Season of safety



by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs


5/17/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- In an effort to maintain safety during the summer months, the Air Force's annual "Critical Days of Summer" campaign is from May 24 to Sept. 3. The theme for this year's campaign is "Safe 'n Sound, All Year Round."

"The focus of this year's campaign is to raise awareness of the hazards during the summer months," said Lt. Col. Geoffrey Gibbs, 42nd Air Base Wing chief of safety. "In addition, the campaign is also aimed at helping reduce the risk associated with daily activities on and off duty."

Activities such as motorcycling, water sports, camping, summer parties, barbecues and hiking, increase during the summer months. When proper precautions are not met before engaging in these activities, the probability for an accident to occur increases, according to Gibbs.

Mark Garner, deputy director of the 42nd ABW Safety Division, said that people should be vigilant when participating in activities during the summer months to help prevent injury.

"Traveling this summer can be a chore itself," said Garner. "Have the vehicle checked and serviced before the trip; have a plan to make a stop along the way to prevent fatigue. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination."

In addition to vehicular safety, Garner mentioned various tips to help remain safe this summer.

Motorcyclists should always remain aware of their surroundings, those boating should know the rules of the water and always where a life vest. Campers should avoid flooding areas and be on the lookout for wildlife.

He also said that those hosting parties who serve alcoholic beverages should have a plan that provides designated drivers for those incapable of operating a vehicle.

Lastly, Garner stressed the importance of child safety. "Watch for children, especially in neighborhoods where they may play in the streets."

"Ensure you exercise good risk management principles in everything you do," said Gibbs. "Assess whatever activity you plan to participate in, determine the risks or hazards involved and what you can do to avoid or minimize them."

He said he hopes the community continues its commitment to safety.

"Maxwell had a good safety record last year," Gibbs added. "We have the collective ability to be more careful, alert, and help each other to do the same. I challenge everyone to have a safe and fun summer."