to-Go for a ride home. AADD hours of operation are Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. The contact number is (321) 494-7433. The AAA 2007 Tow-to-Go program operates Friday through Mon-day on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Call (800) AAA-HELP to use this service.
Also, think and "act" ORM (Operational Risk Management):
4. Assess the situation. A majority of injuries are "sports/outdoor" related. Sports and outdoor activities are fun, but some can be high risk and extremely dangerous. The following high-risk activities have unique conditions which may cause injury or death: riding an ATV, participating in extreme sports of any type, flying private aircraft, motorcycle riding, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, swimming and boating.
5. Consider the risk. Think of ways you can perform the activity without injury.
6. Take appropriate actions. Implement use of approved personal protective equipment while you are ATV riding, kayaking, boat riding, scuba diving, motorcycle riding, and participating in extreme sports.
Remember children are not drowning proof; ensure close adult supervision at all times while fishing, boat riding, going for a swim at the beach or pool. Discontinue all outdoor activities during lightning and seek appropriate cover immediately. Wear your seatbelt and obey the speed limit. Ensure you receive at least eight hours of rest before starting on a trip. Have fun with the activity if your control measures make it less likely that you will get injured. Use safe practices to avoid injury or fatalities during recreation and high-risk activities, and while driving. Remember, plan safety as part of your activities. Enjoy yourself, "Be Cool and Act Safe" this summer.